Why Co-Design?


Recent Co-Design Sessions

MTO Co-Design Session

BiT Co-design Session 1

BiT Co-design Session 2

PhET Create-a-Thon

Alternative Facilitation Techniques

Other Co-Design Experiences

Preferences for Global Access (PGA) - First Discovery Tool

quotidian — "of or occurring every day; daily."  Also, "common, ordinary occurrence"


Below are some thoughts I put together last year in prep for sub-teaching an SFI class: 

Remaining critical of your own practice and anyone you’re doing co-design with

What is co-design?

  1. Is co-design just doing something together – and then how is it different from participatory design? It seems it’s not just this. Power differential (us vs. them)
  2. Is it we’re on the same level and doing this together?
    1. But then why am I paid to be a designer at my job?
    2. What is my qualification? What is my expertise?
    3. How do folks get paid? How do you appropriately show appreciations? Who gets money and how much?
    4. “inviting” – words matter – you’re invited to someone else’s space – reinforces power


This is new: we want to create it but haven’t figured it out yet

  1. This is the ethos (break down the barriers between ‘designer’ and ‘user’) but we’re not there yet
  2. Co-design is aspirational – the word is aspirational
  3. Doesn't absolve you from empathy and even requires more


How can those of us with design jobs do this?

  1. “We weren’t experts in sound – we aren’t sound people – we tried things out together”
    1. in some ways not being experts helped us co-design together
    2. no competition
    3. genuine collaboration
    4. Can you do co-design with an expert – what is an expert?
      1. Depth and breadth
      2. Privilege of research and of being a designer is doing this in many contexts and regularly and learning from it
      3. Participants are brought in because they’re living a life (which they are an expert in – their own life)
      4. Is it possible to quiet the expertise? Is that desirable? Can we re-envision using expertise?


At least we know it’s about having those for whom the outcome is for involved in the process of creation

  1. but how much participation and when?? Early?, middle?, late?
  2. Can they really continue? Do they really contribute? What do we do with their contributions?

The problem of tokenism

  1. Just like personas being used to represent entire demographics
  2. if you lean on that one person to represent more than one person you fail