Co-Design as a Driver of Change

Anna Sigridur Islind


Work is increasingly being transformed due to technological advancement. However, designing and developing digital artifacts and incorporating them into existing work practices can be a challenge. This paper takes the point of departure from two co-design processes, i.e., design processes where the end-users were heavily involved in the co-design in longitudinal action research projects. Both co-design processes were conducted within healthcare, and both included the design of mobile applications, one from home care and the other from cancer rehabilitation. The research question explored in this paper is: What kind of change does participation in co-design offer? The findings show that co-design is a driver of change in general and that participation in a co-design process, when designing digital artifacts in healthcare in particular, has significant impact on the participants involved and their work. The paper offers novel insights into co-design as a driver of change, illustrated through conceptualization of three entangled processes of co-design transformation: i) increased digital competences and digital awareness; ii) enabling tacit and invisible work tasks to become explicit, and; iii) cultivating reflections as an integrated part of work, even after the participation in the co-design process is completed.

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