How was it for you? Experiences of participatory design in the UK health service

BOWEN, Simon, MCSEVENY, Kerry, LOCKLEY, Eleanor, WOLSTENHOLME, Dan, COBB, Mark and DEARDEN, Andy (2013). How was it for you? Experiences of participatory design in the UK health service. CoDesign, 9 (4), 230-246.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/15710882.2013.846384


Improving co-design methods implies that we need to understand those methods, paying attention to not only the effect of method choices on design outcomes, but also how methods affect the people involved in co-design. In this article, we explore participants' experiences from a year-long participatory health service design project to develop ‘Better Outpatient Services for Older People’. The project followed a defined method called experience-based design (EBD), which represented the state of the art in participatory service design within the UK National Health Service. A sample of participants in the project took part in semi-structured interviews reflecting on their involvement in and their feelings about the project. Our findings suggest that the EBD method that we employed was successful in establishing positive working relationships among the different groups of stakeholders (staff, patients, carers, advocates and design researchers), although conflicts remained throughout the project. Participants' experiences highlighted issues of wider relevance in such participatory design: cost versus benefit, sense of project momentum, locus of control, and assumptions about how change takes place in a complex environment. We propose tactics for dealing with these issues that inform the future development of techniques in user-centred healthcare design.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1080/15710882.2013.846384
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2013 09:50
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 21:57

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