Paul Hill by Paul Hill

Double Diamond design process – Delving into the 4 stages

  • Design Process
  • Design

Software and product development teams use a variety of strategies to design solutions for user and enterprise challenges. One of the most popular of these tools is the Double Diamond design process.

In this post, we’re going to delve into this design model, understanding how it works and why teams choose to use it. 

What is the Double Diamond design process?

The Double Diamond design process is a visual design model in the shape of two “diamonds” (squares rotated 45 degrees) touching at the corners. Each diamond represents a divergent and convergent thinking cycle. 

To start, you throw out a plethora of ideas and end by narrowing down on the best ones. 

Two different kinds of ideation.

The first diamond is for defining and understanding the problem you want to solve, and the second is for creating and deciding on a solution. 

Although this process is presented linearly, it does not necessarily need to be followed in that manner. 

How the Double Diamond design process was created

The Double Diamond design process was created by the Design Council, a UK-based organisation. The goal behind creating this design model was to put users first, visually collaborate on ideas and emphasise iteration. 

Since its creation in 2004 it has become one of the most popular models to use in design and development teams across all sectors. As digital products have become increasingly dominant, it’s easy to see how the iterative nature of the Double Diamond has grown in value. 

What are the four stages of the Double Diamond design process?

1. Discover

This is part of the first diamond and is a divergent thinking process. 

During the Discover phase, your team will collect and outline insights surrounding the problem you want to solve. 

The team will dig into questions like ‘Why does this problem exist?’ and ‘Who does this problem affect?’ to get a grasp on what they will be tackling.  

2. Define

The second stage of the Double Diamond design process is the Define phase. This is a convergent thinking process, wherein your team will take the ideas and insights from the Discover phase and start to narrow in on them. 

Essentially, you’ll be seeking to pinpoint the problem to just a few points (or maybe even just one). You may start the Discover process knowing that you want to focus on improving your product’s accessibility. 

However, during the process you want to find a specific accessibility problem to solve. 

3. Develop

The second diamond begins with the Develop phase. This third phase is another divergent thinking exercise, where you’ll come up with potential solutions to the problem you’ve honed in on. 

4. Deliver

The fourth and final stage of the Double Diamond design process is the Deliver phase.

Here, you’ll sift through your solutions and settle on the ones that work, are practical, and generate the most value as a solution. 

Implement strategic design processes in your next development project

The team at Thunk can use the Double Diamond design process and other developmental strategies to help you create your next software solution. Reach out to our team today to learn more