The pace of change and disruption presents an increasing challenge for organisations. In particular, opportunities presented by technology are driving much of this change. Organisations require an agile means of defining and designing solutions that recognise the predominantly digital nature of these transformations.

Design4Digital is BAC Partners’ proprietary methodology for managing organisational design and innovation - the creation of viable new offerings.

Based on a Design Thinking approach, this methodology guides the process of understanding opportunities and challenges, defining areas of focus, designing a range of options to address these and delivering a chosen design.

Discover Research (Primary) Gain Insights Determine Architecture Understand Criteria Research (Secondary) Choose Themes Determine DFV Choose Enablers Scope Triage IdentifyWhiteSpace HMW Define Prototyping Evaluate& Select Deliver DesignOptions EvaluateChoices Design Challenge Brief Opportunity Brief Final Design


The discover phase uncovers the “What Is” situation. It is a research phase to ensure complete understanding; it is situational analysis.

The objective of this phase is to understand the scope in terms of opportunities and challenges. The starting point is a challenge brief, which is based on an idea or inspiration that often stems from some type of discovery process.

This phase comprises largely of research activity and data gathering. As a human centred approach, it is important to be empathetic i.e. understand and share the feelings of a person in a specific situation. For example, someone interacting with a business in the role of a buyer. This is a group of activities requiring divergent thinking.



Using the Challenge Brief, which is the starting point, we ensure a shared understanding of the brief.

Using this as a basis, further information is gathered to define the scope. In pursuit of this, several methods are employed to increase understanding. Methods such as stakeholder mapping, cognitive mapping and cognitive walk-through are used to better understand the situation. Personas and Journey Maps are important outcomes of this process.



The triage component is analysis and synthesis of the preliminary research from the scope activities. The outcome is a research brief based on an understanding of the situation.

The outcome of this activity is the definition of key opportunities and challenges deemed worthy of pursuing.


Research (Primary)

Primary research supports the main process of triage. It is used to collect information to better understand service interactions and comportment. It focuses on customers, competitors and other stakeholders.

The main research method preferred is digital ethnography1. This describes the process and methodology of doing ethnographic research in a digital space. The main concern of a digital ethnographer is identifying relevant subjects and learning about “language”2 and culture.

1 An ethnographer is a person who gathers and records data about human culture and societies. There are various research methods that can be applied to the different sub-categories of this social study, such as field, design or digital ethnography. An ethnographer often needs to be able to find patterns in and understand issues faced by a wide sample of people with diverse backgrounds.

2 Language in this context is not a written or spoken tongue, but interactions and behaviour that form a pattern.


Research (Secondary)

Secondary research also supports the main process of triage. It comprises information collected and synthesised from existing data rather than original material sourced through primary research with participants.


The define phase develops a “What If” situation. It is essentially an analysis and synthesis phase to ensure an opportunity definition. The purpose of this phase is to define a clear problem to be solved in a properly framed context. It is the Interpretation and selection of an idea.


Gain Insights

Gain insights supports the main process of identify white space. The objective is to construe insight through analysis and synthesis of prior research outcomes. An outcome from this is key findings in support of identifying white space.


Choose Themes

Choose themes also supports the main process of identify white space. It is used to identify clear themes in support of the opportunity brief. Based on the insights we define we identify some clear design themes. These themes feed into the identification of white space component.


Identify White Space

The normal definition of whitespace is spacing between words in a document or between design objects on a canvas.

We recognise whitespace as addressing the unknown. It is a process of identifying unmet and unarticulated needs. It is where products and services don’t exist based on the present understanding of values, definition of business or even existing competencies.


How Might It Work (HMW)

This component defines opportunities in terms of how they might work. It is a "To Be" or "What If" scenario that is based on the learning acquired throughout the discover and define phases.


The design phase develops a “What Could Be” situation. It is takes an opportunity brief and generates design-led solutions, which is an iterative process. This phase is known as ideation in design thinking circles.


Design Options

The design options component takes the opportunity brief output from the define phase and evaluates design options available.

The activities make use of methods such as design workshops, kano modelling3, design charettes4 and other methods to generate design options. This is an innovative, iterative process hence its divergent nature. In this component no evaluation of options is carried out – all options are valid at this point. The idea is to generate as many ideas as possible.

3 The Kano Model is an insightful way of understanding and categorising 5 types of Customer Requirements (or potential features) for new products and services.

4Design charettes are any any collaborative session involving participants in the process to give feedback on the design and propose design options.


Determine Architecture

This component is a support process for evaluate choices. The aim is to consider the architectural constructs required to support the design options being either digital or physical touch points.

From a digital perspective, this is the conceptual model that defines the structure, behavior, and attributes of a system. It is described in a way that supports reasoning about the structures and behaviors of the system.


Determine DfV

This component is also a support process for evaluate choices. It stands for desirability, feasibility and viability (DFV). It is a set of activities that assesses design options to assist in making choices.

The most successfuldesign outcomes lie at the intersection of desirability, feasibility, and viability. Design options are assessed and reassessed to ensure we deliver an appropriate, actionable, and tangible strategy. We are searching innovative avenues for growth that are grounded in business viability and market desirability.


Evaluate Choices

This component is a core process aimed at selecting the most appropriate design option(s) for further consideration. It is not necessarily a single design option being considered; several options may be selected for further evaluation.

The determine architecture and determine DFV support processes assist this evaluation step.


The deliver phase develops a “What Is Preferred” outcome. It takes a set of design choices and uses prototyping to select attractive options. Through this process, candidate options are evaluated and a design outcome selected.


Understand Criteria

This component is a support process for prototyping. The objective is to understand clearly criteria that the final design must meet. For example, a high level criterion might stipulate that the interactions involved are mobile in nature and the design must therefore reflect this. Further, that certain throughput levels are required in order to be viable.

The criteria are defined and used to guide the prototyping process.


Choose Enablers

This component is a support process for prototyping. The objective is to identify digital and analogue artefacts that meet the design choice(s).

For example, if the design requires that a particular digital touchpoint is social in nature, is the enabler required a public or facility? For example, facebook could be considered if the criteria stipulate a public facility, otherwise inter-company messaging for private social interaction.



This component is a core process aimed at producing a working prototype of a set of design choices. This is often referred to as ideation since it is an iterative process aimed at creating fresh ideas to be tried.

Prototyping is the tangible representation of artefacts at various levels of resolution. Experience prototyping differs from more passive approaches designed to convey a concept. It specifically promotes active participation between stakeholders to perceive a live experience with a system or service.


Evaluate and Select

This component is a core process that considers various prototypes of design choices and evaluates them given the defined criteria and a set of enablers. The evaluation process leads to selection of a nominee for the chosen design.

There are many design methods available in support of this activity. The more thorough the evaluation and testing at this stage of the process, the closer the final design will deliver a better overall service experience.


Check out our interactive model by clicking on the model above. Alternatively if you would like to discuss how Design4Digital can assist you, complete the form below.

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