The Double Diamond, also known as the Design Process Model, is a well-tested model for creative and innovative design processes. The model was originally developed by The British Design Council in 2005 and has since then been one of the most popular tools when it comes to exploring the different phases of a creative design process.

What is the Double Diamond?

The Double Diamond is a clear, comprehensive and visual description of a creative design process. It is used by designers and developers across the world to help tackle complex social, economic and environmental challenges. The model is recognized worldwide with millions of references from all over the world.

Four phases

The Double Diamond consists, hence the name, of two diamonds. One diamond represents exploring, discovering and defining the issue, whilst the other diamond represents taking focused action and transforming the idea into a specific product or experience.

There are two phases in each diamond, a total of four phases; Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver.

Discover

The first phase, Discover, serves the purpose of helping the designers and developers understand, rather than assume, what the problem is. It provides insight into the problem. This phase involves speaking and spending time with people who are affected by the issue. The Discover phase is characterized by divergent think where the team investigate a wide range of needs, problems and opportunities.

Definition

Following the Discover-phase is the Definition-phase. In this phase, the insight gathered from the first phase is used to help define the issue. All the data and knowledge gathered from the Discover-phase now has to be filtered and elaborated on. The results are analyzed, developed and detailed.

At the end of the Discover-phase the project gets approved, ready to be developed in the next phase.

Develop

The third phase in the Double Diamond model is the Develop-phase. Here, the idea defined from the previous phase, is transformed into a specific product, solution or experience. This is the start of the making of the solution to the problem defined earlier. In other words, the start of the actual design process.

Depending on the organization and the project, all the different actors come into play in this phase in order to share expertise to realize the project. This includes designers, engineers, developers, external partners and other departments depending on the specific project.

Delivery

The fourth and final phase of the Double Diamond model is Delivery. This phase includes the final testing of the product or experience, and is the last step before the actual production and launching of the project.

This phase includes final testing, approval, launch and evaluation.

Double Diamond Model

Not a linear process

It’s important to note that the four phases described are not necessarily a linear process. In fact, when working with the double diamond, one may jump back and forth in the different phases. For instance, sometimes it might be necessary to go all the way back to the Discover phase, even if the product has already launched. The reason for this is that in today’s digital world, no product is ever really finished. Any product, service or experience needs on-going development and improvement in order to be up-to-date and in line with the demand of the customers.

New extended versions of the double diamond

The Double Diamond is an excellent tool, but the world has changed a lot since the model was originally designed. Because of that, the Double Diamond model has been redesigned and extended by many, thus resulting in various different versions of the popular framework. For instance, some of the extended versions of the model includes design principles, design methods, engagement and leadership, making the model more complete and up-to-date with the challenges of today’s world.

At Kaospilot, a reputable business and design school located in Aarhus, Denmark, The Double Diamond Model is a preferred tool when it comes to design process frameworks and one of the school’s favorite tools overall. The model is frequently used and plays a central role in the school’s recognized full-time education, Enterprising Leadership. Here, the model is used to learn how to facilitate and lead design processes in diverse groups and how to creatively organize, manage and lead projects. The school puts its own stamp on the model based on the original, developed by The British Design Council in 2005, as well as encourages its students to work with it in creative ways.

Double Diamond model innovation

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