Over the past few weeks here at AC4D we have been and discussing and analyzing readings* from various designers and researchers regarding the role of the user in the design process.
As part of the discussion we were asked to reduce the readings down and plot them on a 2-axis chart. One axis of the chart is dedicated to defining the authors view on the role of the user in the design process. The other axis is up for the student to define. Here is my chart:
The readings addressed the full range of user involvement in design research. On one side we find the more traditional role of Observational Design (Designing For) where the designer observes behavior and makes improvements to an existing product. On the opposite end of the scale we have Co-Design (Designing With). As Liz Sanders states, Co-Design is the “act of collective creativity that is experience jointly by two or more people… applied across the whole span of a design process”.
Throughout the readings the authors offer varying degrees of structure in the design process. On one end of the scale you have Jane Fulton Suri of IDEO who lays out a 10-part process for research and synthesis; on the other you have designers like Chris Le Dantec who engage the process of design more actively and let the process itself define the steps that need to be taken.
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