Involving Citizens in Policy Making with Participatory         Design Research Methods and Tools (2011)                   ...
1) Social – users have become more critical about       what they buy and use, and more involved in       their own behavi...
2.   PARTICIPATORY  DESIGN    RESEARCH                        Those platforms contribute to the Smart City         METHODS...
Looking on this tool from the perspective of policy               Definitely design research tools for instance contextmak...
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Involving Citizens in Policy Making with Participatory Design Research Methods & Tools


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Keywords: user-driven approach, user- centered design, experiencing, participatory design research methods, policy making, design research tools, co-creation, crowd sourcing, user generated content, context mapping, generative sessions.

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Involving Citizens in Policy Making with Participatory Design Research Methods & Tools

  1. 1. Involving Citizens in Policy Making with Participatory Design Research Methods and Tools (2011) Sandra Cecet sandra.cecet @gmail.comABSTRACT quality of life within urban areas is leading to social andNowadays user-driven approach is a key. In design field environmental development which is called Smart City.there is a changing movement from technology push touser-centered design. Number of cases showed that this The label Smart City is a concept when human andapproach is efficient for innovation process in both new social capital, traditional transport and ITCproduct and service design. Recently it shifted from (Information and communications technology)improving usability and ergonomics to wider contribute to the sustainable economic development andperspective such as emotions and experiences in people high quality of life with a wise management of naturaleveryday life. New design research tools are being resources through participatory governing. EU projectdeveloped recently to explore this domain that consists led by Vienna University of Technology identifies sixof tacit and latent knowledge and is difficult to express dimensions of Smart City, namely: smart economyin words. As well different ways of involving user in (competitiveness); smart people (social and humancreation have acquired and still are being shaped. This capital); smart governance (participation); smartuser-driven approach could be also used by policy mobility (transport and ITC); smart environmentsmakers and citizens for designing, exploring, (natural resources) and smart living (quality of life).experiencing and refining new policies and regulations.This paper explains how participatory design research STRUCTURE OF THE PAPERmethods used in design field could be useful ininvolving citizens in their policy making process. As This paper consists of three parts. The first one iswell which particularly design research tools could be describing participatory design research methods andhelpful for better understanding of citizens and their the reason of their existence nowadays (social context).context. Second one discusses how those methods could be usedKeywords in policy making and could contribute to smart peopleUser-driven approach, user-centered design, and smart governance dimension by creatingexperiencing, participatory design research methods, involvement among the citizens.policy making, design research tools, co-creation, Third part explains the importance of understanding thecrowd sourcing, user generated content, context context of the users and citizens and which designmapping, generative sessions. research tools could be useful in policy making process.Topic nr 2.24: e-Participation: Involving citizens 1. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCHINTRODUCTION METHODSThis paper is focusing on the cities where concentrationof development greatly facilitates interaction between Social contextpeople. The report from the “Smart Cities Workshop,Brussels 16th - 17th November 2009” introduces People are skeptical about the methods and goals ofmeaningful factors and figures, namely that “cities play consumerism. They started to realize that throughan ever-more important role in social and economic networking they have an enormous amount of collectivedevelopment. Already today, 50% of the global influence on products and services. They are beginningpopulation lives in the cities, (…) rapid urbanization to use their influence to get what they want, how andcreates huge stresses in developing countries and when they want. People want by expressing themselvesdeveloped countries too have underinvested in cities to participate directly in the design or policyand are feeling the strain in terms of congestion, development process. Ongoing development of co-pollution and land use.” creation, crowd sourcing and user-generated content indicate that the active involvement of users inHowever these problems are also high challenges which innovation is present. Looking from designmake cities the ideal platforms for changes and force management perspective according to Erik Roscamauthorities to innovate. The growing demand for better Abbing there are three general forces that can be held responsible for this development: 1
