Co-Design: the practice of bringing user ideas closer to the minds of designers

Co-Design: the practice of bringing user ideas closer to the minds of designers

22 March 2015,   By ,   0 Comments

Co-design: an introduction

Designers and developers coming up with something new have now clung on to co-designing. This practice enables users to become an active part of the creative development of any new product by closely interacting with the designing and research teams.

The activities included under the idea of co-design can support varying levels of participation, which is driven by the external figures involved ranging from specific moments to ones in which the entire process is considered. It’s all about bringing users closer to the designers and helping them together create product which are successful and accepted with greater response.

Why the need for co-design emerged?

It’s been seen that designers are not the end users of a product and more often than not they create products which have almost zero user involvement. This means products designed do not involve any understanding of the users and designers cannot even anticipate how the same will be received by the users. In all, it’s a risky affair and most products designed this way experience market failures.

The emergence of co-design concept has enhanced greatly the percentage of successful product creation, which is done only after figuring out who will use the product and for what purpose. This has driven problem solving and has taken the whole cycle a step further, ensuring maximum success and minimum rejection.

Co-designing: a user involving designing process

This practice is based on User-Centered Design approach that enhances the success ratio of product management. The process works by interacting, closely observing and understanding what users actually need and thus brings target users inside the designing cycle for products. The approach is a win-win situation for both manufacturers and users which avoids the time and money which is spend on the fixing of loopholes later.

Co-designing has now embedded roots in the designing cycle deeply and finds use in every stage of the process but especially while idealizing and conceptualizing. Designers after partnering with users get an opportunity to acquire knowledge, idea and concepts on products which can assist in best serving the users.

Where does co-designing finds use?

Below mentioned are some examples of research and designing methods which now involve the process of co-designing greatly.

  • Collage designing
  • Creation of mind maps of abstract concepts, processes, events, experiences, routines and systems
  • In creating storyboards for any intended purpose and niche
  • In designing inspiration cards of different themes
  • In the process of modeling which involves creating mockups of tangible products, experiences or spaces
  • In processes like paper prototyping and sketching

A final word

An assumption which is based on the concept of co-design is that when design professionals and targeted users will create solutions together, the final outcome will be more apposite and acceptable to the user. This will thus lead to erasing the extra time and money which is spent on making revisions and improvements in the product that has already been designed.

Blue Spice & Co-design

Blue Spice uses co-design approach and encourages the blurring of the role between user and designer, focusing on the process by which the design objective is created.

We work closely with our customers, factories, users and design centers, for them to become an active part of the creative development of any new product.


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