Double Diamond model

The Double Diamond is a visual shorthand that captures key steps to take when designing a service.


The separation of activities into two separate diamonds, stresses the importance of making time to understand the specifics of the problem you wish to solve before you start work on designing solutions.

Two diamonds with understand the problem on the left, and design the solution on the right.

The diamond shapes show how you should explore a wide range of ideas before narrowing these down again and choosing the one you want to concentrate on, the one that will give the best solution to the challenge you want to resolve.

As you move from left to right through the first diamond, you will take a challenge and work to identify the specifics of the problem you want to tackle. The second diamond is about designing the solution to the problem you have identified, again looking at a range of options before narrowing these down to the one that works best.


Each of the diamonds can each be split into two phases.

The diamonds are split into discover and define on the left, and develop and deliver on the right.

An alternative way to understand the diamonds is:

  • Diamond 1 is about research.
  • Diamond 2 is about designing your solution based on the research carried out and the conclusions reached in Diamond 1.


In service design terminology:

  • Diamond 1 is about making sure you are going to design the right thing.
  • Diamond 2 is about ensuring you design the thing right.
Highlights to design the right thing and then design the thing right.

Challenge to outcome

Before you start the discover phase, you will need to have a challenge that will be the subject for your service design journey. After you have travelled through the double diamonds, you will have reached an outcome.

Diagram showing where you start with a challenge, then work your way through the diamonds to achieve an outcome.