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What is Design Thinking Process?

The double diamond is a powerful tool in design thinking, offering a clear roadmap for tackling complex challenges. Visualised as two interlocking diamonds, it represents a cyclical and iterative process that emphasises both divergent and convergent thinking. The first diamond focuses on understanding the problem at hand. This “divergent” phase involves activities like user research, observation, and interviews. By gathering insights from the people affected by the issue, you can gain a deeper understanding of their needs and frustrations. This information is then used in the “convergent” phase of the first diamond, where you define the core problem statement. Here, you’ll reframe the initial question and identify the central human need that your design solution will address.

The second diamond flips the approach to focus on creating solutions. This phase starts with “divergent” thinking again, where you brainstorm a wide range of ideas through techniques like sketching, mind mapping, or workshops. The goal is to generate as many possibilities as possible without judgement. Once you have a wealth of ideas, you move to the “convergent” phase of the second diamond. Here, you’ll prototype and test your most promising solutions with real users. This iterative process allows you to refine your design and ensure it truly addresses the problem you identified earlier. The double diamond encourages a flexible and user-centred approach to design, constantly circling back to gain new insights and refine your solution.

What is an example use of Design Thinking Process?

Double Diamond 1: Understanding Student Engagement (Discover & Define)

Discover: You’re a school history teacher and notice many students seem disengaged during lectures. You conduct interviews with students (individual or focus groups) and observe their behaviour in class. Maybe the lectures are too long, the material feels irrelevant, or the teaching methods aren’t catering to different learning styles.

Define: Based on your findings, you define the core challenge. Is it a matter of student interest, attention span, or the delivery style itself?

Double Diamond 2: Developing Engaging Lessons (Develop & Deliver)

Develop: Brainstorm creative solutions to make history lessons more engaging. Could you incorporate interactive activities, historical simulations, or technology like virtual reality tours?

Deliver: Pilot your most promising ideas with a smaller class or group. Run a mock historical trial or create a collaborative project where students research different historical figures. See how students respond and refine your approach based on their level of engagement and learning outcomes.

Following the Double Diamond allows you to identify the root cause of the disengagement and develop solutions that actively involve students in the learning process.  This iterative approach lets you test and improve your teaching methods before implementing them across the entire class.

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