I don't even know how to describe my question, but it's like going in straight line vs not going in straight line, like:

enter image description here

what's the proper word/phrase to express the idea that

I've __________ the convoluted process.

It's not "simplify", it more about going in straight line now vs not going in straight line before, taking unnecessary steps and doing unnecessary things.

Is the "straight-lined" the proper phrase? I asked because at least straightlining has a total different meaning, and is more a negative word than a positive one, and I don't know how closely related the two are.

  • 2
    I'd stay it's still convoluted because you've put after before before!
    – Stef
    Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 12:22

6 Answers 6



From Merriam-Webster:

streamline verb
3 b : to make simpler or more efficient
a system that streamlines the process

This is a standard and very common verb in the business world that means almost exactly what you're asking. The only difference is that your arrow is straight, which suggests the process is as easy and efficient as possible. To streamline, on the other hand, only means to make it better, not perfect.


Straightened out is a possibity, depending on context and precise meaning.

  • 2
    Native British English speaker here, I would say "straightened out" is more for where something is wrong with the process, that is it's "wonky" in some way and needs correcting.
    – Muzer
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Muzer judging by the OP's image, the old process looked definitely wonky. 😅
    – Christian
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 19:09
  • Please don't take the line drawing too literally. As I don't even know how to describe my question so I illustrated it with an image. The situation might not be wrong, just doing unnecessary things.
    – xpt
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 2:53

"Simplify" is still probably the best word, "simple" means fewer steps.

If there are fewer steps then you could say "shortened" the process.

Or rephrase

I've made the process less convoluted.


Looking at your illustration, I think 'disentangle' comes closest:

to free or become free from entanglement; untangle; extricate (often followed by from)

"I've disentangled the convoluted process."

  • 1
    I think that you're taking the line a bit too literally. As in, it's supposed to represent a process, it's not about the line itself.
    – paddotk
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 13:44
  • @paddotk I get that, but the OP illustrated their situation that way, so this seems a very apt word choice.
    – Joachim
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 17:53

You could use the word linearize to very literally describe turning something into a straight line. A process that has been linearized would imply that it has a specified start and end point with step-by-step directions of how to implement the process. It connotes that the process does not involve a branching tree of decisions, but that one must move from step to step in a linear fashion.




make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).

I've optimized the convoluted process.

  • 1
    Hmm, "optimized" to me implies that it is making something already good better, and doesn't convey the idea that it was "taking unnecessary steps and doing unnecessary things" before.
    – xpt
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 14:50
  • 1
    @xpt Speaking as an engineer, I would say that anything removed in the process of optimization is by definition unnecessary.
    – Hearth
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 20:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .