The double diamond lacks a feedback loop, so we built it
Design Thinking is a wonderful problem-solving process. But it's linear. Until it isn't. Here's how we turned the flow into a flywheel that keeps on spinning.
How the double diamond process flows
Design Thinkers love to explain the process of design thinking. You start with finding the right problem before you solve it. The problem-solving process is visualised best in the Double Diamond. Basically what it says is that traditional problem-solving focuses on the solution too early. The second diamond in the double diamond is the problem-solving process.
Come up with potential solutions that solve a problem, validate it with the end-user, and decide which of the solutions is feasible and viable for your business to deliver. Then implement. Both diamonds reflect a divergent and convergent movement. Go broad, narrow down. You do it twice. Hence the ‘double’.
The first diamond, however, is designed to help teams to find the right problem in the first place. Doing customer interviews, mapping journeys and defining personas are all part of finding the right opportunity.
So Problem Definitions sit in the middle. They are the underlying problem seen through the eyes of the customer (or the end-user) of the business problem.
This is the beauty of the double diamond process. It helps you, step by step, to ask the right questions to find the right problem. Then, when you absolutely know this is the root cause of the problem, your team will be able to address it with better solutions.
Why the feedback loop is not closed
But design thinking has one flaw, it’s often used in projects and only the outcome makes it outside the workflow. Design Thinking is a linear process, it has a start and an end.
All valuable insights go to waste and when another project starts because the whole process is done over and over again.
Because we love the problem-solving approach Design Thinking brings, we designed TheyDo – rethinking Design Thinking and let it revolve around the customer. Ultimately, better solutions lead to better customer experience, so let’s put the customer in the centre, we thought. Because you capture insights, personas, journeys and all the opportunities in one go when running a Design Thinking process, you basically could create a repository with everything as you go.
Whatever solution you design, validate, and implement, your customer’s journey changes. This is the fundamental feedback loop that rarely gets closed.
TheyDo changes that by turning the double diamond into an ongoing workflow.
Closing the feedback loop
Because of the linking possibilities of the internet, we turned the double diamond process into an ongoing workflow. Basically, we took the most important elements (personas, journeys, opportunities, solutions) and designed a system that helps you create each of them separately, but connect the dots through what we call Opportunities. Our definition of the problem statement’.
Opportunities hold together the information in steps from one or more journeys (based on how personas try to complete a goal or make progress) and track solutions all the way to implementation.
Whatever business challenge you are trying to solve, because personas and journeys are interactive, capturing your opportunities is a dynamic process that generates a whole list of opportunities. With your prioritised list, you can work together on solving the most complex challenges, see who’s working on what and create an ongoing feedback loop in your organisation.
Unlocking design thinking for everyone is possible when you make the process dynamic. TheyDo lets you build out from anywhere you start. So the only thing you need is a small project to get going.
More on Design Thinking
Yesterday I listened to Marc Andreessen’s essay on “It’s time to build” and it struck me that he is a great design thinker at heart.
Design Thinking is incredibly hard to scale. Especially across vertical process-oriented organisations. So what can you do about it?
Here are the 5 vital steps to create personas that actually work, explained in a way you never heard before.