The design process
Different designers manage the process of design in different ways. But when we studied the design process in eleven leading companies, we found striking similarities and shared approaches among the designers we talked to. In this section we show one way of mapping the design process, and give more detail on the key activities in each of the process's four stages.
The 'double diamond' design process model
The double diamond diagram was developed through in-house research at the Design Council in 2005 as a simple graphical way of describing the design process.
Divided into four distinct phases, Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver, it maps the divergent and convergent stages of the design process, showing the different modes of thinking that designers use.
The first quarter of the double diamond model marks the start of the project. This begins with an initial idea or inspiration, often sourced from a discovery phase in which user needs are identified. These include:
The second quarter of the double diamond model represents the definition stage, in which interpretation and alignment of these needs to business objectives is achieved. Key activities during the Define stage are:
The third quarter marks a period of development where design-led solutions are developed, iterated and tested within the company. Key activities and objectives during the Develop stage are:
The final quarter of the double diamond model represents the delivery stage, where the resulting product or service is finalised and launched in the relevant market. The key activities and objectives during this stage are: