The Double Diamond model is no longer enough. For the past 15 years, the Double Diamond design model has been the most used design organization model. It has been used extensively to explain how the design process works. It is also often misused to portray design as a structured process. You can find variations of this model on the website of every second design agency or in every second design presentation. It has its roots in the divergence-convergence method proposed in 1996 by White Banati. In recent years, the design world has undergone a number of major changes. As more and more people are interested in the way designers work and think, the creators of the Double Diamond model decided it was time to update it.
The original Double Diamond design process model was based on research into the work of designers. Before Double Diamond, the design process seemed unstructured and chaotic. The Design Council, analyzing the work of designers, found a certain structure. They identified four stages in the design process:
- Discovery: A deep dive into the problem we are trying to solve.
- Definition: Summarizing the information obtained during the discovery phase into a problem definition.
- Development: thinking about the solution to the problem.
- Delivery: selection of the best solution and its implementation.
They added to this the idea of Bela Banati’s divergence-convergence and the Double Diamond model was born.
There is a lot to be said for this model. I wrote about her before. Many people have written about her. She’s not perfect. A model is not reality, it is a definition. This is a formal description of reality in order to explain something. She explains that there is a structure in design processes. She showed that it is necessary to conduct research in the first diamond (“diamond”) in order to find the best solutions in the second. She made it clear that when designers design, they do a lot of things, not just do things. I think it helped make the design process stricter.
This is a classic. But it might be time for an update. At least that’s what the Design Council thought. They recently unveiled a new model. They no longer call it Double Diamond, now it’s Framework For Innovation:
They just expanded on the original Double Diamond. These additions reflect the changes that the design is undergoing:
- Design is increasingly being used for innovation. Therefore, the model is called Framework For Innovation. This alone tells us that design helps create innovation. This is exactly what we see in the marketplace: companies that need to innovate turn to design for help.
- The design process alone won’t save you. They added four other aspects to the model to turn it into an innovative framework. To innovate, you need not only a process, but also design principles and methods, engagement and leadership.
- Design is not a linear process. One of the biggest drawbacks of the original model was that it was essentially a linear model. You just passed from point A to point B through two “diamonds”. However, Agile and Lean Startup have shown that design is not a linear process. It is iterative. Designers repeat their way forward. In the new model, they added some blue circles to show people the iterative nature of the design.
I think the Design Council made the right decision. As more and more people begin to turn to design for help with creativity and innovation, it is important to show the world a more mature design model. The original model was easy to understand, but the level of maturity in design understanding was not very high. This has been normal for the past 15 years, because people’s level of design maturity did not allow for more complex ideas. The simplicity of the Double Diamond model and the five-stage IDEO model helped spread the design around the world. But the risk of such simplicity is that people misunderstand the design and will be disappointed later. If people truly believe that four simple steps are all it takes to design, they will get rid of their illusions. They will be very disappointed with the design, which is not good for the design itself. I think it’s time to complicate the discussion of design a little. And this model can help with this.
Other mental models have been added to the design principles section of the new model, which will be useful in innovative projects:
- User Centered Design: “people-centered”
- Visual Thinking: “exchange information visually”
- Co-creation: “Collaboration and co-creation”
- Agile / Lean Startup: iterate after iteration
The design works great in the constellation of the above models. I have created a neat model of this constellation on this blog.
This adds a nice level of difficulty.
I also love what they give off. involvement and leadership, as critical success factors. In all this talk about co-creation, there may be a misconception that we no longer need leadership, that we can shift the responsibility to the process itself. If design is innovating, it means big change, which means that engagement is critical. Design can help with this. He can engage people by visualizing ideas. He can create a platform for communication by fleshing things out.
I am delighted with this new version of the classic design process model.
Here you can read what the Design Council has to say about their new model.