Tools And Methods To Utilize Participatory UX Design
Participatory design is, as the name may suggest, a brilliant way to create products and concepts. It involves inclusion of all the people most important to (and most affected by) the end-product, such as investors, the offshore development team and even the users who will purchase and use the product once it has been created, ensuring that a design is feasible, completed and, perhaps most importantly, suitable for the target audience.
Participatory design is an almost fail-proof way to create products, since everyone is consulted and can have their say, and this will all culminate into an amazing end product. However, how can you take advantage of participatory UX design - what methods should you use, and what tools are available to you? A compilation of helpful information is below, to guide you on your way to participatory UX design mastery.
“So, you know that participatory design is a great idea, and you’re prepared to put in the effort and spend the resources needed to make it work, but how do you actually put it into practice for your UX design?” Jake Fisher, a UI mobile designer at Essayroo and OXEssays, asks. “There are several methods available to you. For example, you could set up a workshop with your customers, and work with them over several sessions of exercises like brainstorming their interests and what they think your company should be focusing on. Offering customers working prototypes of your on-going developmental projects is another idea, then asking for feedback and changing the design based on what they respond with.”
There is no one way to integrate participatory UX design into your company. It may be worthwhile to sit down your immediate team and work out which methods would be most convenient, and if any of your members have experience with certain methods. Asking your customers for pictures of them using your products with relevant comments and details is a good method for if you’ve already created products and are looking to create a new one, but it won’t work for a new company if you haven’t actually created any products to get feedback on yet.
At the end of the day, you have to work with your individual UX design team, and make sure that you do what is right for you. With the amount of methods out there, and the many unique ideas which you could create within your own team, you’ll always have some way to collect customer feedback which can impact on your development.
Similar to the methods for participatory UX design, the only real limits to the tools that you use for gathering information and opinions from different members of the participatory design team are your imagination, and your plans for the methods which you will be using. “Depending on which ideas you go with, you’ll definitely need different resources,” Charlotte Burge, a UX analyst at Boomessays and Academized, says, “and these ‘tools of the trade’ can range from the tame (plain old pen and paper, or maybe a whiteboard and marker, for brainstorming) to the slightly out-of-the-ordinary (Lego for building scenes or maps and Plasticine for locational developments).
It all depends on what your company focuses on - and it depends on you as an individual! If you think that having a working group write down their ideas on sticky notes is a good idea, and will get you the results that you want, then go for it!”
Keeping in mind your budget and the plans that you have for your participatory UX design methods, you can create or purchase some very inventive tools for your plans, and make sure that your investors, customers and design team all feel like they’re investing a good amount into the development of the product. Keeping everyone ‘in the loop’ with group workshops and activities, and even splitting off into smaller, diverse groups to do the actual work, can work wonders, and pull up some brilliant ideas that your design team alone wouldn’t have been able to come up with.
Aimee Laurence specializes in mobile technology, working in the IT field, and enjoys nothing more than improving a user’s individual experience with technology. Working as a writer at Essay Services and Student Writing Services, she can help people all around the world learn more about how apps are designed, developed and distributed, and Aimee can carefully craft articles at Top Canadian Writers about her passions and interests, making it a very enjoyable part of her life.