Double Diamond and Problem-Solving in Design

Double Diamond and Problem-Solving in Design

This article is a part of .MEr’s personal experiences and knowledge sharing. We find it crucial to share our community members’ voices and personal stories. So our readers can learn something new, get inspired, and create unforgettable digital experiences. This month, Igor Ayroldes shares his design process using Double Diamond methodology.

What we sometimes wouldn’t give for a magic formula to create the best design solution. Some scheme that does all the work, while we get the credits and possible glories. But, alas, there is no such formula to solve our problems. Nonetheless, there are ways that make your life easier. One of those ways is the Double Diamond methodology.

Let’s see how we can apply Double Diamond in creating brands to solve problems. If you do not work with brands, the information here can still be useful. The Double Diamond is a design process created in 2005 by the British Design Council as it aims to solve problems by raising hypotheses, and then you will be able to apply in any area of Design.

Double Diamond applied in Branding

The Double Diamond methodology consists of four distinct phases: Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver. The goal of the first two phases (which make up the first diamond) is to deepen the research based on the problem. In the last two phases (which make up the second diamond) the goal is to develop possible solutions.

So what is the real problem you are facing? Starting from this question, we will begin the preparation of the Double Diamond. A well-done briefing is key in this part – you need as much information as possible from your client. Organize in the way you prefer, find the pains and needs of your client, so you will have a direction when seeking the solution to the problem.

Applying Double Diamond

So, here we go! Are you ready to learn how to apply the Double Diamond methodology a.k.a. the closest you’ll ever get to magic in design?

Discovery Phase

The focus of this stage is precisely to study the briefing and all the given information. I will use as an example the brand I created for the customer Base Forte Earthmoving, a company that rents construction machinery for builders.

The client approached me under the name of LD Terraplanagem. Upon mentioning the name of the company, he joked slightly, saying “Creative, I know”. The client went on to explain the importance of the company to the family. Initials LD, turns out, were the initials of his and his father’s name. Upon realizing the customer’s dissatisfaction with the company’s own name, together with a copywriter we presented a few options for a new name of the company, implying that changing the name of the company could be the best course of action. And so the name Base Forte was born, which means a strong foundation.

Although the name problem was quickly solved, Base Forte’s real problem was the lack of recognition and identity. In the renting machines market, few or nearly no companies have a solid identity. Therefore, by creating a recognisable brand, Base Forte would gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. And so the road to solution began.

double diamond discovery phase
Discover – Double Diamond

Definition Phase

The definition phase is initially the time for us to look at the problem and raise hypotheses which will most likely lead us to arrive at likely solutions. What does it really look like? Well, at this time you are getting ideas and enabling what can be done. The initial diamond is focused on research to solve the real problem. Here we will brainstorm ideas that can be used. It is up to you to define which will be the most effective in solving the real problem.

double diamond definition phase
Define – Double Diamond

To solve the real problem of Base Forte I set up a moodboard of inspiration thinking about the company name and the importance of it reflect security. Since, we’re talking about a company that rents construction machinery, involving a high degree of danger, safety had to be incorporated.

creating a brand
Simplified moodboard version with ideas based on the name Base Forte

Development Phase

Now that we know the real problem, we came up with solid ideas, the best option in going forward is to put the brain to work and start creating. Go on, make drafts, be playful, breathe in life to your ideas, and test the concepts.

double diamond development phase
Develop – Double Diamond

Here’s what I did. The shield and a military fort form the basis of Base Forte’s brand, the security of the equipment and the company itself are stamped on the brand, along with the monogram with the company’s initials.

ocess of creating a brand
Construction of brand concepts

With the help of simple geometry, I maintained the proportions of the symbol using a half-factor. Therefore, the size A was initially established and starting from it, we have its half B, and half B being C. Here’s how it looks on a diagram.

how to create a brand and its proportions
Brand construction and its proportions

Delivery Phase

Finally, we come to the last phase of the second diamond. All that’s left to do (as the title itself suggests) is to deliver the brand solution to the customer.

double diamond deliver phase
Deliver – Double Diamond

Once you’ve gone through the process of creating a solution, it is time to present your work. I believe that this is the most important part of the whole process. Why? Because here you show all you have done to the client. By presenting the solution, you are initially talking about your market research, inspirations, competitors, color study, etc.

Bring value to your work, show the client that you understand what you’re talking about. Finally, bring him your new brand applied in several mockups i.e. to present to the client how the solution would look when applied to different materials. This goes to prove how your idea will solve their problem.

finished branding process
Brand of Base Forte Terraplanagem

To Wrap Up

As I said at the beginning of the article, there is no magic formula for creating beautiful and functional brands. There is, however, study, persistence, errors and paths like the Double Diamond. When we raise hypotheses, we study our client in-depth, we deliver the care and attention due to our creation we can achieve a result that will please everyone and more importantly: be functional and solve the real problem the client faces.


Igor Ayroldes

A scientist in love with art who became a designer by accident and fell in love with the profession. You can find more about him on his personal website

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