How can you combine the best of both worlds and have lived experience and professional expertise combine to ensure that you are creating the best products and services?
In the past experts have been seen as the best people to be involved in creating solutions. Not capturing the lived experience (experience living with what you are designing to solve) has meant that while solutions can look great on paper, the people actually using the products or services are still not really having their needs met and they can feel like they have no voice.
According to Tim Brown, author, CEO of IDEO and Design Thinking advocate;
“What we need are new choices-new products that balance the needs of individuals and of society as a whole; new ideas that tackle the global challenges of health, poverty, and education; new strategies that results in differences that matter and a sense of purpose that engages everyone affected by them”
Co-design also referred to as participatory design, involves the end users in the design process so not only do they have the opportunity to provide feedback and have their needs captured, they are actively involved in the design process every step of the way.
Having the ability to co-create solutions recognises the value that lived experience brings to the design process, and is one step beyond having empathy for the people you are designing for.