Double Diamond

Derived from earlier processes mostly in consumer-oriented fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), the Double Diamond model provides guidance through the various stages of Product Discovery.

Marketing in FMCG

When marketers in FMCG want to develop new products, they face a high demand for innovation (well, counting washing powder that washes even more white as innovation🤣) which results also in high failure rates as these innovations might not be accepted by consumers. In a non-digital world, where physical products have to be produced, packaged, shipped, advertised, and finally sold, this is a major risk and root cause for the risk of investments.

To mitigate that risk, marketing organizations have developed detailed processes around ideation, concept testing, product testing, and finally product launch. Methods vary from company to company (such as with the 7P Marketing Mix). But a core idea is depicted in the following chart:

The chart already depicts the various phases, but these need adjustments for digital products, and also the very nature of each of the phases doesn’t become clear enough.

The Double Diamond Model

Specifically for digital products, the British Design Council developed The Double Diamond model in 2003:
The Double Diamond by the Design Council is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.

The Double Diamond is a visual representation of the design and innovation process. It’s a simple way to describe the steps taken in any design and innovation project, irrespective of methods and tools used.

Looking at the visualization, the reason for the name is immediately obvious. Also, the image nicely illustrates when to be open and explorative, and when to narrow down and select a specific aspect.

When we focus more on Product Management and The Four Key Risks, rather than design, we can adapt the model:

Double Diamond Model
Double Diamond Model

There are several variations of that model, e.g. some refer to the 4 phases as Discover — Define — Develop — Deliver, but the core idea remains the same. In that model, the objective of the blue-ish part is to select the right problem, while the green-ish phases aim to define the right solution.

In a bit more detail, the various phases can be sketched as follows:


Immerse into the problem, observe the user and understand the situation and context.

So essentially be open, widen the scope, observe what is going on, and do not make any assessments or decisions yet but try to see, hear, and feel what is going on.


Select a focus problem and identify challenges.

From all the problems observed before, select the most relevant one(s) and define metrics and key success criteria.


Brainstorm solutions, sketch, and test designs.

Now that a problem has been selected, be wide open again with respect to potential solutions, ideate interactions, create mockups, and run usability tests to see what is working for the user and what is not.


Finalize design and requirements.
With the results of exploration, prepare all the material for later Product Delivery: refine functional and non-functional requirements, define the scope of the solution, potentially as an MVP, prioritize feature lists, and start preparing go-to-market.

Further Reading

The Double Diamond

A universally accepted depiction of the design process

How to apply a design thinking, HCD, UX or any creative process from scratch

This how-to article aims at providing designers, creative thinkers or even project managers with a tool to set up, frame, organise, structure, run or manage design challenges, and projects.

Dan Nessler | Medium

How to rethink the Design process, fail, reflect and iterate

Through teaching, debating and asking for feedback I was able to evaluate the value and challenges when introducing the framework to novice users in an academic context.

Dan Nessler | Medium

Dual Track Agile

Focusing on Customer Value

Kevin Albrecht | Medium

The Zendesk Triple Diamond

Visualizing the product design process.

Mike Chen | Medium

The New Double Diamond Design Process Is Here

Design works wonderfull in this constellation of UCD, Agile, Lean Startup and Visual Thinking.

Dennis Hambeukers | Medium