Exploration of user involvement and collaboration in a co-design project : a case study

Seppala, LM 2017, Exploration of user involvement and collaboration in a co-design project : a case study , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Introduction

Collaborative design (co-design) is an approach that includes ‘users’ in the design process. This approach is growing in popularity amongst companies seeking to develop a competitive advantage in the field of outdoor clothing and equipment. Health research is steadily developing a substantial evidence base of the effectiveness of public involvement in research, however, in the co-design research field, there is a less developed evidence base concerning user involvement aspects. This qualitative case study presents an exploration of the factors that influence the experience of user involvement in a study utilising a co-design approach. The case concerned is the New Dynamics of Ageing-funded study ‘Design for Ageing Well’, which presented an opportunity to explore both the co-design mechanisms utilised along with the experiences of the individuals involved in the study. They included research team members, project partners (e.g., outdoor clothing manufacturers), User Reference Group members (members of the public) and User Advisory Group members (also members of the public).

Methods

A single case study approach was utilised. Sampling was purposeful, taken from the above four groups of stakeholders. Data collection methods included one-to-one semi-structured interviews (35 people) and non-participant observations (44 total hours).

Findings

This study demonstrated that strong project management, including leadership and change management, is crucial for a successful co-design experience. A clear vision, plus the aim and purpose of the co-design process, need to be communicated to all stakeholders.

The three main factors that impact public involvement in co-design are:

• The facilitator’s knowledge and skills regarding co-design methods and moderation
• Multidisciplinary collaboration
• The management of the co-design setting.

Conclusion

Effective public involvement in co-design research requires suitable leadership, project management, and a clear communication strategy, and attention should be paid to the facilitation and management of the co-design setting. These objectives are best achieved when user needs are heard and embedded in all aspects of the co-design approach.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Depositing User: LM Seppala
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 09:00
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 09:00
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/42558

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