Axiomatic Design

Axiomatic design streamlines the design process of software, hardware, materials, and all processes, products, and systems to get the best results quickly.

A team designing with the DFSS methodology should create a product that is as robust as possible prior to introduction, presumably at a Six Sigma performance level or whatever the "perfect" standard is for your design.

It is also important to be practical, not every option and product will be 100% ideal prior to introduction. It is important to get the process or product out to market and add upgrades or revisions.

Take the Apple NANO or I-phone for example. Both were introduced and aggressively marketed without all the current options. The features to satisfy the must-haves, needs (at the time) and delighter features (at the time) were superior to other products in the eyes of many customers and the product sold at record levels. Then newer introductions were sold, and the delighters became needs and must haves, and they continue to set the pace for MP3 and wireless phone appeal.

If Apple would have waited until all the features were implemented and installed that they knew of, the product may never have made it to market or another company could have set the precedence. There are infinite ideas and improvement opportunities, at some point the call is made to present as perfect of a product that satisfies the current Kano Model and get it on the market.

Despite the features, a product should be designed to be robust, controllable, reliable, manufacturable, and most of all what the customer expects and wants.

Poor planning, research, intuitively design based decisions, and trial-and-error based design practice may result in missed budgets, project failure warranty costs, and unsatisfied customers.


Axioms are truths that cannot be derived or proven, but for which there are no exceptions or contradicting examples.

Axiom 1: The Independence Axiom Maintain the independence of the functional requirements.

Axiom 2: The Information Axiom Minimize the information content of the design.

There are four domains of axiomatic design:

1) Customer Domain
2) Functional Domain
3) Physical Domain
4) Process Domain

Other Definitions:


A corollary is an inference derived from axioms or propositions that follow from axioms or other proven propositions.

Functional Requirement are part of the Functional Domain:

Functional Requirements are a minimum set of independent requirements that completely characterize the functional needs of the product, process, or system being designed. By definition each functional requirement is independent of every other functional requirement at the time they are defined.


Constraints are bounds on acceptable solutions. There are two kinds of constraints:

1) Input constraints - part of the design specifications
2) System constraints - on the system in which the design operates within

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