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Understanding the Double Diamond Design Process

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Double Diamond Design Process

Have you ever used a process to resolve your issues, either personal or professional? Would you like to know how to resolve these issues quickly? The Double Diamond Design Process is a Design Thinking method that is used to solve problems and prompt companies to innovate.

This methodology is easy to understand and extremely visual and has become one of the most popular of its kind nowadays. By presenting design logic to companies as a mental and practical model, professionals are able to investigate and break down customer-related challenges within their respective organizations.

Once these challenges become well understood, a solution can be developed which is suited to the context, and to the audience experiencing the dilemma responsible for the initial demand.

In order to further understand this way of working, we can refer to the Double Diamond method, which is divided into four phases: discover, define, develop and deliver.

What are design processes, and what are they used for?

Design processes are excellent tools to be used at the start of any project. They are predefined activity structures that can guide us towards a goal, and serve as a timeline of tasks that, if carried out correctly, can help us to solve our problems quickly.

Processes help to create an overview of the entire project. A defined process lets the design team know what has already been done and what needs to be done to solve a problem, and helps to align people in different roles who are working on the same project.

In addition, they create a structure for communication, defining how the designer will communicate their progress to the team.

As the Double Diamond is a tool to be wielded in conjunction with several others, you should take advantage of a free flowchart maker to graphically represent the design processes, helping you through the method and its stages.

The Double Diamond

Double Diamond is a widely-used process because it can be applied in different contexts. The method is related to Design Thinking, another problem-solving process based on the way of thinking of design professionals.

As a simple, intuitive, and cyclical method, the Double Diamond can be applied continuously throughout your projects, in order to solve problems and improve on existing solutions. The process is divided into two movements, called “diamonds”, both of which have stages that are referred to as “Divergent” and “Convergent”.

The first Diamond is problem-focused. The Divergent stage seeks to expand knowledge and explore the problems in depth, while the Convergent step reconciles our research around a single problem, defining which one we are going to solve.

The second Diamond is focused on solutions. Its Divergent stage seeks to explore all possible solutions to the defined problem, diverging ideas without fixating on a single result. The Convergent stage analyzes the solutions and converges on the one which is the best for the moment in question, defining and prioritizing which solution we will deliver.

The Double Diamond stages

In this structure, each Diamond has its own function. In the first, the intention is to diverge and converge upon the definition of a problem, and in the second, the goal is to diverge and converge upon the solution to the problem that has been defined in the first diamond.

The model has four phases. In the first Diamond: discover and define. The second: develop and deliver. This process is not set in stone – remember, it’s a design process. In other words, we have the freedom and autonomy to go back to a previous stage if necessary or repeat the entire cycle to obtain different results.

Discover

In the first phase of the process, you need to know where to go. The objective is to investigate and discover what the outstanding problems are. Research is essential here, as it helps to understand the problem, the user’s needs, as well as corresponding objectives and opportunities.

This divergent phase is a time for the discussion of ideas. So in addition to research, the sharing and discussion of information among team members are important here.

Define

In this stage, it is time to converge upon previous insights. Filtering is carried out and a consensus begins to form around the definitions of specific problems, and opportunities that may have been overlooked.

To define the problem and its corresponding opportunities, it is necessary to define the user, their behavior, thoughts, and experiences as well. During this stage, you may consider certain interesting tools – such as focus groups, the definition of personas, and the user journey – to assist in these definitions and identify gaps in the process.

Develop

At the beginning of the second Diamond, answers begin to emerge and the process repeats itself. This divergent stage should contain many ideas – in this case, at the level of realization.

Directions have already been defined in the first Diamond, so in this stage, the problems begin to be effectively solved, and the design starts to emerge from disparate visual elements. The goal here is to co-create tests in order to validate the final delivery or solution.

Deliver

Also known as the prototyping phase, this stage is designed to create prototypes from the convergence of ideas and solutions developed in the previous stage, for later release as the final result.

As final tests and readjustments are carried out on the prototypes, the interaction process is fundamental: rethinking choices and decisions and evolving the final product before finally delivering it.

What do I need to apply the Double Diamond method?

The Design Thinking approach is a creative process that enables experimentation and the raising of multiple hypotheses. However, for the entire Double Diamond process to go smoothly, you need to understand your client’s point of view, and to genuinely learn what their needs are.

Collaboration is also important in the Double Diamond process. It brings together professionals from different areas, so teamwork is essential.

It is also necessary to create an environment of trust because there should be no judgment or fear of making mistakes during idea-generating discussions. It is important to remember that everyone has a common goal: to propose innovative solutions.

You also need to be aware that in a creative process, everything should be viewed as a lesson to be learned. Being open to trying new paths, testing hypotheses, making mistakes and learning are fundamental characteristics for successfully developing new ideas – especially in the Double Diamond Design Process.