Using co-creation to make design solutions that work
Koen Peters (Namahn), @2pk_koen
Human-centred design of digital products and services – based in Brussels
design that works for people
Co-creation
4
Around 2000: Namahn library and individual desks
Now: Namahn DesignStudio
Co-creation
7
Participatory design
Co-design
Cooperation
Collaboration
Framing
framing game
Ideation
lotus blossom
IA
collaborative
mind mapping
IA
cores & paths
Storytelling
scenarios and
seri...
Why co-creation?
 Get buy-in, get your solution accepted by and sold to a client
 ―If you‘re trying to solve complex pro...
What do you need for
co-creation workshops?
1. Participants
Participants
 Client: core team and representatives of
the main departments + some users
 Moderator: designer with works...
Add DS picture
2. Workshop space
Fixed tables
No daylight or fresh air
Difficult to move
Small whiteboard
3. Stuff
Stuff
 Pens & paper, markers, post-its, lego,
kapla...
 Workshop tools: templates, posters,
framing cards...
 A device ...
Co-creation
workshop techniques
Framing – Framing game
Framing game
 Frame the context (of your project) and set the boundaries by
building together a context map
What is there...
20
21
Ideation – Lotus blossom
Lotus blossom
 Finding ideas by association
 Put a core word in the centre and
brainstorm or free associate words or
con...
23
Collaborative mind mapping
 Group and order content in a mind map
projected on a screen
 Create a (top-down) classificat...
Cores and paths
 Idea: when structuring and designing your site,
you should start from the core (= the reason
why users c...
Storytelling
 Stories lead to a common understanding
of how a product or service will be used
in the future
 Create pers...
Serious play
 Finding ideas by developing scenarios
using visual three-dimensional props
 Provide tinkering material: le...
Customer journey
 Identify touch points and map the
customer journey over time
 Bringing all scenarios together
 Note: ...
Tips & tricks
Tips & tricks (1)
 Have a clear goal in mind for your co-creation session
 Have the right people in the workshop
Note: w...
Tips & tricks (2)
 Have a minimum of structure
 Keep the exercises relatively simple – do a simple trial if needed
 If ...
Risks
Risks
 ―Where‘s your expertise?‖
 Not having the right people in the workshops
Or: enthusiasm with those who participate...
Skills needed
Skills needed for a designer doing co-creation workshops
 Workshop facilitation skills
 Knowledge about group dynamics –...
Using co-creation to make design solutions that work
Koen Peters (Namahn), @2pk_koen
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)
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Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)

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As UX designers, simply crafting a beautiful solution and presenting it well is not enough. Getting it accepted by and sold to a client is the true challenge! The best way to do this is involving your client directly in the design process and having him co-create the solution.

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  • Good afternoon, My name is Koen Peters. I’m a UX designer and information architect currently living and working in Brussels
  • I have been working at a company called Namahn for about 13 years now; it's a company of about 25 people, we do human-centred design of digital products and services. HCD means, we design products and services from a user perspective. We talk to users first, observe them, to determine their wishes and needs, and we base our design solution on this. This talk is not about technology! I have never built a Drupal site in my life, and I will not talk about Drupal. So for the Drupal purists, now is the time to leave the room.
  • I will talk about co-creation. The basic idea of co-creation: as a design company, you involve a client directly in the design process by having him co-create the solution.Namahn as a company has evolved towards co-creation, and this has changed quite drastically our way of working in recent years
  • I would like to use the Namahn offices and how they have changed as an illustration for our different way of working. We moved into them around 2000.Here you see the Namahn library, and the desks for the Namahn, designed by WimCuyvers. They represent how we worked then and how we saw ourselves.
  • Since 2009, we have added the Namahn DesignStudio to our offices, a multi-functional room, with 58 multi-functional door panels: you can write on them like whiteboards, apply magnets to them, or use them as table-tops.Now, the UX design world has changed. The challenge is not making a good-looking, efficient and user-friendly design any more. Usability has become a commodity - there are often plenty of good solutions readily available on the web. Clients expect more: they want to have a good solutions that is tailored to their own needs and context, and they want to have a say in the solution. The DesignStudio allows for this kind of interaction with the client.
  • Here is my colleague Leo about a year ago, putting the era of the black desks to an end.
  • So we make use of our DesignStudio to hold co-creation workshops.Other terms are used as well for co-creation, and they are similar though not exactly the same, like co-design or participatory design. Co-creation in this talk means creating a solution for a problem together with a client.One of the main points I want to make, is the fact that co-creation is not something you do ad hoc, or at one or two early moments in the project.You want to involve the client throughout the design process, from start till finish.
