The roles of thedesigner, the client (orproducer, ormanufacturer) and theuser are being shakenup in industrialpractices that have,until now, beenoriented mainlytowards massproduction. What is it about?
No-designers becomingYes-DesignersSome of the most Usersimportant ambitions ofOpen Design is to breakdown the barriersbetween designers andend-users, making itpossible for non-designers becomedesigners. Designers
No-designers becomingYes-DesignersHow?Having end users fabricate theproducts they need, like a craft.New, craft-based industries are makingtheir business, either locally orientedor operating globally over the internet.
No-designers becomingYes-DesignersBut...Is it possible that open designcan be used for making morecomplex products, such aswashing machines, cars andjet planes?
Things are changingThe roles of designer, client, user andend user are being shaken up in thesemore complex areas of design andproduct development.The designer is no longer ‘the creativeguy’The user is not anymore only a‘passive, un-critical consumer’The roles between these two arestarting to change and mix into newways.
How this roles are changing?The traditional division of roles in thedesign process are changing.One way is to call tech-savvy userscontribute to the process of generatingsolutions, and develop new features forproducts.Other way is context mapping,involving end users as experts in theirown experience, in order to help thembecome competent partners within thedesign team.
Co-creationCo-creation indicates acollaborative creative effort,either large or small, and oftenlocalized.How is co-creation differentfrom collaboration? It is aspecial case of collaborationwhere the intent is to createsomething that is not knownin advance.Is asking the user: What canwe create for you?
Co-designCo-design refers to co-creationused in the course of thedesign process, preferablyfrom beginning to end, across According to Churchman:the whole span of a design "(Co-design) begins when first you view the worldprocess. through the eyes of another."The article focuses on contextmapping, a specific aspect ofco-design, in which end usersare assigned the role of expertinformant.Is asking the user: How canwe create this product foryou?
Different rolesThe traditional view of design identifies three roles:The user, who buys and will live with the productThe designer, who conceives the productThe client, who manufactures and distributes the product.For instance, the client conducts market research, spots an opportunity in the market,gives a brief to the designer which specifies design requirements, and expects to receive aconcept design in return.
But now the roles are changing...In co-creation, roles and responsibilities which had previouslybeen thought of as separate are interacting, merging, or evenbeing swapped back and forth between the parties; some roles aredisappearing in the form in which we knew them, and new rolesare appearing.
Why are these roles changing?The people controlling the design process are seeing that the user can be a source of valuable input, not just a channel for directing output.
Users are getting savvierThe internet has made it possible forusers to be more informed, giving themopportunities to be involved and have asay in what is made for them.
Designers getting savvier tooThe designer is becoming an hybridthat has to incorporates more andmore areas of expertise: part creator,part researcher, part facilitator, partprocess manager.The key is that designers find their ownarea of experitise.
Design clients are diversifyingEveryday problems and complexproblems are claiming more and betterdesign solutions.Large projects as the design ofhospitals, or services involve multipleclients at the same time and from verydifferent areas. Lets make a hospital! Who is the client?They want solution-oriented thinking. - The government - The ministries involvedReferred to collectively as ‘service - The sponsorsdesign’ or ‘design thinking’,). - The construction companySOLVE MY PROBLEM NOW!
The relationships between thedesigners, users and clients arechanging.
The designer–client relationshipThe designer–client relationship is no longer as simple asProblem → concept design → solutionIn the Dashboard User Guide, Stevens & Watson distinguish 5degrees:1. prescribing (one concept to deliver on the brief)2. menu (several concepts to choose from)3. co-creation DIY (collaboration as equals)4. assistance (the client receiving design coaching and help),5. DIY (the client does the design while the designer observes andinterjects comments as needed).
The client–user relationshipThe client–user relationshipis opening up in open designand meta-design.In open design, Ronen Kadushinmanufacturing options arebecoming widespread andaccessible.In meta-design, products aremade with sufficientadaptability to leave anumber of final designchoices to the user. Crocs
The designer–user relationshipThe designer–userrelationship is openingup strongly throughoutthe entire design process.Frequently, users canparticipate in correctingthe design, providingideas for solutions, orevaluating concepts.They are rarely involvedin deciding what will bemade (as would be thecase of participatorydesign).
How they started paying attentionThe complaints department inmany companies was the placethat received most input fromthe users, in the form ofreturned products.In many cases, the productwas returned not because of aproduct defect, but becausethe user could not figure outhow to operate it, or becauseof disappointment.
How it evolvedIn the 80s and 90s,consultations withusers moved up earlierand earlier, firstadvancing throughsales and marketing,then usability testing,and finally conceptevaluation.This helped companieslaunch better productsby eliminatingproblems earlier in thedesign process.
What is context mapping?Context mapping methodhelp users to observe andreflect on parts of theirlives, and to use thesereflections in making a‘map’ that reflects thevarious facets of theirexperiences.This map provides thedesign team withinformation, inspirationand empathy, feedingfurther development ofthe concept design into aproduct
Principles of context mappingThe approach is built on four main principles:1. Users are involved as the experts on their own experience.2. By self-observation and reflection is possible to extract the mostimportant points of their expertise.3. The design team uses the information on the context of use likea map: it should provide multifaceted, rich and supportive leads toexplore the experiential context.4. Facilitating this process requires a mixture of designcompetencies and research skills (where is the solution, how can itbe made)
ExampleThe example on the book is based on aproject of a company that offered a largerange of hearing protectors.The brainstorming sessions about whichproduct to make where made by one agency,the concept was build by another and thetechnical design by another; and thenhanded back to the main company (note allthe specializations of different designagencies)To be able to step into the shoes of theusers, designers made a context mappingstudy and after that, an experiment.After doing this they found new directionsfor innovation at different levels.
ConclusionsAbout the roles in the design processIn many industries, they know thatthe traditional separation of rolesmust change, and is changing little bylittle, but is not easy.Why it is not easy to change?… they dont have enough money ordont know how much it costs (tobring users to help)… they dont know how a gooddesign approach can contribute… they lack of innovative user-driven attitudes.
ConclusionsAbout companies putting this change of rolesin practiceIt is more difficult for the larger industries- user participation in their research budgetsbut- design process are connected only throughformal documents and fail in having a richcommunication.For smaller companies, who have muchsmaller budgets,- often build a stronger relationship with theirusers.- they may not count with the aid ofappropriate methods (tech/money problem)