The solution to the disconnection between the final user and the provider is to change to a new paradigm that shifts towards a participatory approach. This co-design methodology implies to include persons and contexts from outside into the design team, allowing planning activities and phases that directly entail multi-stakeholders participation. The new events provide the designing new service scenarios, set up and define more sensitive success metrics, performances, and value exchange mechanisms that do not come directly from the “groupthink,” but are aware of the real context.
The new paradigm
Design approaches commonly applied in the field of innovation, such as the Service Design and the User-Centered Design, share the focus on the participatory design (or co-design), having events that actively involve stakeholders and end-users in the design process. This type of approach in FIGURE 2, where the “Double diamond of the Design Thinking” highlights two groups that have to be iterated to build at the same time the result and the knowledge that was not known beforehand by the experienced experts.
Co-design implementation is a complex process since it requires multiple steps, thus this a careful planning and good understanding of the final context. In co-design methods, participants are also considered designers involved in the dialogue on a common problem and possible solutions that should evolve into prototypes. According to Andrew Rasiej, “Building ‘with and not for’ is a critical principle of what we think of when we’re trying now to define civic technology”.
The collaborative design activities allow us to grow the design team’s vision and develop a situated knowledge of complex domains. Moreover, the engagement of end-users helps in the design of usable (effective, efficient, and satisfying) solutions.
Co-design approach in CO3:
In the early phase of the CO3 project (WP1), the co-design activity aims at defining high-level requirements for services and technologies to be piloted. Those requirements will be in terms of scenarios, use cases, and others specified by the direct and indirect users involved. The results will be in terms of a platform that integrates different technologies to enable participatory processes, such as co-creation, co-production, and co-management processes (WP2->WP5). The general approach is depicted in FIGURE 3.
CO3 Methodology requirements
The methodology has been stipulated to focus on five pillars:
User-centered design (UCD): Taking a user-centered perspective, the co-design methodology has to include three core principles. The active involvement of the final users to obtain a real view in an authentic context. Multidisciplinary collaboration due to its expertise backgrounds and several iterations processing the feedback to refine the solution by the time.
Participatory approach: By the involvement of the final and external stakeholders at the co-design activities from the start, the services scenarios will be coherent with the final context. The CO3 methodology involvement grows progressively from a first-team to the final public of participants.
Design oriented methodology:
This methodology is an iterative process that includes exploratory, ideation/conceptualization, and prototyping activities. In all the phases, the different participants are involved in proposing a solution cooperatively. This solution will be a service scenario, blueprints, or prototypes with varying levels of maturity, proving as a base for further specification and development.
Qualitative data driven approach:
This approach provides a better way to capture the needs, barriers, skills, and knowledge sharing among the participants. As a qualitative method, the data collection is more complex in terms of the following analysis but provides a richer information that can be used to build a knowledge base for other actions and decisions in the following design phases.
Modular and customizable method:
The CO3 methodology has to be customizable, therefore, modular. Because different recommendations and limitations are depending the pilot and use-case, this brings closer the tools developed in the methodology to the final pilots, creating a direct link between co-design and pilot phases.
The co-design is a must step in the CO3 project to retrieve the necessary feedback for the integration of the new technologies having the vision of the final users. If you want to know more about the methodology, continue reading the “CO3 Co-Design Methodology“