  • Here is the Namahn design process, in 3 broad phases: understanding the problem and getting to know the user and his needs, exploring possible solutions for the problem, and finally define prototype in detail the solution.
  • First youneedparticipants.From the client's side, members of the core team, and representatives of the departments that are concerned (business, ICT, Marketing & communication). If possible also a few users.
  • You need a good moderator, a designer with workshop skills (but I will come back to that)It is not just about their roles. If you look at what makes good collaborative teams,you need a mix of people: A balance of extroverts and introverts makes for a better team; most good teams have one analytic thinker on board; teams perform better when they include both men and women.
  • You need a workshop space that is inviting and allows for creativity.Usually we try to take a client away from their own office, invite them to Namahn, to our DesignStudio! Why?
  • Well, here you can see a picture of a typical meeting room, in this case at the European Commission. It's clearly made for meetings. Even stronger, it seems like it is specifically designed to avoid all kind of creativeness!What you need is the opposite: daylight (a co-creation session will easily take several hours, and you shouldn't feel like your imprisoned for half a day); you need a flexible room, that allows for creativity.
  • You will also need some stuff to run a co-creation workshop
  • (1)  Pens & paper, post-its, erasable markers, lego, playmobil, kapla building blocks, play dough, wire. Stuff that allows you to be creative.(2) Then, you may also want to prepare some workshop tools (templates, posters framing cards, etc.). You will see some of these tools in a minute, when I'm presenting the techniques.(3) You will also need a few devices to register/record the results. Audio recording, taking pictures, in some cases video recording.
  • I will show you now a few techniques that we have been using ourselves lately.
  • A first technique helps answer the questions what is the design challenge.In a framing game, you frame the context (of your project) and set the boundaries by building together a context map
  • In a context map you include the target groups, stakeholders, different departments, suppliers, etc., and also the locations. You try to get a common understanding about the project from the perspective of your organisation (what is there, for whom, by whom, in what locations)There are two ways of doing this: you can either start from scratch and use post-its, markers, kapla, lego etc., or you can prepare simple facet cards, with the things you already know (people, locations, main products, etc.)Afterwards, you can make a clean, digital version of this scheme or visualisation, and use it throughout the project.
  • In this example, we did a framing exercise for Transix (it was about software for the transport sector): back office, shippers, chauffeurs etc. all had different tools. The exercise helped us to map out what is there and for whom.
  • A second technique is the lotus blossomIt's a simple brainstorm technique to create ideas in a structured way. You find ideas by association.
  • It's developed by a Japanese consultant, hence the use of the lotus flower.you put a core word in the centre and brainstorm or free associate words or concepts suggested by that core word.Then you transfer 8 words/concepts to the outer ’flowers’ and brainstorm again around each of them.The advantage of this technique is that it is structured. You avoid chaotic brainstorms that go in all directions.
  • You can use lotus blossom a bit differently as well, for a service you are designing. In this example, we looked for 8 requirements or key characteristics of a service first, e.g. quality, and then we brainstormed around a model associated with 'quality', e.g. Amazon.This alternative way of using the lotus blossom works better for people that are not used to creative thinking.
  • With this technique, we are getting closer to a real Drupal web site now.This is a technique I have been using myself for some years now. You discuss in group and try to order information/ideas in a joint mind mapping session.
  • How does it work? Well, it's really simple. With a beamer, you display an empty mind map on a large screen, and together with content experts you start listing content, grouping and ordering it. The result is a classification for your site: a sitemap and a list of the main content types and their metadata.A mind map is easy to manipulate so you can really see the result of your work growing in front of you. It is very good for consensus building.Usually you will need several of these workshops. It is important that after each workshop, you document well the rationale behind your classification, the criteria you have used (and all agreed upon).
  • Another IA-related technique is cores and paths. Central idea of this technique is simple: when you are creating a site, don’t start by designing the navigation on the home page! 
  • On the contrary, you start from the core, the reason why users come to your site. You determine how users will get to the core (inward paths), and what they want to do next, call to actions, and where they want to go next (onward paths).This technique can be very powerful in a co-creation. It will give you the basis for your most important pages (both the content and a draft design).It happens in two steps: first you define the content (core, inward and onward paths) with the help of a template. Second, you use this content to sketch out a draft design of the page
  • Storytelling is another technique we have been applying successfully in co-creation workshops: you jointly build up stories that lead to a common understanding of how a product will be used in the future. Stories are a great means to communicate.
