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The benefits of a co-design workshop

Holly Brenan, Jan. 13, 2020

As a core method of primary user research, co-design is a collaborative and creative process of working with your users and stakeholders in the design process to begin taking the first steps to consolidating user insights within the team and validating potential solutions for a product or service.

Co-design workshop

The co-design workshop brings this part of the design process together into a single time-boxed session, typically around three hours in length. Even though it can be a short session, this workshop provides an opportunity to re-focus the team on user needs and to bring together stakeholder insights from across different teams.

Here are just some of the benefits of running a co-design workshop as part of your project:

Increases engagement

Having a number of people involved in this practical session is a good way of increasing engagement across your project. Introducing an active approach to solving problems through interacting with others, hearing different points of view and taking more creative approaches can help people to feel more involved.

Increasing engagement with teams

Gets stakeholders involved in the process

It can often be challenging to engage senior stakeholders across a project as getting time in their diary is sometimes a difficult task. Co-design sessions that take place after the initial round of user research are a great way of checking in, sharing the results of research to date and provide the opportunity to share any ideas that they may have been holding on to.

Gives everyone a contributing voice

Co-design sessions are a great space for everyone’s opinion to be heard. Whether junior or senior, once people see how simple sketches can be and the different ideas that can flourish from this method, sketching as a medium can help people feel more comfortable voicing their opinion.

Giving a contributing voice

Processes and synthesises user research insights

It is a good opportunity for bringing together and synthesising your user research insights. During user research, a lot of information is gathered to help guide the direction of a project and user needs begin to form. Co-design sessions can help the core team to begin thinking about how concepts and prototypes may start beginning to emerge to meet these needs, and refocus them away from thinking about business needs first to user needs first.

Involves your users

Holding a co-design workshop with a group of your users is a great way of hearing their thoughts and ideas, supporting your approach to identifying their needs. Enabling people to put pen to paper provides the opportunity to generate a wide range of different ideas, directly from their perspective, to take forward. Inviting your stakeholders to attend this session can also be a powerful opportunity for them to hear directly from your users.

These are just some of the benefits of running a co-design workshop. Try piloting a single session to see the benefits this method can have for your next project.