Using the double diamond process for content creation

Every creative process, whether it’s designing a logo or solving a wicked problem, involves a similar process although each profession has an own way of working. The double diamond process (or model) is a simple visual map of a creative process. This double diamond can also be applied to content creation creation (or curation). Regardless of the content type or format, it helps to structure the process into four distinct phases.

Double What?

Is the double diamond just a fancy, new buzzword? I don’t think so. Each creative process has its own challenges and this methodology offers a simple solution to demystify this process. It was developed as a framework for innovation by the UK Design Council. I’ve learned some insights into this process at our Interaction Design & User Research course during our second semester at the Content Strategy Master programme of the FH Joanneum Graz.

In general, the double diamond process consists of the four phases Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver. It’s a way to create a quantity of possible ideas (divergent thinking) to refine and narrow these down to the best ideas (convergent thinking). It’s called double diamond because it can be represented by a (double) diamond shape. The visual representation indicates that the divergent and convergent phase happens twice. First, by defining the problem and second, by providing a solution. In the following, I’ll try to apply this model to content creation.

Double Diamond Process
The double diamond process illustrated by the Design Council (Source: designcouncil.org.uk)

Discover

This phase marks the start of the creative process, where we (as creative people) try to open our eyes for new ideas and gather important insights for our “content journey”. During content creation, this phase can be a keyword research, clustering of ideas or a brainstorming session within a team.

Define

The second phase is the definition phase, where the possible ideas from the previous phase are converged. In terms of content creation, the define phase should include a prioritisation of the content ideas. Data such as search volume, possible user intents and mappings to the user/buyers journey can be used to make sense of all the identified possibilities. The deliverable could be a short content brief.

Develop

During the third phase, concepts and drafts are created, tested and iterated. This might sound too ambitious for content creation, but in fact it’s also important to include some trial and error to improve and refine content ideas. This phase could cover some user research or simple A/B-testing.

Deliver

This is the final phase where the resulting content is finalised, produced and delivered. This also includes the distribution of the content. For your content, it’s time to rise and shine.

Make complicated things easy

Although the double diamond process for content creation is only outlined on the surface, it might be a guiding light for the content creation process. It perfectly fits agile methods such as the Agile Content Marketing Model developed by COS alumni Sonja Schwarz.

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