  • Via stories, you can get an idea of how a product or service will be without drawing one line or writing one line of code.Also, most people can't draw/sketch (or feel intimidated by it). But everyone can write text!A narrative can be understood by all, and is a good basis for discussion.You can start off by creating personas together with the participants, using the template shown on the right, and then have them write scenarios for the different personas.Storytelling can be done with words (scenario) or with drawings (storyboards).
  • An interesting variant in storytelling is serious play: you brainstorm about a future service by developing scenarios, but you use visual three-dimensional props to kind of ‘act out’ these scenarios
  • Basically, you ask the workshops participants to visualise a service in 3 dimensions, using lego, playmobil, post its, dough etc.In this example, a team at the European Commission did a serious play about what the service offering of a newly formed web team could be, and it really worked well. It gave them a lot of useful ideas.
  • The last technique I’m going to show is customer journey (or the customer journey map), and it fits in the context of service design.
  • In this type of exercise, you look at the different touch points with the customer, and you map the customer journey, using typical journey steps in service design (trigger, awareness, consider, purchase, use, support, loyalty). In this map you are bringing the different scenarios together. 
  • You can use this also outside the field of service design, in typical interaction design projects, like the Sony example here, when there is an experience over time and/or involving different contact points or environments. TheSony support web site is used in different circumstances, at different times in the process. We mapped the customer journey in a workshop with the client, and used that as a starting point for the redesign.
  • So that was my overview of co-creation techniques we are currently using at Namahn in our projects.We come now to the final part of my talk: first, I would like to give you some best practices, some tips & tricks for co-creation
  • # have a clear goal in mindKnow what you want to accomplish in a co-creation session.# have the right people in the workshopI mentioned earlier the client's core team, important stakeholders, and if possible some users as well.What about the director at C-level? Can be useful to have him present in some occasions. Be aware that in most cases he will not have or take the time to join in for the full session. He might pop in later or join for the first hour.# have everyone participateAvoid the dominant participant to take over the workshop, with the introverts intimidated by the dominant.Have individual time in the beginning (e.g. private time in a brainstorm), and avoid group discussions, which tend to turn a co-creation session into a classic meeting.Have break-out groups of 3 or 4 persons.# Get away from the chairsStand up and move around, have higher tables for stand-up work. This will make the participants more active.
  • # Have a minimum of structureHave a minimum of structure in your exercises/sessions: this works well for everyone. Structure never harms. It sets the boundaries and leads to focused creativity!# keep the exercise relatively simple - do a simple trial if neededDo not try to put too much complexity in one exercise. If people don't really get it, the result will suck.If what you are trying to make or accomplish is complex in itself, then do a simple trial before you dive into the actual exercise.# if possible, make it fun!Use playful elements in your exercises. people like games and challenges, and it will activate them.# Register the results in detail, and document enoughWe tend to take a lot of pictures, audio record group presentations, etc. keep the notes, exercise sheets and post its...
  • What are possible risks of co-creation?
  • # "Where is your expertise?"It's a quote we literally got from a client in a content strategy project in which we held four co-creation workshops. The client had the feeling that we hadn't brought in enough of our own expertise, that we were relying too much on what was said during the co-creation workshops.# Not having the right people involved. The client’s team may not have all the right people on board.You may also see a lot of enthusiasm with those who were present during the workshop, but not with other important stakeholders.#Time consumingYou will often need more time for co-creation workshops, but this will pay off in the end. #Budget burningAs for the budget, co-creation workshops are budget burners and you run the risk not having enough time any more to work individually, to think over the results of the workshops. Make sure you foresee enough time for what comes after the workshops, the designer's 'homework', you as a designer need to absorb what came out and take it to a next level.
  • You as a designer will have to adapt as well. Different, new type of skills are needed. You can’t work on your own and stay in your black box anymore.
  • # workshop facilitation skills: keeping an eye on timing at all times, knowing when to intervene, when to move on, when to skip an exercise etc., # knowledge about group dynamics, recognizing different characters and knowing how to act upon them (get familiar with 'social styles'). (e.g. thinker, director, socializer, relator)# openness to criticism:  be able to let go of your design and let others ‘intrude’ in the process.# ability to translate clients’ ideas immediately into workable solutions, into something that everyone can understand, e.g. simple visualisation (again without pushing your own ideas)
  • So, that is all I have to say. Thank you very much for listening to me.I hope this was useful for you, and I hope you will also start co-creating with your clients. Now it’s up to you...
  • Are there any questions?
