Understanding the thoughts, feelings, needs and expectations of people more or less explains the Double Diamond design process. It focuses on the steps of going through a series of phases to identify and map out what needs to be solved, then going through the next set of phases to iterate and come up with solutions. This process was popularized by the British Design Council in 2005.
Divergence and Convergence
In 1996 Béla H. Bánáthy, a professor at San Jose State University and UC Berkely, published ‘Designing Social Systems in a Changing World’ which included a diagram for ‘divergence-convergence model’ which was later interpreted by the UK’s Design Council as The Double Diamond Process Model.Wikipedia
As the model was being studied and mapped out by the council, the team set out to make it applicable in any field, not just design per se, but more as a model for innovative discovery and solutions.
Some online resources seem to attribute the creation of the process to Alex Faickney Osborn.
The four stages of the model are:
In this stage data is gathered and the problem, or opportunity, is identified. Through market research, user testing and other avenues all the information that pertains to what needs to be addressed is brought together. Managing the data so that the project brief is clear and concise makes the next phase easier to execute.
This phase focuses on turning your research data into a beatable problem. With all the gathered data you must be able to define the challenge into a statement, that underscores the problem at hand. Take the time to elaborate the problem, find bottlenecks and opportunities. As most agree, you finally should have a ‘problem statement’ that clearly defines what you were charged with finding a solution for.
Early prototyping, testing and many iterations later you should reach a stage where you are actively developing the solution. Bring together all involved teams so that you reach a quantitative level of ideas, enough to filter out what works and what doesn’t.
Here you test out on a small scale before finally shipping. Your testing user base will show you which iteration of your final product solves the problem in the most efficient and cohesive manner – which helps you innovate with a design driven approach.
Use the Double Diamond concept as a helpful model to understand, communicate and map the complexity of design. Once you understand why you need to use it the phases become a part of your development process, whether you work alone, in a small team or in a remote based global collaboration network all trying to bring life to something that will solve your users greatest need.
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To read more about the model visit the British Design Council.