How To Apply The Double Diamond To Any UX Project – Make:Iterate (2023)

As fresh-faced UX designers graduate from their bootcamps and step into the professional world, they often face a reality check.

The industry operates differently from what they’ve learned in the classroom, and applying a one-size-fits-all process to real-world projects with unique challenges and limitations can be overwhelming.

To navigate this complex landscape, it’s essential to understand the various types of UX design projects and adapt your approach accordingly.

By evaluating a project’s needs upfront, you can develop an efficient, lean, and effective design strategy. This article offers a solid foundation for customizing your design approach to various project types, helping you overcome the hurdles many new UX designers encounter.

The UK Design Council spent thousands of hours interviewing top designers to distill their problem-solving processes into a simple, yet powerful framework. This four-phase framework is known as the Double Diamond.

The Double Diamond is a versatile tool that simplifies how designers unpack problems and create solutions. All other design processes, such as Design Thinking and The Design Sprint, can be mapped to these four phases, whether they’re explicitly stated or not.

Grasping how the Double Diamond applies to different types of UX Design projects will save you years of trial and error.

In this article, we’ll explore how to apply the Double Diamond to the UX design process, examining how its usage varies depending on the type of project you’re tackling.

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  1. How to Define in Design Thinking
  2. The 5 Whys in Design Thinking and How to Use Them
  3. A Simple Guide to Hierarchical Task Analysis
  • A Recap of the Four Phases of the Double Diamond
  • A Quick Overview of The Different Types of UX Projects
  • Tailoring the Double Diamond Method UX to the 4 Key UX Project Types
  • 1. Crafting a Comprehensive UX Strategy
  • 2. Creating a New Digital Product from Scratch
  • 3. Crafting a New Feature for an Existing Digital Product
  • 4. Designing Small Enhancements and Continuous Improvements
  • Frequently Asked Questions

A Recap of the Four Phases of the Double Diamond

Let’s take a moment to quickly recap the four phases of the double diamond:

  1. Discover – This is the exploration phase where you dive deep into research, conduct user interviews and observations, and truly grasp the problem that needs to be solved.
  2. Define – Now it’s time for the synthesis phase, where you analyze your findings from the Discover phase and distill them into a clear, concise statement of what needs to be addressed.
  3. Develop – Here comes the fun part: the ideation phase! This is where you let your creative juices flow and brainstorm innovative solutions to tackle the challenge at hand.
  4. Deliver – Last but not least, the execution phase is where you refine and iteratively create solutions to the challenge, ensuring they meet the needs of the users and the project goals.

You’re probably aware that each stage requires a different type of thought process, either divergent or convergent.

This simply means that sometimes we need to be expansive with our thinking and sometimes we need to be analytical and evaluative.

Diverge means to think expansively, converge means to evaluate and assess.

For example, when we’re coming up with ideas, we diverge, our thinking is expansive and creative and we explore lots of options. But when we’re defining a problem or assessing an idea, we converge, evaluate, analyze, and define.

(Video) My product design process – a walkthrough of the Double Diamond UX Design Process

As you become more experienced, you learn when to switch between these modes but often a good trigger is, if you’re stuck on a problem and at a loss for where to go, then doing some exploration and idea generation, or ‘diverging’ can help you overcome those blocks.

Whereas if you have heaps of data and you’re overwhelmed and don’t know what to do next, then it’s likely that you need to ‘converge’ organize your data, decide what’s important, and define what your focus needs to be.

The phases of the Double Diamond are shared across various design processes, such as Design Thinking and the Design Sprint, even if they’re not explicitly called out. So, no matter which method you choose, remember that the core essence of the Double Diamond is always there to guide you through your UX design journey.

A Quick Overview of The Different Types of UX Projects

While the Double Diamond framework can be applied to various UX design projects, the way you use it will depend on the specific project type you’re working on.

The most significant difference lies in the amount of time you dedicate to discovery and definition and what your objectives are for those parts of the process.

Here are a few different types of UX design projects:

  • Crafting a Comprehensive UX Strategy
  • Design a new digital product from scratch
  • Design a new feature for an established digital product
  • Design small enhancements and continuous improvements

When new UX designers graduate from their bootcamps, they often face a world of confusion and overwhelm when they realize that the industry doesn’t necessarily work the way they were taught.