  2. 2. 1) Social – users have become more critical about what they buy and use, and more involved in their own behavior as consumers. 2) Economic- organizations have discovered that, especially when it comes to innovation, the gate between the business and the outside world should be left open. Innovations based on real needs in the real world have more success and more economic value. 3) Technological- new technologies, social media and web.2.0 have provided the platforms on which organizations and users can share Figure 2. Croud sourcing - insights and ideas and collaboratively explore innovations. User - generated content. This is a method where user is facilitated to create a content and is allowed to share(From Erik Roscam Abbing book ‘Brand-Driven and discuss it publicly. For instanceInnovation’), where Lego gives possibility to design, share and buy personal Lego model. Using the Lego Digital Designer 3 software it is possible to designParticipatory Design Research Methods and and build any model one could imagine. As well, LegoExamples from Design Field: allows to design unique packaging. After uploadingCo-creation. This is a method where user is actively personalized design to the webpage customer can buypresent in product or service creation. User prototypes model through the online Lego Store.and tests product together with internal team. Thisaction takes place in controlled environment, forinstance Nokia Beta Labs is an open user-leadcommunity. Figure 3. User-generated content - 1. Co-creation - sourcing. This means posing a question, anassignment or a challenge to a large number of people,based on ‘the wisdom of crowds’ ( Surowiecki, 2005).Usually takes place in online environment whereparticipants can watch, discuss and compete with eachother. The perfect example is which is anew generation of online service marketplaces. It givessmall companies more opportunities to find specializedexpertise and affordable labor. Main Street businessescan shop in a virtual international bazaar of freelancersto recruit computer programmers in Russia, graphic Figure 4. Designing with user, ‘Involving users in yourdesigners in San Francisco or data analysts in India. design efforts is a trade-off between reach and control over content. The more people you want to reach, the more you have to let go’. (from Brand-Driven Innovation book by E.Roscam Abbing) 2
  3. 3. 2. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN RESEARCH Those platforms contribute to the Smart City METHODS AND POLICY MAKING dimensions, namely two of them: smart people andThe same tendency is present in governmental domain, smart governance. The advantage of participatorywhere ‘public’ is turning into ‘participative’. I think platforms is that people are becoming more consciousthat the same methods mentioned above: co-creation, of their environment and are observing it with greatercrowd sourcing and user-generated content could be interest.used as a source of information for creating the law.Today is the right time for authorities to start innovation 3. THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDINGby creating platforms or forums where citizens could THE CONTEXT OF THE USER/CITIZEN ANDexpress themselves. It could be done not only through USEFUL DESIGN RESEARCH TOOLSsocial media but as well by participating in theworkshops and sharing experience. Citizens could The word context has variety of meanings. In this paperprovide authorities with valuable insights as they are the focus is on the environment surrounding human,experts of their own experience, emotions and have the how people interact with it, understand and experiencebest expertise about their neighborhood. it. By making user experience the source of inspiration designers are coming up with the products and servicesIn business model the whole that are covering the real user needs. Understanding theinteraction with the customer was orchestrated, both context of the citizens and their experiences is crucial ininteraction and service design are developed in a policy making process too. With this approach thebrilliant way. In this case customer is as well a designer government would be able to bring in new legislationswho gets personalized product. However, in most cases which are changing future of citizens for the better. Toinvolving people actively in innovation process does achieve this there are several design tools which couldnot mean that they are designing the end product. It is be borrowed from the design research discipline.crucial to understand user-driven innovation’slimitations. Those methods: co-creation, crowd Design research is an interesting field with many trulysourcing and user-generated content are more design inspiring tools which help to understand the context ofresearch techniques than design techniques. Without the user and which give ability to empathize withdoubt they give rich insights, better understanding of people. In this paper I would like to point out thethe context. Nevertheless they still should be interpret Context mapping technique which was developed atby the organization responsible for the end product. To Delft University of Technology by department ofcapture in other words, research processes provide with Design for Interaction. This technique combines set ofdata (data - raw information that should be analyzed) different tools together. It makes use of cultural probes,which is inspirational but still it should be interpret generative sessions and storyboards. Context mappingthrough lens of right values and norms. Only in that is a research where tacit or latent knowledge is gainedcase it has the capacity to drive innovation. about the context of the use of the product or service. ’Tacit knowledge is that cannot readily expressed inThe same pattern is valid for policy making. The core words. Latent knowledge is knowledge which peopleaspect is to understand user-driven innovation even do not know they possess, they only feellimitations and use outcome of these research methods it.’