The Design Council’s design approach, the Double Diamond, is at the center of the framework for innovation. It is a clear, complete, and visual depiction of the design process. The Double Diamond, which first appeared in 2004, has become a worldwide phenomenon, with millions of online references.
The Design Council’s framework for innovation not only highlights the design process, but also the important concepts and design methodologies that designers and non-designers must follow, as well as the ideal working culture required to accomplish significant and long-term beneficial change.
The process: using the Double Diamond
The Double Diamond by the Design Council explains the design process to both designers and non-designers. The two diamonds signify a process of broadening or deepening one’s understanding of a problem (divergent thinking) before taking action (convergent thinking).
- Discover. The first diamond helps people understand, rather than simply assume, what the problem is. It involves speaking to and spending time with people who are affected by the issues.
- Define. The insight gathered from the discovery phase can help you to define the challenge in a different way.
- Develop. The second diamond encourages people to give different answers to the clearly defined problem, seeking inspiration from elsewhere and co-designing with a range of different people.
- Deliver. Delivery involves testing out different solutions at small-scale, rejecting those that will not work and improving the ones that will.
The arrows on the diagram demonstrate that this is not a linear process. Many of the organizations we help get a better understanding of the underlying issues, which might lead them back to the start. Making and testing extremely early stage ideas is an important element of the discovery process. And in today’s fast-paced, digital world, no idea is ever truly done. We regularly get input on how our products and services are doing and seek to improve them incrementally.
The design principles
The framework for innovation lays forth four fundamental principles that problem-solvers should follow in order to operate as efficiently as feasible.
- Put people first. Start with an understanding of the people using a service, their needs, strengths and aspirations.
- Communicate visually and inclusively. Help people gain a shared understanding of the problem and ideas.
- Collaborate and co-create. Work together and get inspired by what others are doing.
- Iterate, iterate, iterate. Do this to spot errors early, avoid risk and build confidence in your ideas.
The methods bank
We’ve created, altered, or implemented a variety of design methodologies to assist our clients in identifying and overcoming obstacles and achieving effective outcomes. These strategies have been organized into three categories to assist people in using the design process to investigate, shape, or build:
- Explore: challenges, needs and opportunities
- Shape: prototypes, insights and visions
- Build: ideas, plans and expertise
Creating a culture of success
The challenges we confront today demand more than one answer; they necessitate collaboration with other organizations and the encouragement of individuals to participate. The culture of an organization and how it interacts with people and partners is just as essential as the processes and principles it follows.
To foster innovation, improve skills and competence, and give permission for experimenting and learning, leaders are required. Strong leadership also helps initiatives to be transparent and nimble, allowing them to display progress and alter as needed.
Engagement is required not only with those who deliver and receive ideas, but also with other partners who may have different perspectives. Developing connections and relationships is just as crucial as coming up with new ideas.