The synthesis period in the design process, according to Kolko, can be split into three different steps with different methods available to help complete them. The sections he isolates are Prioritizing, Judging, and The Forging of Connections. Here is a short explanation of each step:
Prioritization: The step in synthesis where the designer prioritizes subjectively the important information of their past research. A way to do this is to agree on a set of guidelines the information must follow and then subjectively scale the importance of said information.
Judging: What is the relevant information that has been filtered through prioritizing? Is this information relevant to the problem the designer is trying to solve? This step is primarily there to re evaluate the priorities you have set but with a global view of the problem.
Forging of connections: The step in which the designer will try to create connections between the different elements they have isolated so far. Another way to view it is the creation and identification of the stories and patterns within the elements.
Many methods can be used to help the synthesis process, I will outline some in my next post. When and how to use each method is to the designers discretion and often varies with the problem they are facing and the information they have gathered.