Workshop: Co-design: Practices, Challenges and Lessons Learned

On September 2, 2008 -- 9.00-17.30 hours
During MobileHCI 2008, September 2-5, 2008 in Amsterdam.

If you are accepted as a participant for this workshop, you will receive a password to enter the "participants-only" website, where you will find a list of participants and links to their positioning papers.


This workshop is about practices of co-design. We are interested in all sorts of efforts of researchers and designers to cooperate constructively with end-users and to let them influence our projects. Ideally, end-users are involved throughout a project and have active and diverse roles. With co-design we mean to include: user involvement, human-centred design approaches and approaches to constructively cooperating with customers, with people with technical backgrounds and with other stakeholders. We propose to focus on practices and on the relation between theory (or prescription) and practice (or description). We invite practitioners to write and talk about their practices and about challenges and limitations which they encounter in their practices. Within the scope of the MobileHCI 2008 conference we will focus on co-design for developing mobile products or services and user evaluation in (mobile) contexts. Co-design for mobile applications is especially challenging because people use these in different and unpredictable contexts and for communication and cooperation, which introduces all sorts off social-cultural issues.

Goals of the workshop

  • to make explicit, share and discuss experiences from practices;
  • to critically reflect on these practices;
  • to jointly articulate lessons learned.

Workshop organizers

Jenny de Boer, TNO Information and Communication Technology
Liliane Kuiper-Hoyng, TNO Information and Communication Technology
Froukje Sleeswijk Visser, Delft University of Technology
Marc Steen, TNO Information and Communication Technology (or www.marcsteen.nl)


What we mean with co-design

The topic of this workshop is the practice of co-design. We are interested in all sorts of efforts of researchers and designers to interact and cooperate constructively with end-users – to provide them an active role and influence in their project. Ideally, end-users are involved throughout a project and have active and diverse roles. The ultimate goal of user involvement is to deliver system requirements, which can lead to a system which better matches end-users’ needs and preferences [2]. We define co-design in the broadest sense to include all aspects of user involvement and human-centred design.

User involvement means that, ideally, end-users are involved in the entire innovation project, e.g. also at the beginning, during the articulation of scope and goal of the project, during the processes of design and evaluation, and also at the end of the project, during evaluation of the designed product or service in end-users’ daily life and work contexts [2].

Human-centred design (HCD) can be characterized by four principles: 1) active involvement of users for a clear understanding of user and task requirements; 2) appropriate allocation of functions between users and technology; 3) iteration of design and evaluation processes; and 4) multi-disciplinary approach [1]. Co-design can be applied within different HCD approaches: in approaches which are meant to enable end-users to participate in research and design activities, such as participatory design, the lead user approach or generative tools, and in approaches which are meant to enable researchers or designers to understand end-users and their contexts and experiences, such as ethnographic fieldwork, contextual design and empathic design. If these approaches are conducted with high levels of user involvement they can be considered as co-design practices [4]. We use the word co-design to cover all sorts of user involvement or HCD.

We propose that co-design is not only about interacting and cooperating constructively with customers, but also with people with technical backgrounds and with other stakeholders. Ideally, co-design is about people with different backgrounds and skills who interact and cooperate constructively with each other – in such a way that their different interests and goals are served simultaneously. A designer knows how to organise a design process and brings her visualization skills. An end-user brings his daily life or work experiences and also ideas for a solution. A developer brings technical know-how and may question the project scope. The power of co-design is that it can prevent many of the communication problems that occur in traditional development teams when the work is organised sequentially or in parallel, but not simultaneously.

Within line of the scope of the MobileHCI 2008 conference the workshop will focus on co-design for developing mobile products or services. Practicing co-design for mobile applications is especially challenging because people use these in different and unpredictable contexts and for communication and cooperation. As a consequence, researchers and designers will have to take into account all sorts of experiences which people will have in different contexts and all sorts of social-cultural aspects related to communication and cooperation. Moreover, we propose to pay attention to context on several levels: e.g. the context in which a co-design project is organized and conducted, including different stakeholders, or the context in which end-users live or work and their experiences, or the practical context of using a mobile product or service in a specific context.

References

[1] ISO, ISO 13407: Human-Centred Design Processes for Interactive Systems. Geneva: ISO, 1999.
[2] Kujala, S., "User involvement: a review of the benefits and challenges," Behaviour and Information Technology, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 1-17, Jan.2003.
[3] Muller, M. J., "Participatory Design: The third space in HCI," in The human-computer interaction handbook: fundamentals, evolving technologies and emerging applications. J. Jacko and A. Sears, Eds. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002, pp. 1051-1068.
[4] Steen, M., Kuijt-Evers, L., and Klok, J., "Early user involvement in research and design projects – A review of methods and practices," 2007.


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changed August 14, 2008