Why We Love the Diamond Diamond Approach
When it comes to the art of Design, the journey from conceptualization to delivery can be difficult. Beginning with a desired, but very vague, outcome and an idea or two is daunting to say the least. Where to begin? What are your key points of interest? How do you get from A to B in the best possible way?  

These are the tough questions at the outset of any project.

But there’s a way that is both economical and focused on results, and it’s the method we use for all of our projects. (Credit to the British Design Council for putting it out in the world.)

The Diamond Diamond Approach

Getting from Problem to Solution in a creative, inspired and idea-fueled manner, while utilizing your whole team, and also attaining the best results possible is… well, it’s what we all want, isn’t it? A design dream come true.

Let’s walk through the four phases of Diamond Diamond together, and see just how effective it can be when used in practice.

We begin at the beginning with the Problem at hand. By that we mean the assigned task, or the whole idea not yet clearly defined. The client may not even know what the problem is, only that they have a need. It’s our job to figure that out. It seems insurmountable if taken as a whole, which is why we now seek to Discover it.

In this initial Discovery stage, we talk it out with our staff, pose questions to those potentially affected by the Problem, and dig deeply and intentionally for any and every answer.

Research research research!

Note: There are no wrong answers at this stage. Everyone should feel free to investigate the problem together, and throw anything at the wall they want until something sticks. We are gathering all the information at this point, which can be whittled down to its core meaning in the next phase. In the diagram, this growth of knowledge is exemplified by the expanding half of the first Diamond. Your team is here to explore, research and seek to understand the problem more fully.

By the end of the Discovery phase, your team will likely end up with a couple possible routes to deliverables.

Once we have enough information to proceed, we can begin the second step: Defining the problem. We are now honing it down to its core properties and, in doing so, making the problem far less daunting and more easily quantifiable. The problems have been discovered, and now is the time to give them a name, focus on them and find the one that, when solved, would most benefit the client (and you!)

It’s like those times we’ve all faced when it seems like a problem in life is too big and insurmountable to be conquered. It’s only when we step back, view it from the outside, get a few opinions that we see that things aren’t so bad. We notice there are steps we can take to improve our situations. By finding the root cause, we can devise solutions. Suddenly, things aren’t as bleak as we thought.

Design is life! Life is design!!

But we digress…

Once our Problem is well-defined and clearly ready to be solved, we move on to Diamond number two. It’s time to Develop. The seeds are planted, watered, tended to and beginning to sprout. It’s now time to make them grow in the right direction! Here’s where things really get cooking.

This one’s for the whole team too! Get feedback from your people, and even those outside your crew who have something unique to offer on the subject at hand. Inspire yourself to solve the problem in the best way possible! Creative juices are flowing. We’re firing on all cylinders. Just as the Discovery phase was all about any and every way to search for the problem, the Development phase is focused on any and every way to solve the problem.

We want to hear all the solutions to the problem that can be presented so we can pick the best possible option. The second Diamond is coming to a point and we’re almost there!

We’ve found the best possible solution and it’s time to Deliver.

Test your solutions, making sure you’ve found the right one. This is the time to check on the quality of your work. If you find fault in any area, redirect, rethink and revise.

Once you’ve got an answer that will satisfy both you and (especially) your client, you’re ready to Deliver a product with confidence and conviction. Certainly, the client may request changes, and you might need to start over in some areas. It should be understood that the Deliver phase is not necessarily the end of the line so much as it is a dramatic movement along the right path.

Design is about finding the best possible solutions to problems, while combining art and commerce in a high wire act wherein the two merge to create something powerful, personal and unique. The Diamond Diamond Approach ensures that you reach that most desired destination more frequently and more efficiently.

Diamond Diamond + Motivated Crew = Happy Clients

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