  • Using Co-creation to Make Design Solutions that Work (DrupalCamp Leuven 2013)

    1. 1. Using co-creation to make design solutions that work Koen Peters (Namahn), @2pk_koen
    2. 2. Human-centred design of digital products and services – based in Brussels
    3. 3. design that works for people Co-creation
    4. 4. 4 Around 2000: Namahn library and individual desks
    5. 5. Now: Namahn DesignStudio
    6. 6. Co-creation 7 Participatory design Co-design Cooperation Collaboration
    7. 7. Framing framing game Ideation lotus blossom IA collaborative mind mapping IA cores & paths Storytelling scenarios and serious play Service design customer journey Prototyping co-design
    8. 8. Why co-creation?  Get buy-in, get your solution accepted by and sold to a client  ―If you‘re trying to solve complex problems—which we‘re often asked to do—you need multiple minds working together to arrive at the best solutions.‖ (Tim Brown)  Give a client the feeling he is making (and owning) the solution co-ownership  Create momentum  Go light on deliverables 9
    9. 9. What do you need for co-creation workshops?
    10. 10. 1. Participants
    11. 11. Participants  Client: core team and representatives of the main departments + some users  Moderator: designer with workshop moderation skills  What makes a good collaborative team? Balance of extroverts – introverts; mix of men – women; at least one analytic thinker 12 Cf. “9 Facts Every Creative Needs to Know About Collaborative Teams” (Jarrett)
    12. 12. Add DS picture 2. Workshop space
    13. 13. Fixed tables No daylight or fresh air Difficult to move Small whiteboard
    14. 14. 3. Stuff
    15. 15. Stuff  Pens & paper, markers, post-its, lego, kapla...  Workshop tools: templates, posters, framing cards...  A device to register workshop results 16
    16. 16. Co-creation workshop techniques
    17. 17. Framing – Framing game
    18. 18. Framing game  Frame the context (of your project) and set the boundaries by building together a context map What is there, for whom, by whom, in what locations...  Start from scratch or prepare facet cards  Afterwards, make a clean, digital version of the scheme/mapping 19
    19. 19. 20
    20. 20. 21 Ideation – Lotus blossom
    21. 21. Lotus blossom  Finding ideas by association  Put a core word in the centre and brainstorm or free associate words or concepts suggested by the core word  Transfer 8 words/concepts to outer ‗flowers‘ and brainstorm again around each of them  Strength: Clearly structured! 22 Invented by Yasuo Matsumura
    22. 22. 23
    23. 23. Collaborative mind mapping  Group and order content in a mind map projected on a screen  Create a (top-down) classification for a site Good for consensus building  Start with an empty mind map Document the IA rationale (criteria) 25
    24. 24. Cores and paths  Idea: when structuring and designing your site, you should start from the core (= the reason why users come to your site) and work from there (= paths) = the opposite of starting from the home page and a top-down navigation  Technique in 2 steps: 1. Determine the content (core, inward paths, onward paths...) with the help of a template 2. Use this content to sketch out the page 27 Technique by Are Halland, Jim Kalbach
    25. 25. Storytelling  Stories lead to a common understanding of how a product or service will be used in the future  Create personas first, then write scenarios for the personas.  Format: text or storyboards 29
    26. 26. Serious play  Finding ideas by developing scenarios using visual three-dimensional props  Provide tinkering material: lego, playmobil, dough, post-it‘s… 31
    27. 27. Customer journey  Identify touch points and map the customer journey over time  Bringing all scenarios together  Note: not only for service design projects 33
    28. 28. Tips & tricks
    29. 29. Tips & tricks (1)  Have a clear goal in mind for your co-creation session  Have the right people in the workshop Note: what with the director at C-level?  Have everyone participate Avoid group discussions – have break-out groups (of 3 or 4 persons)  Get away from the chairs 36
    30. 30. Tips & tricks (2)  Have a minimum of structure  Keep the exercises relatively simple – do a simple trial if needed  If possible, make it fun, make it playful  Register the results in detail, and document enough 37
    31. 31. Risks
    32. 32. Risks  ―Where‘s your expertise?‖  Not having the right people in the workshops Or: enthusiasm with those who participated but not with other stakeholders  Time consuming (but it will pay off in the end!)  Budget burning Make sure you foresee enough time for what comes after the workshops 39
    33. 33. Skills needed
    34. 34. Skills needed for a designer doing co-creation workshops  Workshop facilitation skills  Knowledge about group dynamics – recognize social styles  Openness to criticism (be able to let go of your design)  Ability translate the clients‘ ideas immediately into workable solutions 41
    35. 35. Using co-creation to make design solutions that work Koen Peters (Namahn), @2pk_koen

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