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Having a rich understanding of what users think, feel, and believe is vital to good design work. Beyond listening to what users say and observing what they do, we gain valuable insight by inviting them into the design process and paying attention to what they make and how they make it. Participatory design is about designing with users—not just for them.
In this course, we explore the theory, implications, and practice of participatory design, experiment with participatory methods and approaches, and discuss how, when, and why to employ them.
Through interactive discussions and collaborative activities, we will cover topics including:
We will introduce you to the concept of participatory design and how it can be useful in the development of products, services, and programs. Through group activities, we explore a range of tools and techniques that invite different forms of engagement and input from the users and stakeholders of our designs. We will compare and contrast these approaches and consider how they may be applicable in our respective roles in government.
You will leave the course with a practical vocabulary, critical awareness, and basic set of methods to facilitate participatory design activities at your organization.
We welcome any anyone and everyone—with or without previous design experience—to join us for this course.
Having a basic familiarity with human-centered design is helpful but is not a prerequisite.
Online courses use Zoom for audio and screensharing and Mural as a collaborative, online workspace. You do not need to create accounts or download any programs in order to access these technologies. More information and instructions will be shared prior to the course.
Contact Hours: 4
"As someone who thinks they know something about participatory design, I really valued some of the elemental building blocks, references to work that I wasn't familiar with, and the menu of strategies that were featured in the activities."