30 May 2006

Ten potential pitfalls of participatory design methods

Be the first to share

Mobile Community Design
Jeff Axup writes in his blog Mobile Community Design about ten potential pitfalls in the application of participatory design methods.

“Participatory design (PD) is a design framework and related methods which advocate user involvement in design, and a political stance advocating worker rights. It originated from Scandinavian software development practices in the 1950s and inherits some of the social democratic intentions of that area.

There are a number of positive aspects to PD. Participatory methods are often used in the natural environment of the user (e.g. a workplace) and thus offer high ecological validity and are heavily user centered. Co-designing with real users in realistic situations and environments helps improve the quality of feedback users provide. Frequent iteration between users and designers reduces misconceptions designers make (in part due to insufficient domain experience). Additionally, the social intent of PD to avoid deskilling of workers and create humane products is admirable.

However, some of my recent research and a review of other PD research has revealed a number of potential pitfalls in the application of participatory design methods. There are a range of studies and methods which many researchers agree are PD, however, what is or is not PD is still the subject of debate. Consequently the ten pitfalls discussed in this post do not apply to all PD studies and methods, but would certainly apply to some studies which claim to be PD.”

Read full post

Be the first to share
10 November 2015
Why service design is luxury’s new battleground
Ana Andjelic writes in AdAge that most legacy luxury brands are failing at delivering service, especially online: The fact that most legacy luxury brands fail to successfully create and deliver service is unfortunate. The business of …
10 November 2015
For years, Apple followed user-centered design principles. Then something went wrong.
Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini are taking their gloves off and accuse Apple of abandoning the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, proper mapping, appropriate use of constraints, and, of course, the power to …
5 November 2015
Customer journey mapping is at the heart of digital transformation
Digital technologies such as analytics, mobility, social networks, cloud computing and the Internet of Things are making old ways of working redundant and forcing companies to transform. According to Raman Sapra, global head of Dell’s …
5 November 2015
[Conference] Design & The City, Amsterdam, April 2016
Design & The City explores citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city. Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and …
1 November 2015
User-centred design of the bridge of sea ships
The Rolls-Royce Unified Bridge Design has won this year’s Ergonomics Design Award, presented by the UK Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors. The award recognises industrial design which puts the customer at the heart …
19 October 2015
Inside the mind of the museum-goer
Why do some people spend all day in a gallery while others dash around in an hour? Laurent Carpentier wonders what is the difference between the 3.6% of respondents who reported that they had spent …
13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully
Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015
11 October 2015
[Report] Applying design approaches to policy making
Applying Design Approaches to Policy Making: Discovering Policy Lab Written by Lucy Kimbell Illustrated by Holly Macdonald Published by the University of Brighton September 2015 This report reviews what design-based approaches bring to policy making. It results from an academic …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
See all articles