Why the Double Diamond is the Most Precious Diagram in UX Design …
… and Unearthing its Potential Can Provide Stakeholders and Team Members with Exponential Benefits
User Design is not an end-goal. Rather, it is a long-term process, involving stakeholders, researchers, designers, developers and other team members. When we engage in projects, whether it’s building a brand-new project or redesigning an existing one, we need a high-level value structure to refer to throughout the process. We must clearly define the points along the time continuum of a UX project.
A project team must work synchronistically and refer to these points in the project evolution. Without a defined value structure with definitive points in its path, stakeholders and team members will not know where the project stands at any given time.
Step 1: What Are the Principles of the Double Diamond?
The Double Diamond is a process model created in 2005 by the British Design Council. (1) Its structure is simple, two squares at an angle. The first diamond represents the research phase, the second the design phase.
Fig 1: Double Diamond basics
Step 2: How Are Phase 1 and Phase 2 Initiated?
For a research phase to get started, we need a catalyst, a spark to ignite the thinking process. Often, this spark is encapsulated in the initial problem statement: identifying our persona, problem and goal. The problem statement might be expressed as “How might we help the user accomplish a specific action by providing the support needed.” If a problem statement cannot be identified, we start with an assumption, or a hypothesis. These entry points—problem statement, hypothesis—will define what the research process will look like. (We’ll talk about that in Step 3.)
Fig 2: Research entry points