DIETDesign Impact Evaluation Tactic

What is DIET?

The DesignOps team at Co-op Digital mapped out the journey of a project from start to finish with multiple teams. Like the British Design Council we found Designers across disciplines shared strikingly similar approaches to the creative process, which the Design Council named 'the Double Diamond'.

Some projects followed the double diamond exactly, some with successful outcomes, others ditched or pivotted. some projects skipped from one segment of the Diamond to another.

Projects can be hard in big businesses as the strategy can but lost in translation. Therefore teams are unsure on business needs or don't have the skills or confidence to be as effective as they could be.

Double Diamond
Examples of how 3 projects followed the double diamond path in different ways, which resulted in different outcomes.

Diamonds with extra bits

The double diamond is a well known artifact amongst the design community. However as many people have illutrated before we miss the bit before 'strategy' and the bit after 'ship'.

These two parts are integral in delivering effective design solutions. If we don't understand the strategy then the solution often doesn't get shipped.

Double Diamond
The double diamond with extras bits, before 'strategy' and after 'ship'.

Expectation to just get it done

If we consider the strategy to be part of a chain, linked to many other projects across multiple products.

Getting into the strategy space is important but delve too deep and projects can balloon and take a long time.

It's no wonder there is often an expectation from stakeholder of just getting the thing done. Juggling multiple projects and having an expectation of delivery within a timeframe must be tough.

Double Diamond
The strategy chain and deliver chain. Is there an expectation that the faster route should be taken?

Death of a project

When more time than is expected is spent in the problem or solution space projects can often die. Questions like "Why are we doing ths research?" or "We already know this is true" and "Why is this taking so long?" can be very disheartening for designers. And kill momentum as the team is in mid discovery mode, the direction changes.

Double Diamond
Projects die at different stages of the double dimond

Inside the problem & solution space

As a design team we mostly spend our time in the "Problem" and "Solution" space. So how can we be more effective here? And communicate our needs clearly across teams?

Double Diamond
Inside the problem and solution space of the double diamon

DIET scoring stages

The DIET (Design Impact Evaluation Tactic) scoring stages encourage teams to stop and answer important questions at key stages of the project.

Double Diamond
The DIET scoring stages, shown against the double diamond they include - strategy score, problem score and solution score

Recording the scores

A low score at the strategy stage may indicate the team need more time, or more stakeholder enagement. Both issues are common in projects yet occur time and time again.

Double Diamond
The DIET scores are stored in a spreadsheet to help reveal patterns over time.

Teams change, stakeholders come and go, the shapes of the problems change. DIET is a constant, a reminder that the basics are important.

Overtime DIET can be a powerful persuation tool, outcomes are important to businesses. Time, resourcing, recruiting and money are also key to a businesses survival. If you have 100 projects that have a DIET score, you can pin point common opportunites for improvement.

If 20 out of your 100 projects got ditched due to stakeholders not being involved. And the other 80 evolved and achieve the business outcome. That is powerful, not many business minded people will ignore those stats.

Give it a try - DIET starter pack

To get started with DIET you'll need a copy of our DIET score Google Sheet to record your scores. Then you can then start with scoring the strategy.

DIET is an experimental project by Co-op Digital

If you have feedback or would like to help us develop DIET further please contact dave.cunningham@coopdigital.co.uk

Follow @DoingDesignOps on Twitter for updates.