Design Thinking: Double Diamond
I recently read an article about revamping British Design Council’s double diamond that really resonated. It was well-written, with simple language and useful examples. Thank you to Master’s student Dan Nessler for doing such a stellar job.
The article is so good that it’s best to read it in its entirety, and explore Dan’s version of the double diamond. However, I will tease out a few highlights that really gel with Alchemus Prime’s approach, and add some commentary based on my research and practice.
Fundamentally, I agree with Dan that the design thinking process initially requires a deep understanding of people (I frame this as human motivation), although I tend to expand this phase to include human wellness and environmental constraints and opportunities, in alignment with our win-win approach.
Design thinking is a process that leverages divergence and convergence in sequence, revealing creativity as essentially a continual process of iteration. Both points are important because they remind us to be mindful of the process, and to be loyal to it. Results arrive when we are true to process. My Research as Design work made this abundantly clear, as workshop participants (including me, before I started teaching), who stayed mindful of process achieved better results than those who kept jumping to solutions.
Dan’s two stages, Doing The Right Thing (what I call being effective), and Doing Things Right (what I call efficiency), are spot on. In my field, behavior change, it is important to consider the vast body of research on the right things to do to change behavior, so design thinking fits better into the second stage, of HOW to implement the change in ways that are motivating. In my doctoral research I came up with a hybrid methodology that combined design thinking with behavioral sciences to study ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and come up with innovative ways to save energy.
Lastly, I love that Dan openly stated that his revamped version of the double diamond is just that, a version, and that each problem-solving process is different and will require tweaks and adaptations. At Alchemus Prime, our model is built to generate tailored processes and tools so that we can focus with fresh lenses and combine tools in new ways for each unique challenge our clients bring us.
With sincere thanks to Dan Nessler for inspiring this post.