(Course Reader)as an additional source of information and inspiration.As well, participating in the process, or havingpossibility to express their opinion, citizens would feelactually more involved with the law established byauthorities.According to the report from ‘Smart Cities Workshop,Brussels 16th - 17th November 2009’ there are already anumber of examples of European cities using crowdsourcing method for innovation and increasing theefficiency of operation of the city’s complex ecosystem.For instance, the Forum Virium Helsinki bringstogether corporations, R&D institutions and the City of Figure 5. Different levels of knowledge on experience areHelsinki to create future digital service. Crowd sourcing accessed by different tools (from the Course Reader)communities called Living Labs are present as well in From Figure 5 I would like to point out generativeother cities (Luxemburg, Brussels and others). There is session tool which provides the data about peoplea significant investment in developing participative knowledge, feelings and dreams. This type ofplatforms. Many city-based Living Labs have been information certainly creates empathy with people andmembers of the European Network of Living Labs inspires creators to think of the solutions which make(ENoLL). Living Labs are examples where user-driven life better.innovation is fully integrated with co-creation processof new services, products and social infrastructure. 3
  4. 4. Looking on this tool from the perspective of policy Definitely design research tools for instance contextmakers and how to use it, in the beginning of the mapping could be used by policy makers for designing,research it is crucial for multidisciplinary team to define exploring, experiencing and refining new policies andwhat they want to know and from whom they wish to regulations in real-life scenarios. Those tools could helplearn. On the municipal level this partnership should to evaluate potential impacts of legislations before theirinvolve wide range of organization representatives: implementation. Context mapping ‘is such a powerfulauthority, power companies, transport operators, small method because it deals with people in a very humanand medium enterprises, health services, universities way.’ ( Course Reader, Context mapping p.25) It statesand research centers. However bringing together that user is a specialist in his own experience andinterdisciplinary experts for the generative sessions is a provides participants with creative tools to enable themvery demanding task. to express as individuals.After attending the generative sessions authorities, whoare creators of the law, would have a richerunderstanding of the citizens’ context. Meeting theparticipants, working with them would create empathyas well. Having researcher’s report on the table is notenough as then there is a big loss of valuable REFERENCESinformation.Insights from generative sessions could be used as a 1. Mulder I. (2010) Participeren doe je niet alleen!communication tool to discuss concepts in decision Co`creatie als Drijvende kracht voor leefbaarheid.meetings, especially when important decision have to Informatie, Maandblad voor IT, jaargang 2010,be made, the outcomes of the session could be a oktober. Thema Collaboration, pp. 30`35.convincing argument explaining context of the problem.`content/uploads /2010/10/1008`30Mul.pdf 2. Report from ‘Smart Cities Workshop Brussels 16th-CONCLUSSION 17th November 2009’This paper explained shortly about participatory design methods and tools which are being used in inglabs/docs/smartcities_workshop_report_v1_13l.pdesign field and pointed the link how could they be dfuseful for policy making process. As well it emphasized 3. Roscam Abbing E. (2010) Brand- Driven Innovationthe importance of context understanding in both fields. Book published by AVA Publishing SATo sum up, participatory methods as co-creation, crowd 4. Stappers, P.J., van der Lugt, R., Hekkert, P.P.M., &sourcing and user-generated content have a great Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2005) Context &potential. Because they are still in development, there is Conceptualization Reader. Faculty of Industriala lack of concrete knowledge about such methods. Design Engineering, TU Delft.However the processes happening around at the 5. Van Marissing E.; Bolt G.;Van Kempen R. ‘Cities’moment mean that those social user-driven approaches Journal Article (2006-2008) Urban governance andare our future. Moreover, they not only could provide social cohesion: Effects of urban restricting policieswith information but also could create social cohesion in two Dutch cities. involving citizens in co-creation. 4