Designers go wrong when they try to apply an ideal world process to a real world scenario.

One of the main reasons for this confusion is that they try to apply a specific process they learned in a classroom environment to real-world projects with a diverse mix of problems and constraints.

They might create personas when they’re not necessary, conduct research without understanding why, or attempt to define a problem that doesn’t seem to exist. This is mostly due to the designer’s inexperience in assessing the needs of a project before starting their design work.

Approaching every project, in the same way, can lead to frustration when the real world pushes back against the idealized UX-topia approach. We’ve all been there. The key to resolving this tension is understanding the different types of UX design projects and what each of them requires.

By assessing the needs of a project in advance, you can tailor your design approach so that it’s efficient, lean, and effective. It’ll take time and practice, but this article should give you a solid starting point.

Tailoring the Double Diamond Method UX to the 4 Key UX Project Types

With a solid grasp of the basics, it’s time to explore how to navigate the double diamond framework for each project type, focusing on the right tools and techniques to make your design process efficient and effective.

1. Crafting a Comprehensive UX Strategy

A UX Strategy serves as the blueprint for designing user experiences, guiding the choices we make throughout the project.

It typically consists of a vision statement, a clear articulation of the business objectives, and a plan to achieve those objectives by meeting customer needs and solving their problems.

(Video) The UX Design Process explained step by step with a mobile app project

A UX Strategy can take various forms, such as a document, a collection of documents, personas, journey maps, or storyboards.

By setting the project’s direction, a UX Strategy helps everyone understand the goals to be achieved and how to contribute towards bringing the vision to life.

UX Strategy requires a deep and extensive discovery and definition phase.

When designing a UX Strategy, the majority of your time is spent in the discovery and definition phase. Prototyping and ideation are used primarily to help visualize better futures and deepen your understanding of the problem.

The discovery phase is an intensive process that includes stakeholder interviews, user research, data analysis, and mapping current, future, and competitor experiences.

The define phase then distills this exploration into a concise and meaningful UX Strategy, articulating a vision for the user experience and outlining the steps to achieve it.

Once the UX Strategy is established, the UX strategist often takes on a mentorship and coaching role, guiding the design team as they develop and deliver products and features aligned with the strategy.

This approach ensures a cohesive user experience that meets both user needs and business objectives while staying true to the overarching vision.

2. Creating a New Digital Product from Scratch

How To Apply The Double Diamond To Any UX Project – Make:Iterate (1)

Explore The Course

When working at a startup, assisting a business with a complete website or app redesign, or building a new digital product from scratch, the Double Diamond framework is applied differently compared to designing smaller feature enhancements.

(Video) What Is the Double Diamond Design Process?

Creating a new digital product requires an in-depth discovery phase, involving extensive user research, requirements gathering, journey mapping, and data analysis.

The define phase follows, where essential UX artifacts such as personas, journey maps, and storyboards are documented.

Building a new project requires a comprehensive discovery phase that happens in advance of development (ideally).

These two phases typically occur a couple of months before development begins, setting the UX strategy, identifying key problems to solve, and defining primary users.

Development then takes place on a larger scale, often divided into multiple work streams, with different groups focusing on distinct parts of the product.

By the time you reach the delivery phase, there should be multiple teams collaborating on detailed design and supporting developers in delivering the solutions.

This comprehensive approach ensures that the final product meets user needs and expectations while aligning with the established UX strategy.

3. Crafting a New Feature for an Existing Digital Product

When designing a new feature for an established digital product, the discovery phase is often shorter and more straightforward.

Since you’re working with a known product, you’ll likely have a clearer understanding of your users, their problems, and potential solutions. In this context, the discovery phase usually involves reviewing existing research and conducting additional research to address any critical knowledge gaps.

Designing a new feature has a shorter discover phase and usually places emphasis on the deliver phase.

Working on an established product means you’ll encounter numerous stakeholders who “already know the users” and have plenty of ideas to meet their needs.

