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Leveraging co-creation in global research

Ever had a company-wide brainstorming session - just sharing ideas out loud without thinking about right or wrong? Plain brain sparks, in their rawest form, are often what inspire someone to think about the ‘right thing.’ Brainstorm sessions tend to be the hotbeds of innovation - from designers to coders, account managers to receptionists, everyone has an equal voice at the table. Who’s missing? The audience you’re creating for.

Nikki Lavoie EVP, Innovation & Strategy 28/09/2022
The aim of global research is to get under the skin of the user, and co-creation adds even more depth to that understanding.

Doesn’t it make sense to ask your intended end-user what they think of the product or service? Even better, to ask them what their pain points are and try to solve them? That, ladies and gentlemen, is co-creation.

The aim of global research is to get under the skin of the user, and co-creation adds even more depth to that understanding. It not only allows researchers and product designers to involve that very audience in solving the problem, it provides valuable tools for getting information out of users on subjects that might be complicated to have a conversation about.

For example, have you ever tried talking about online widgets with a self-described technophobe? It can be challenging at best. In a co-creation session, however, you can design tasks that allow you to observe barriers and discomfort first-hand, and design the solutions to overcome them.

Additionally, co-creation can be used to empower your ‘superconsumers’ (a term coined by Yoon). The Lego Ideas platform showcases how such empowerment by those who have become product experts, through their personal experience, can shape new products and services. Co-creation gives consumers a seat at the table and a voice that can lend itself to any part of a product or service lifecycle.

There are several online tools well-equipped to facilitate remote co-creation sessions, for example, Miro, Mural or Figma.

One watch-out to bear in mind is that everyone has limitations. Most of your co-creation participants won’t be users or designers, so sessions should be crafted that provoke creativity, play and fun while also tapping into peoples’ existing knowledge and passion.

Our expert tips to leverage co-creation in global research:

  • Recruit a varied audience for varied opinions and ideas.
  • Ensure stakeholders and in-house experts are also involved (designers, engineers, technologists as well as business owners, and leaders) to help validate that ideas are actually feasible and to help them witness user perception first-hand.
  • Ensure the users are at the head of the table, BUT not alone and not outnumbered. It is important to keep the balance, so everyone has a voice.
  • Use tasks as part of your recruitment process to ensure you’ll have people in the room who are creative and participatory. Not all users are the same! Some audiences can be more hands-on, and even get their hands dirty prototyping (like children and toys!) but others may freeze up with similar tasks.

Remote co-creation sessions are as easy to do nowadays as remote research. If you’re looking for a remote (or face-to-face) methodology for your next study, take a look at our Remote Research Decision Tree.

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