What The Double Diamond Could Be
As one of the original team that spun-up the Double Diamond at Design Council in 2003 – it was our straightforward answer to a simple question “How do we describe design process?” – it’s both gratifying and amusing how the DD seems to have hit the spot (or not) as an accessible representation of design and innovation process to the point where it seems to be ubiquitous.
Which inevitably leads to it being opened up to some pretty robust critique (and some not so robust – referencing it at Design Council recently a service designer described it as “that old cliché”). It’s also been subject to some ‘interesting’ editing and customisation.
My plea is that one doesn’t view the Double Diamond as anything more complicated than a visual representation of the design and innovation process. If it’s not sliced and diced, method mapped and Mobius looped it’s nothing more than a really neat way of helping describe the type of project you are about to undertake. You’ll also appreciate (if not it’s a health warning) that the convention of its symmetry can be a problem, as at first sight, many seem to assume that both diamonds represent equal amounts of effort, time and complexity – not so, the shape of your Double Diamond will vary depending on the nature of your project.
I’ve met a lot of people, many from non-design disciplines, who’ve not just heard about the Double Diamond but have wrapped it into their work. Their feedback suggests that simplicity is the reason it persists.
But what could the Double Diamond be? Can it be more than just a visualisation of process? We think so; don’t play with the Double Diamond itself but build a framework around it that supports a strategic approach to design and innovation, a structured way of managing and delivering projects in the face of uncertainty. We think the Design Thinking Canvas, in embracing the Double Diamond does just that.
For more on the Double Diamond…