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When are we empowering users,
and when are we just being
lazy?
Katherine Benjamin
@mskatiebenjamin
Can't someone else do i...
It always seems impossible until
it's done
Nelson Mandela
Why
should I care about
empowerment?
What is empowerment?
Hint: the clue is in the word
Empowerment
1)  the process of enhancing the capacity of
individuals or groups to make choices and
2)  to transform those ...
Dominant groups
seldom voluntarily
relinquish power
without vociferous
demands from the
excluded
Campbell & Cornish (2010)
Empowerment in the
digital age
You can't change what you
don't know
1 in 4
Ipsos Healthcare. (2015)
1 in 20
Google (2015)
more information isn't
always good
Marteau, Dormandy and Michie (2001)
The opportunity
60 to 70 per cent of premature
deaths are caused by behaviours
that could be changed
Schroefer (2007)
From nebulous to nuanced
(in two easy steps)
1. quantify
Health Confidence Score
1.  Knowledge
2.  Self-management
3.  Navigation
4.  Involvement Tim Benson and R-Outcomes Ltd 201...
2. Empowerment by process,
product, or both?
User-testing and co-
production are interelated, but
not interchangeable
Co-production is empowering
Necessity is the
mother of
invention
	
  
Tell me and I forget
Show me and I remember
Involve me and I understand
Questions?
@mskatiebenjamin
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UCD15 Talk - Katherine Benjamin - "Can't someone else do it? When are we empowering users, and when are we just being lazy?"

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Digital health services are meant to empower users to manage their own health, and lead to better informed, more engaged patients. To this end, user centred design has incredible potential to support people towards healthier lives, and alleviate pressure on health systems. However, to what extent has the rhetoric of empowerment in the context of technology been diluted to the point that when we speak of "empowering users", what we really mean is "let's get the service user to do our job for us" .

While it is easy to become disillusioned with erosion of the empowerment agenda's activist roots, user centred design, by its very nature, allows for a fundamental change in power dynamics between service users and service providers. This presentation will apply a social psychological lens to academic theory, industry best practice, and real-world stories outlining the intersection between empowerment and digital design.

Published in: Design
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UCD15 Talk - Katherine Benjamin - "Can't someone else do it? When are we empowering users, and when are we just being lazy?"

  1. 1. When are we empowering users, and when are we just being lazy? Katherine Benjamin @mskatiebenjamin Can't someone else do it?
  2. 2. It always seems impossible until it's done Nelson Mandela
  3. 3. Why should I care about empowerment?
  4. 4. What is empowerment? Hint: the clue is in the word
  5. 5. Empowerment 1)  the process of enhancing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and 2)  to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes (World Bank)
  6. 6. Dominant groups seldom voluntarily relinquish power without vociferous demands from the excluded Campbell & Cornish (2010)
  7. 7. Empowerment in the digital age
  8. 8. You can't change what you don't know
  9. 9. 1 in 4 Ipsos Healthcare. (2015)
  10. 10. 1 in 20 Google (2015)
  11. 11. more information isn't always good Marteau, Dormandy and Michie (2001)
  12. 12. The opportunity
  13. 13. 60 to 70 per cent of premature deaths are caused by behaviours that could be changed Schroefer (2007)
  14. 14. From nebulous to nuanced (in two easy steps)
  15. 15. 1. quantify
  16. 16. Health Confidence Score 1.  Knowledge 2.  Self-management 3.  Navigation 4.  Involvement Tim Benson and R-Outcomes Ltd 2015 www.r-outcomes.com
  17. 17. 2. Empowerment by process, product, or both?
  18. 18. User-testing and co- production are interelated, but not interchangeable
  19. 19. Co-production is empowering
  20. 20. Necessity is the mother of invention  
  21. 21. Tell me and I forget Show me and I remember Involve me and I understand
  22. 22. Questions? @mskatiebenjamin

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