About Participatory Design
Let’s face it, active involvement of people can help you get much better results. The same is true for web designers. Involving all the team members, end users and other people (associated with your project) in your design process can help make the task a lot more easy and smooth. This eventually helps in creating an opportunity for designers to understand what exactly their users are expecting from their design. One great approach to ensure active involvement of people in your web design process is Participatory Design. No matter whether you’re just a novice or an experienced designer, it is important for you to know what Participatory Design means and how it can prove valuable for you.
What is Participatory Design?
Participatory design previously known as a co-operative design is now referred to as co-design. Basically, it is a process that make people (like employees, end users, partners, etc.) to work together on a design solution. When working on a participatory design, your users become participants, sharing and giving their views and opinion on creating a design.
You can consider Participatory design as a new design movement that shifts from “designing for the user to designing together with your users.” In fact, it can also be called as a new visual design language that enable users to express their views, ideas and feelings about a design that otherwise is difficult to convey through words.
To be more specific, Participatory design is an approach that is gaining popularity among usability specialists and is used for designing software and products. It is also used in several other fields such as graphic design, architecture, etc.
How is Participatory Design Valuable For Web Designers?
Here are some of the major reasons that will help you understand how participatory design proves a valuable tool for web designers:
Help Understand Users’ Needs in a Better Way.
Participatory design sessions give users the essential tools to research, and accordingly create the mockup for any software or a product that they would like to use. Observing users’ designs and their views and explanation on building something in one or the other way can help web designers learn about your users’ needs in a better way – that otherwise couldn’t have been possible simply by interviewing users.
In essence, you get to know what users think about a given problem or technology, and solutions that they expect to receive.
Help Craft a Design That Meet Users Requirements
Often what users say and what they do aren’t the same. And so, you might not fail to create a design that meet your users requirements. However, by giving users the ability to craft their design on their own, will help you surface with a solution that will help you address your users specific needs in the best possible manner.
Participatory Design Doesn’t Really Require Tools
One of the biggest limitation that web designers often face is the unavailability of tools essential for creating designs. But, you don’t require any tools when working on a participatory design session. All you need is your imagination to perform participatory design exercises.
Besides, you can just use your pen and paper to give shape to your design ideas. You can even provide blank versions of any device screen and ask your users to create its UI. In addition, you can provide your users participants with icons and design elements that they could arrange according to their liking and needs.
Enhance Users Experience
Needless to say, since your users can participate in the creative process of creating a web design, it will help boost their experience. Moreover, the ability to give their inputs will convince users to select you as their web designer.
Are you a web designer and having the problem in identifying your users’ needs? In that case, opting for a Participatory Design Session will certainly prove an excellent and valuable opportunity for you to understand and meet your end-user requirements.
Starting such a session will invite all your end-users to participate in the design process, and by observing and listening to them will help you avoid making the design mistakes we often tend to make as designers. But remember to keep your participatory design session as simple as possible, or else it might outweigh your message that you want to convey to your target audience.
Author Bio :
Sophia is a trained WordPress developer working with WordPrax – HTML to WordPress company with global reach. If you’re planning to convert HTML website to WordPress for a brilliant online presence, she can help you. Some stunning articles related to website markup conversions can be found under her name.