Co-Creation: 5 Questions Answered

Author: Manon Dubreuil

We asked one of our UX experts five questions about co-creation. Jaap works as a Lead UX Designer and has been part of the Emakina Team since 2014. He is currently responsible for our clients Heineken and Omron.

When asked why co-creation is so important in the design process, Jaap says:

“When we speak about co-creation we mean working with our clients or with the end-consumer, or both. There are a lot of benefits to co-creation, one of them being increased efficiency. You get the right information in the right moment, from the right people. Moreover, you are in alignment with the organization, and with their stakeholders. The quality of the insights that you collect from the end-consumer is just really high.”

What kind of co-creations are there?

You could do a co-creation session with your client to get insights on business, on their knowledge of the product, of their brand and on their marketing. You can also do co-creation with the end-consumer. You can, for instance, have a journey mapping session with your end-consumer. Normally, you would have to arrange interviews that leave you with a big pile of data, that you then have to translate into customer journey insights by identifying the customers emotions, their way of thinking and feeling plus the pains and gains, but if you invite them and do a co-creation journey mapping session, you can do all of the above really efficiently in one session, and the quality of the insights are as good.

In what kind of projects and project phases can you use co-creation?

Co-creation can be used in every phase of the project, for example in the insight phase to have all the insight from a business perspective, from a marketing perspective, from a brand perspective, from a product perspective but also from a customer perspective. In this case the end-consumer could be included. In the execution phase it is as important, for validation of the product and to see if everything works as you planned it. Even when we start optimizing and experimenting with new features, we can use co-creation again.

Can you give us some best practices of using co-creation?

Before having a co-creation session it’s really important to know what topic you are going to address, so the right people can be invited. You have to ask yourself, is it the end-consumer I am interested in, or my client, and also which people from the client do I need to invite? Do I need marketing people, business people or perhaps product specialists to answer my questions? It is equally important to define the type of session, will it be a creative session, to do idea generation and sketching, or is the session about validating, because you need different people for each session. I think it’s important that you bring in the right input for the session. If you have research, it needs to be ready upfront. Another best practice is to have a facilitator that knows about design processes and that knows how to motivate people. A lot of people that are not typically part of design processes tend to think that they can not draw, or they have a fear of drawing. It is thus really important to motivate people to participate. Lastly, it is good to remember that even after a  co-creation session, you need to validate if your solution is really the best solution.

How does journey mapping work in co-creation?

When you are doing journey mapping in co-creation, you invite your customer and ask them, for example, to buy a product online. By mapping all the specific phases in the journey, and take a closer look, you get a good sense of what they think and feel throughout to process. It results in better insights on how to address those feelings and thoughts in your design. A good example of this practice is from our client Omron. Omron is a healthcare company that produces measuring devices. Let’s say you have high blood pressure, then Omron has a device you can use to measure your blood pressure with. A great insight here was that people who have high blood pressure don’t want to feel like a patient, thus it is really important to make the product normal. Based on such insights, you could adjust your photography, or even your whole content strategy and put it in the right context. In this specific case, instead of putting the product in a doctor’s office, it could be presented on a table at home, to make it feel like a normal device, no different from your phone.

Want to know more?

If you would like to receive more information about co-creation sessions with your clients, or if you would like to discuss other prevalent topics, please feel free to connect with our team.

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