In such situations, the designer’s role goes beyond just creating; it’s essential to demonstrate strong facilitation and stakeholder management skills.

By effectively drawing knowledge from subject matter experts and managing their expectations, designers can ensure that a user-centered approach is maintained while addressing stakeholders’ demands.

4. Designing Small Enhancements and Continuous Improvements

For many UX designers, especially up to the senior level, a significant portion of their work involves making small enhancements and continuous improvements to existing experiences.

In a mature organization, much of the discovery work should be already done by this stage. However, in reality, that’s often not the case.

Ideally, designers should have access to a well-thought-out UX and product strategy, along with extensive UX research on customers, their goals, and the problems they encounter.

But as design teams move fast, scale quickly, and personnel changes occur, you might find yourself working with outdated personas or a product roadmap instead of a comprehensive UX strategy.

(Video) The Double Diamond Design Process: A Comprehensive Approach to UX Product Design

Most Designers up to senior level will spend their time on small enhancements that don’t require much discovery or definition at all. In a mature design team a lot of this work will have already been done.

When working on small enhancements, stakeholders may perceive them as “quick wins” and may not see UX research as a worthwhile investment at this stage.

As a UX designer, this means you need to be agile, lean, and creative in your discovery process.

This could involve creating proto-personas from existing data, reviewing analytics to understand customer behavior, examining customer feedback, or speaking with customer service operators to grasp customer problems.

This phase can be challenging for more junior designers, as the design process becomes less linear and requires juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.

Building a knowledge base becomes an iterative approach that happens on the fly rather than at the start of the project.

Moreover, you’ll often need to do all these things while the development team is already building the solution. Being adaptable and resourceful is key in successfully navigating this stage of UX design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What is the Double Diamond Model, and how does it relate to the Design Thinking process?

A) The Double Diamond Model is a problem-solving framework used in UX design. It consists of four phases: discover, define, develop, and deliver. This method aligns with design thinking principles by focusing on user needs, iterative processes, the creative process, and complex problem solving.

Q) How does UX design benefit from using the Double Diamond approach?

A) The Double Diamond process helps UX designers identify user needs, create effective solutions, and validate their ideas through usability testing. It promotes collaboration between design teams and encourages a user-centered approach, ultimately leading to better product design and user experiences.

Q) How does the Lean UX process fit into the Double Diamond process?

A) The Lean UX process complements the Double Diamond model by emphasizing rapid iteration, validating assumptions, and reducing waste. It can be integrated into the develop and deliver phases, where designers build and test prototypes quickly to gather user feedback and refine their solutions.

Q) What role does the UK Design Council play in the development of the Double Diamond?

A) The British Design Council developed the Double Diamond design process as a visual representation of the problem-solving journey. It highlights the importance of divergent and convergent thinking in the UX design process, influencing how UX professionals approach complex problems.

Q) How important is user research in the Double Diamond process?

A) UX research is crucial in the Double Diamond, particularly in the discover phase. It helps designers understand user needs, identify pain points, and uncover opportunities for improvement. This information informs the subsequent phases, ensuring solutions are tailored to users’ requirements.

Q) What are convergent and divergent thinking in the context of the Double Diamond approach?

A) Divergent thinking involves generating multiple ideas and exploring various possibilities, while convergent thinking focuses on narrowing down and selecting the best solution. In the Double Diamond, divergent thinking occurs in the discover and develop phases, while convergent thinking is applied in the define and deliver phases.

Q) How do UX designers collaborate with design teams using the Double Diamond?

A) UX designers work closely with design teams throughout the Double Diamond process, sharing insights from user research, ideating together, and refining solutions based on feedback. This collaboration ensures that the final product aligns with user needs and meets project goals.

Q) What is the role of user feedback and user interviews in the Double Diamond?

A) User feedback and user interviews play a vital role in the discover and develop phases of the Double Diamond. They provide valuable insights into user needs, preferences, and pain points, helping designers tailor their solutions to address users’ requirements effectively.

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What are the 4 stages of Double Diamond design? ›

The Double Diamond model is a design process developed in 2005 by the British Design Council. It is divided into four phases: discover, define, develop, and deliver.

