The double diamond process of developing a product was created by the British Design Council. It was crafted after researchers found similarities in designers approaches to their creative process.
The double diamond approach seeks to ensure that the next part of the product to be designed and developed is one which users desire, ensuring the highest chance of success.
As can be seen below, it is divided into four sections; two divergent and two convergent. The divergent sections concentrate on opening the project up to as many thoughts and opinions as possible; the convergent on making decisions based on those thoughts and opinions.
I’ve described briefly below what each section contains. As the design council explain in much more detail, I’ve linked directly to their individual phase methods if you wish to delve deeper. They employ exercises described used in our ux workshop series, plus a whole lot more.
Discover Phase – divergent
The discover phase is all about research; spread the net wide, ask users what problems they have with your product or service. This gathers as many options as possible on what to work on next, and you’re able to see trends if users are having the same issues; this could be tiny user interactions, or adding a whole new product to your ecosystem.
Design council – discover
Define Phase – convergent
Now we have a long list of possible issues to work on, we want to focus in on what will make the biggest impact for the most amount of users. For this, we can use an impact/effort matrix or any other kind of prioritisation technique. You may even find low-hanging fruit which are defined as problems that are quick and easy to fix and produce immediate benefit to the user.
Design council – define
Develop Phase – divergent
Here, we’re spreading the net wide again. Now we have the problems we’re going to work on, we want to produce as many different solutions as possible. You can use a design studio workshop to do this, or just bounce ideas off of other people. Collaboration here is key; when it’s just one person generating ideas, it can be easy to get stuck seeing the problem from the same angle.
Get everything out there, and then evaluate at the end. Expect to see paper and post-its everywhere, but try to keep some order to your ideas. It’s good to see how you built on certain ideas throughout the process.
Design council – develop
Delivery Phase – convergent
In the final phase of the double diamond process, prototypes are built of the chosen solution(s) from the develop phase. Then prepare to build a minimum viable product (MVP) that solves the problem for the user (if you have time and resources, feel free to build a MVP for the top ‘x’ solutions). Next, you’ll then need to run usability tests and iterate on the designs/flows to produce a solution that works for users.
Design council – deliver