4 steps of double diamond model

Double diamond outline

In 2004, the British Design Council came up with the idea of ​​a double diamond design model. The model aims to help creators follow a process that guides them through the process of moving from concept to product. The British Design Council was formed through a lengthy study involving large companies such as Lego, Sony, Starbucks and Microsoft.

4 steps of double diamond approach

There are 4 steps:

  1. Discovery – Understanding the problem
  2. Definition – Explain the problem
  3. Development – Developing possible solutions
  4. Delivery – solution selection and development


The first step in discovering a double diamond is to learn about the problem and begin preliminary research on the challenges and issues that need to be addressed. This can be done through user research and market research. Discovery can produce many different results, sometimes you may find a discovery that you do not know, other times you may find that you are full of tons of data and research.

If you are overwhelmed with all this information, make sure you know how to organize and manage all the data. You can store this information via sympathy maps or customer travel maps.


At the end of the discovery, you should have a ton of insight. The definition phase takes all these insights and explains them. The purpose of the definition is to refine your initial hypothesis based on the information obtained from the discovery. The purpose of this research is to challenge your initial assumption, so if you find out in the discovery that the problem is different from your expectation, you can change the following steps.


This phase of the double diamond has a few names, Virgin Atlantic Airways calls it “design”, Microsoft calls it “implementation”, the UK government calls it “Alpha”. In development, you are trying to come up with different answers to the identified problem in the explanatory phase.


From the development stage, you will have some different ideas that you want to try. You may want to try these ideas on a small scale and then when you see a trend of ideas that are not working you will want to remove them and move on to ideas that work.

Contradictory and contradictory thinking

What you will see when using the double diamond approach is that you are using 2 types of thinking, which are:

  1. Different thinking – where you think about anything and you are open to new ideas. It will be in the stages of discovery and development.
  2. Contradictory thinking – When you are trying to explain and present your solution you will be thinking briefly, focusing on a few ideas to try to solve your problem through solution.

Principles of design

Inside the double diamond, the framework is the way it should work. It contains 4 design principles:

  1. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: To avoid mistakes and risks, make sure to keep repeating your design to develop robust design solutions.
  2. Put people first: Let your people (or customers) be at the forefront of your design, understand their needs, strengths and desires.
  3. Collaborate and build together: Learn and work with others, be inspired by what others are doing.
  4. Communicate: Involve people, help them understand the problems you are trying to solve, and use them to generate more ideas.

Further reading

Michael Geron

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Michael Geron is a Senior Interaction Designer at Companies House in Cardiff. Prior to that, Mike was a product designer at GoCo Group, including GoCompare, MyVoucherCodes and WeFlip. Also working for brands such as BrandContent and HEOR in South Wales.

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