This past week, I was in a meeting with many people across many disciplines. We came together to talk about research. And, without going into any specifics, we landed on the topic of “is this co-design or…?”
I’m sure quite a few of you have heard this question many, many times. As you can imagine, I hear it quite a lot writing this newsletter (and being a user researcher). Ironically, I’ve realized that my inclination is usually to say, “well, not quite.”
As far as participation goes, co-design is pretty far up the ladder
. To borrow from Kelly Ann McKercher, “If you don’t have time to build relationships, you don’t have time for co-design.”
I so often come back to this idea, are we building relationships or are we including people for a moment in time. When I’m doing research, whether peer- or practitioner-led, I imagine we’re moving up the ladder, but are we close to the top?
My point being, it’s a spectrum. And when we talk about participation, we use a lot of jargon (as Nandini shows, in just 105 characters). So, as we reconvene and we start a brand new year, I thought why not reflect on what we mean by the co-word. Join me?