In September 2011, Waag Society published a book titled ‘Users as Designers’. In this publication Waag Society describes its approach to research and development. Users as Designers is the main design philosophy of Waag Society. It states that real users should be the ones to define design requirements. When the user and designer work together according to this design philosophy, they both take on multiple roles throughout the design process.
The ‘Users as Designers’ philosophy relies strongly on empathy, subjectivity of interpretation, personal intuition, human interaction and trust, with research integrated in the development process and development being the focus of its research.
By involving prospective users in the design process, the results are likely to bring meaningful perspectives and options into the hands of people. This leads to better systems that are designed with the user in mind. Adoption and appropriation of the results become far more likely than by using traditional methods of development.
In this publication, Waag Society focuses on a hands-on description of its methods. Hereby, we hope to spread the use of Users as Designers; improve our own understanding by sharing and learning from the responses, and eventually sowing and growing seeds of change that we hope will flourish.
‘Users as Designers’ is published under a Creative Commons license and can be downloaded from their website.
Users as Designers, A hands-on approach to Creative Research, 56 pages. In English.