23 November, 2023
Thinking about design systematically might seem a bit counterintuitive—it’s a creative process, after all.
But design systems like the Double Diamond Model offer an invaluable resource for crafting successful mobile applications. By actively engaging in both divergent and convergent thinking, this model helps to create a user experience that's aesthetically pleasing, functionally efficient, and conceptually cohesive.
Want to learn more? In this UXCam guide, we share our insights on how to use the Double Diamond Model for exceptional mobile apps.
The Double Diamond Model is a design thinking framework that visualizes the four phases of the design process:
Discover: This first stage is all about researching the needs of your users, understanding the problems they face, and learning what solutions already exist (if any).
Define: During this phase, you take all the data gathered in Discovery to define a clear problem statement and come up with ideas for potential solutions.
Develop: The third step involves creating prototypes and testing them on real users to get feedback that can be used for further iterations.
Deliver: The final step is about taking all previously gathered information and delivering a fully functional product that meets user needs while also looking great!
The purpose of the model is to illustrate the dominant form of thinking that’s required at each stage of a design challenge—either divergent (thinking outside the box) or convergent (thinking inside the box).
For example, at the Discover phase, designers do research, interview users, and generate insights—all activities that require open-mindedness and creativity. At the Define stage, all of these ideas need to be grounded in reality and winnowed down to the most relevant solutions.
The Double Diamond Model emphasizes “iterative” thinking – meaning that each step may be revisited multiple times before arriving at the outcome. By taking an iterative approach, designers can better understand user needs and adjust their designs accordingly.
The four stages of the Double Diamond Model are:
Discovery: This stage involves research and understanding the problem or challenge. It consists of collecting information, looking at different variables and perspectives, and identifying opportunities.
Definition: The problem or design challenge is defined based on the insights collected from the discovery phase. It combines findings to set the context for product development and assess the feasibility and the project’s alignment with the brand.
Develop: Designers focus on brainstorming creative ideas and exploring possibilities during this stage. It involves prototyping and iterating on possible solutions.
Deliver: The chosen solution is refined and rolled out to the market during the final stage.
A product analytics tools like UXCam play a huge role at many stages of this process.
Finally, dashboards, real-time monitoring, and data-driven experiments help designers measure success during the delivery stage.
User-centric design approach: It focuses on understanding and addressing the target customers' needs, preferences, and pain points. The insights gained during the discovery phase ensure the product requirements and design align with user expectations.
Iterative and agile process: The four phases promote iterative and agile development. This approach accommodates refinement throughout based on user feedback and evolving requirements.
Improves problem-solving and innovation: It enhances creative problem-solving and innovative thinking. Exploring ideas during the divergent thinking phase helps find unique and innovative solutions and opportunities.
Improves team collaboration and communication: It encourages collaboration and effective team communication. Cross-functional teams can pitch in with their expertise and perspectives for productive collaboration and a high-quality app.
Reduced risks and increased success: The double diamond model helps mitigate risks and increase the odds of success by incorporating user research, prototyping, and testing throughout development. Developers can identify and address issues early for fewer design flaws, better UX, and higher adoption rates.
First, you’ll need to define the problem or opportunity you wish to address with your app.
When performing research during this phase, keep these factors in mind:
Tools: What methods of research are most appropriate?
User needs: What are the common user tasks the app should be capable of performing?
Audience: Who is the app’s primary target audience, what type of device will they use, and how will they interact with it?
For in-app research, UXCam is a powerful discovery tool.
Product teams can access a full suite of analytics tools—from session replays to heatmaps—to determine user flows and identify areas of improvement. Segmentation and user behavior metrics make it easy to quantify the impact of design changes and prioritize fixes.
The next stage involves convergent thinking on a clear problem statement and user-centered app goals by synthesizing the research. You must define the challenge precisely to set the scene for your solution and guide the design process. Create user personas and user stories to represent your target users and their characteristics. Develop a user journey map to visualize the user’s experience using your app.
Once again, tools like UXCam can help.
Event analytics allow you to track things like button taps, page views, and feature usage to further understand how users interact with your app. This kind of quantitative data is needed to clearly define problems—and UXCam makes it accessible in real-time.
During the development process, it's important to have fun and let your imagination run wild, coming up with all sorts of initially crazy ideas. Generate creative ideas and brainstorm potential solutions, concepts, and features to explore to address the problem at hand. Then, prioritize these ideas based on user requirements, technical feasibility, and business goals.
During the development phase, the goal is to come up with various potential solutions and concepts that can be further evaluated in the next stage. So, make sure to make the most of available methods to get everyone's creative juices flowing. Think of brainstorming sessions, workshops, wireframing, or low-fidelity prototyping to visualize the app's structure and basic functionality.
And don't forget to test your ideas. Use tools like UXCam to monitor bugs, freezes, and user frustration.
This stage transforms the most promising design into a high-fidelity prototype or minimum viable product (MVP). The solution is developed and launched once the final project details are fine-tuned.
The app is built using appropriate programming languages, frameworks, and tools. And then, you'll need to continuously test and iterate on app features and functionalities by incorporating user feedback. So, make sure you find time to conduct usability testing to assess usability and make necessary improvements.
Once your app has been introduced to the intended users, monitor its performance and analyze user feedback and market trends. Iteratively improve and enhance the app based on insights.
Maintain ongoing communication with users and collect feedback for further improvements.
The Double Diamond Model is proven to be a transformative design thinking approach. It empowers product teams to create user-centric solutions through structured problem-solving, creativity, and divergent and convergent thinking.
UXCam’s powerful behavior analytics offer a clear path for product teams to understand their user’s needs inside out. Our tool delivers the intelligence you’ll need to create exceptional experiences.
Are you ready to join some of the world’s leading mobile app brands who trust our platforms’ data to deliver empathic and impactful apps? To see us in action, request a demo or sign up today to start using UXCam for free.
Ardent technophile exploring the world of mobile app product management at UXCam.
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