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Personas (behavioural models of potential stakeholders) are created by "considering the needs, interests and daily tasks of non-obvious or untraditional users helps a design team to think broadly and stay open to unpredicted uses of the systems they are creating" (source of this quote?). However, personas as sole user-representation can lead to stereotyping or the fictionalization of an non-traditional user. A CaT aims to counter-balance representations (like personas) with the the understanding that individual stories don't represent the voice of the user, they are the voice of the user. Therefore, participant stories are fundamental to the practices of co-design and inclusive design.

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Starting with an end goal in mind, create a broad problem space which encompasses your goal. We start Start with a broad problem space as it encourages creative thinking which may generate more robust solutions and new possibilities (serendipitous discovery and virtuous cycles). A more general problem space would also appeal to a broader audience which can give deeper insights into established demographics, or new insights into under served members.

For example, if you define your a goal is defined as to "increase museum gift shop receipts by 10%" and solicit ideas and solutions based on that scope, you may find solutions related to changing prices, or improving inventory. Also the study may attract only people with relevant retail experience.

If the problem were defined more broadly as "discover why guests do not visit the museum gift shop", the ideas you get may be more interesting and useful for broader applications (i.e. "Strollers Baby strollers can not fit between the retail shelves" may lead to better accessibility throughout the facility). Implementing solutions based on such perspectives may help you toward the goal of 10% sales increases, as well as broader beneficial impact such as higher customer satisfaction. Also the broader problem space makes room for a larger demographic to participate.

Step 2: Come up with some Scenarios to Aid Exploration

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Step 3:

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desirable to have a broad problem space and scope, there will need to be some structure to help participants. Without some structure in place, the process may be chaotic, participants confused, and the outcomes may not be as useful. To bring some order and help focus the collaboration, create one or more scenarios in which participants will work from.

In the museum gift shop example one possible scenario might be "It is a school trip day at the museum and the museum is busier than usual, what are some ways to draw visitors into the gift shop?".

The number of scenarios will largely depend on the problem, the number of participants, and the available time.

It is recommended that some dry runs of the scenarios be done to strike the right balance between collaboration, reflection, and fun.

Step 3: Find some participants

The goal of the CaT is to generate a variety of participant stories and perspectives. Therefore aim for participation from a broad audience not just the people who fit the contextual definition of "average" - find participants from a spectrum of ages, gender, vocation, cultures, and ability.

Step : Communication

    • Give sufficient detail and time and correspondence.

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  • Observe and facilitate co-creation
    • Record with video and photos (consent required)
    • Participants themselves can also be given tools and opportunity to document their thoughts and observations

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  • Give opportunity for individuals and groups to refine and iterate on their ideas.

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  • Give opportunity for groups and individuals to inspire each other through the presention of ideas.

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  • Ensure the pacing is sufficient, with appropriate breaks.
    • Don't try to do too much. Be respectful of time.

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  • Build a good relationship with participants to allow for future opportunities

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