The Double Diamond, also known as design thinking, is a framework of managing divergent and convergent thought models to create a flow between research, development and design techniques. The picture below is an adjusted version of the original Double Diamond model. This alteration is customized for communication projects built for businesses. This approach allows me to focus on high level client requirements and quickly create conceptual models for my work.
Depending on the type of visual communication requested by the client, the altered Double Diamond is expanded to develop the following workflows:
Logo Design workflow
Brief: Communication with the client on fundamental goals and requirements. Scheduling and process communication occurs here.
Research: Engage in industry analysis to identify target markets and understand competitor strategies and market history to engage in a problem solving mindset.
Reference: I communicate conceptualizations and research data with the client to brainstorm a design path to follow. I then compare and contrast this design path to competitor design paths.
Sketching & Design: Sketches are used to build a variety of visual solutions and only the best are brought into the computer to be refined. Here a logo is developed based off the design path chosen in the last client interaction.
Reflection: I go over the created designs and consider revisions. I then decide on a final logo concept with the client.
Revisions: At this stage, I implement last logo edits to finalize brand concept
Presentation: The completed logo is used to create brand collateral starting with a style guide. The style guide is then expressed as business cards, flyers, letterheads and icons depending on the client's necessities.
Delivery & Support: All appropriate files are given to the client and I provide necessary support for implementation such as print or website updates.
Web Design Workflow
Brief: Communications with the client on fundamental goals and requirements. Scheduling and process communication occurs here.
Research & Analysis: I then engage in an industry analysis to identify target markets, understand competitor strategies and market history. The selected target audience is then used as an inspiration for constructing user profiles.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy: Define and gather keywords from language trends used by the target audience. Conversion paths are then created as a means to bring users to business functions.
Information Architecture: Information assimilation, organization and categorization occurs here. After which, user flow paths are designed to follow suit with user intent and to create parallels to previously developed conversion paths. At the end of this step, the site map is laid out and ready to be built upon.
Content Development: All content is then built and/or aggregated to be used for site purposes. At this point in the process, all appropriate keywords are applied to content meta-data.
Web Design & Development: First, style tiles are made to define and maintain a cohesive visual direction. Then page layouts are drawn and implemented from previously designed user flow paths. After which the content, style, copy and layouts are merged to construct and develop the site.
Reflection: The design is then shown to the client and discussion on necessary edits and goal accomplishments are made at this stage in the process.
UX Testing & Revisions: After I make the edits we deemed necessary, the site is then tested with a sample target audience and selected technical users for feedback such as bounce rates, conversion rates and page views to determine what additional revisions need to be made. This process is repeated until satisfactory conditions have been met.
Delivery and Support: If the site is static, then it will be delivered and proper support will be provided for implementation. If the site will be updated periodically, it will be delivered within an appropriate CMS (content management system) and training for the CMS will be provided to the client.
Due to the design thinking framework, I have been able to produce effective designs while minimizing the amount of resources necessary to create them.
The true value of using the double diamond framework lies in the efficiency it offers. It initiates focus on producing value first concepts so that the preceding decisions don't stray far from optimal design paths.