Understanding the Discover Phase of the Double Diamond

The Double Diamond is a popular design process that helps teams create innovative and effective solutions. It consists of four phases: Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. In this article, we will focus on the first phase, Discover.

What is the Discover Phase?

The Discover phase is all about exploring the problem space. It's a research-intensive phase that involves gathering information, empathizing with users, and identifying opportunities for innovation. The goal is to broaden the team's perspective and uncover potential areas of focus for the project.

Key Activities in the Discover Phase

There are several key activities that take place during the Discover phase:


Research is a critical component of the Discover phase. This involves gathering information about the problem space, such as market trends, customer behaviors, and user needs. Research can take many forms, including user interviews, surveys, data analysis, and competitive analysis.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. In the Discover phase, teams focus on empathizing with their users to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and pain points. This involves conducting user interviews, creating user personas, and mapping out user journeys.


Ideation is the process of generating new ideas. In the Discover phase, teams brainstorm potential solutions to the problem they are trying to solve. This can be done through individual ideation, group brainstorming sessions, or design sprints.


Synthesis is the process of bringing together different ideas and perspectives to form a cohesive understanding of the problem space. This involves analyzing the research and ideation outputs to identify patterns, themes, and opportunities for innovation.

Why is the Discover Phase Important?

The Discover phase is important because it sets the foundation for the rest of the design process. By gathering insights about the problem space, empathizing with users, and identifying potential areas of focus, teams can create more effective and innovative solutions. Skipping the Discover phase can lead to solutions that miss the mark or fail to meet user needs.


The Discover phase is a critical component of the Double Diamond design process. By conducting research, empathizing with users, ideating, and synthesizing information, teams can broaden their perspectiv