What are the two phases used in the Double Diamond design process? ›

It is composed of two diamonds that symbolize divergent and convergent thinking. The process involves four stages: discover, define, develop, and deliver; the stages go one after the other, but you can jump between them if needed.

What is the Double Diamond problem solving process? ›

Double diamond design process

The framework is a nonlinear approach that consists of four stages — discover, define, develop, and deliver — that problem-solvers can navigate back and forth between to reach a solution.

What is the Double Diamond design checklist? ›

What are the 4 D's in Double Diamond Design?
  • Step 1: Discover. The first quarter is devoted to a phase of observation, creativity and reporting on the state of play. ...
  • Step 2: Define. ...
  • Step 3: Develop. ...
  • Step 4: Deliver. ...
  • Diamond 1: The problem.
  • Diamond 2: The solution.
Feb 24, 2022

Is Double Diamond method the same as design thinking? ›

The Double Diamond design process, developed by the British Design Council, aims to achieve creativity and innovation through applying the design thinking methodology. It involves four steps (Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver) that take the design process from the problem space to the solution space.

What is a Double Diamond diagram? ›

The double diamond diagram is a structured design methodology that differentiates between divergent and convergent modes of thinking and when they occur during strategy and execution in the design process. The four phases of the double diamond process are: discover, define, develop, and deliver.

What are the four core features of the diamond model? ›

The Diamond Model of Intrusion Analysis is a model to describe cyber attacks. It contains 4 parts - adversary, infrastructure, capability, and target. It gives analysts a comprehensive view of cyber attacks.

What are the 4 diamonds principle? ›

GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of Diamond Quality is the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.

Is the Double Diamond an iterative process? ›

Double Diamond is an iterative design process made up of four stages; Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver.

What is the Double Diamond for startups? ›

The Process

The Double Diamond is a process that guides design teams in thoroughly understanding a problem and exploring creative and innovative solutions. The process tackles challenges in 4 phases: Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver.

What is the Double Diamond problem statement? ›

The double diamond process refers to this as the 'Problem definition'. This helps to establish a shared understanding of the problem being tackled and provides a point of reference to judge potential solutions against. It allows us to ask the very important question, “Does this solution solve the problem?”.

What is one of the key characteristics of the Double Diamond process model? ›

The main feature of the Double Diamond is its emphasis on the “divergent” and “convergent thinking”, where first many ideas are created, before refining and narrowing down to the best idea. This is happening twice in this model—once to confirm the problem definition and once to create the solution.

Why is the Double Diamond good? ›

The Double Diamond is designed to not just help generate innovative ideas and focus effort but put these activities in their proper chronological place. This makes sure your team is never retracing their steps, throwing away good ideas, or losing focus.

What are some of the most common mistakes that we do when using the Double Diamond design thinking framework? ›

One of the most common mistakes organisations make is to jump into problem-solving straightaway, without understanding what that problem is in the first place. Most of the time, challenges originate from the centre of the two diamonds— with a problem that feels ready to be solved.

What is the Double Diamond approach to service design? ›

The Double Diamond shows the importance of taking time to understand the problem before designing solutions. Each diamond shape illustrates the process of creating or exploring many possible ideas before refining these to the best idea.

What is the diamond in a project plan? ›

What does the yellow diamond icon mean? The yellow diamond icon from the Indicators field shows the tasks that are overallocated.

Is Double Diamond Human Centered Design? ›

Double Diamond is a human-centric approach to defining complex problems through research and generating innovative solutions through multiple cycles of prototyping.

What are the 3 most important elements of design thinking? ›

There are five key elements of the Design Thinking process:
  • Human-centered. If you don't understand the person who will be using the thing you're trying to create, it simply won't work. ...
  • Creative and playful. ...
  • Iterative. ...
  • Collaborative. ...
  • Prototype driven.
Nov 2, 2020

What does the Double Diamond represent in the safe design thinking illustration? ›

In Figure 1, the core design thinking processes appear as a 'double diamond. ' This represents the focus on thoroughly exploring the problem space before creating solutions.

What are the 4 D's of design? ›

This framework is made up of four stages, Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver, or the 4 Ds.

