What is the Double Diamond technique or model
First introduced by the British organization called "Design Council" in 2005, the Double Diamond is a model that represents design process graphically and is derived from case studies gathered from innovative design teams at 11 global companies.
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The model represents 4 key stages of the process – Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver – mapped across two adjacent diamond shapes, each of the stages characterized by either "divergent thinking" (creating various possible ideas), or “convergent thinking” (refining and narrowing the generated ideas down to the best one). The model illustrates that to discover the best ideas, the creative process should be iterative, which means the ideas should be developed, tested and refined a number of times, with the weak ones dropped out in the process.
When to use the double diamond technique
The Double Diamond is a powerful technique that can improve your design process, product development process, and provide a framework for practical design methods, such as user diaries, journey mapping, and Persona profiling.
The creative process is usually complicated, which makes it hard to capture it in a simple way, and the Double Diamond can help simplify it and make it appear a little less mysterious.
How to use the double diamond technique
We suggest you use a template as a starting point, e.g. the on-line Infolio Double Diamond template, that can guide you through the four key stages of the design process. See the steps below for details and fill in the respective areas in the template.
Stage 1. Discover
The first quarter of the Double Diamond model represents the start of the project, when designers try to brainstorm, think fresh, notice new things and collect insights. At this stage you should focus on identifying, researching and understanding the initial users’ problem that you intend you tackle. Here divergent thinking should be applied, meaning you should open your minds and consider everything you know about your customers, with no constraints or prejudices.
The best way to do so is to actually go and talk to customers, interview them, watch them use your products, listen to what they say online and learn everything you can about their routine, needs and pains. This exercise will help you develop deep empathy to them and provide some “flesh” for drafting Empathy Maps, Customer Journeys and Persona Profiles.
Stage 2. Define
The second quarter is actually the definition stage, at which designers intend to make sense of all the opportunities found during the Discover phase.
Now that you’ve come to understand what the customers feel and do, start using convergent thinking. At this stage you should short list the problems you selected during stage 1 and define a clear problem you intend to solve, focusing on specific experiences within the Customer Journey. We suggest you consider the delight in their experiences along with pain points. As a team you can vote and prioritize the areas that need the solution most. Roses & Thorns technique can be of support here too.
Stage 3. Develop
The third quarter of the Double Diamond design process model represents the period when the actual solutions or concepts are developed, prototyped, tested, and iterated. This trial-error period helps designers to refine their ideas.
Being half-way through the Double Diamond, you can now decide which problems you choose to try and solve. Practice divergent thinking here again, open your mind and generate a list of diverse, creative, and edgy ideas. Brainstorm in a team, and nail down as many of them as possible, quantity over quality. Creative Matrix can be of support here as well.
Stage 4. Deliver
This final quarter of the Double Diamond is the actual delivery stage, at which the final concept is finalized, evaluated, delivered and deployed.
Now its time for convergent thinking again, to help you focus on what can be delivered with the given resources and what solutions can meet your customers’ needs. Vote and select the key areas that need a solution, then finalize filling in the template. Visual voting technique can be useful at this stage.