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Co-Design: finding what's underneath an idea

. PeteW

I was leading a number of co-design sessions recently where we had different people co-creating the future of connectivity in the places and spaces they live and work. Roughly speaking, the purpose of co-design is to design with people and immerse with them as they take a particular problem in their lives and ideate solutions around it. The opportunity for design and business, however, is in exploring the solutions being created. People speak in terms of solutions to problems--that's only natural. The real value, however, is in understanding their problems in a deeper and more meaningful way. Why this solution and not that one? What would a particular solution do? What specific aspects are unique and important to a solution? At the end of the day, it's an opportunity to discover details around use, trust, and situational needs. As a business that creates solutions, co-design provides an opportunity to look at ideas in a deeper way, understand the problems they came from, and design new, unique, and relevant solutions. As designers, product managers, and technologists we know what is possible (that's not the job of the customer). Designing with customers helps us focus and find possibilities that would otherwise be invisible.


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