What are the advantages of Diamond Model? ›

The Porter's Diamond model can help you figure out how many suppliers you have, how many of them are potential suppliers, how unique is their product, how good is their customer service to your company, do they cater to your competitors as well, what their prices are, and how effective switching from one supplier to ...

What is the purpose of the Diamond Model? ›

The purpose of the Diamond Model is to assist analysts in identifying a group of events that occurred on their systems. These occurrences can then be grouped together in time to form “activity threads,” which can be compared to detect attacker campaigns.

What is a practical usage of the Diamond Model? ›

The Diamond Model provides security professionals a means to better understanding the adversary as they work to identify the victims, capabilities, and infrastructure of a cybersecurity event.

What are the 5 characteristics of a diamond? ›

To make it a little easier, here are are the Five Characteristics of a Diamond you should know: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat Weight and Certificate.

Which of the 4 C's is most important when choosing a diamond? ›

Diamond cut is the single most important of the 4Cs when it comes to the physical beauty of a diamond. Why? Because a diamond's cut determines how much it sparkles. The number of facets, the angle of the facets, and the symmetry and alignment of the shape will affect how the diamond returns light.

What is an example of iterative process? ›

Receiving an education is a common example of an iterative process. With each class that a student takes, they complete another iterative process. Students apply trial and error during their time studying since it allows them to discover which techniques work for them when trying to absorb knowledge.

What is an example of iterative process flow? ›

A variety of industries rely on the iterative development process. For example, in the culinary field, professionals typically perform repeated preparation, arrangement, and presentation of their products. Companies that design computers or refrigerators rely on the same method when creating their own products.

What is an iterative process give an example? ›

The process of advancing the quality of a work product by creating many versions of it with the goal of improving with each version. For example, a painter who begins with sketches before creating a painting. Painters are known to repeat the same work several times in order to reach a higher state of refinement.

Which keyword is used to solve the diamond problem? ›

The solution to the diamond problem is to use the virtual keyword.

What are 5 stages of design thinking? ›

The short form of the design thinking process can be articulated in five steps or phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.

What is the most important diamond feature? ›

Out of the 4 C's of diamonds, the cut of the diamond is the most important. This is followed by color, clarity, and carat weight.

Who invented the Double Diamond design process? ›

Double Diamond is the name of a design process model popularized by the British Design Council in 2005, and adapted from the divergence-convergence model proposed in 1996 by Hungarian-American linguist Béla H. Bánáthy.

What are the odds of winning Double Diamond? ›

Overall odds of winning any prize in Double Diamond™ are 1 in 3.56** (see back of ticket for complete odds disclaimer).

Why is Double Diamond effective? ›

The Double Diamond is designed to not just help generate innovative ideas and focus effort but put these activities in their proper chronological place. This makes sure your team is never retracing their steps, throwing away good ideas, or losing focus.

What is the use of Double Diamond in ER diagram? ›

In the ER diagram the relationship between two strong entity set shown by using a diamond symbol. The relationship between one strong and a weak entity set shown by using the double diamond symbol. The connecting line of the strong entity set with the relationship is single.

How often does Double Diamond hit? ›

Double Diamond slot machine payout

Double diamonds: 1,000 times. Red seven: 80 times. Purple triple bar: 40 times. Pink double bar: 25 times.

What is the RTP on double diamond slot machine? ›

The double Diamond slot is a non-progressive that offers a maximum payout of 1000 times your stake. The slot has an RTP of 95.44%. It is a high variance slot and is available to play online on mobile devices and computers.

What is the difference between Double Diamond and triple Diamond slot? ›

Gameplay: Triple Diamond

The layout of the slot is virtually the same as Double Diamond, and the only real difference is the Triple Diamond wild being updated, plus the additional paylines. Those added paylines do make a difference.

What are the 4 D's of design thinking? ›

Design Thinking methodology involves FOUR distinct stages – Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver.

How do you identify a weak entity? ›

You identify a weak entity on the entity-relationship diagram by drawing a double box around the entity, as shown in the diagram below. DEPENDENT is a weak entity because it uses the primary key of the EMPLOYEE entity as part of its own primary key.


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