I was (incredibly) fortunate to work for many years at a progressive non-profit organisation that used evidence, technology – and participatory design – as core tenants of service development and delivery. This was something that had been ingrained as part of the organisation’s culture and business plans.
I now work at an organisation that has come late to the online space and have no understanding of the benefits and necessity of the involvement of their clients. I find myself having to convince colleagues – and the organisation – why we should be growing and improving our online presence and service, and doing so with users meaningfully involved. I’m surprised at how difficult I’m finding this – and how frustrating.
Perhaps participatory design isn’t as wide-spread as I assumed – and is still mostly confined to web and marketing companies. For me, it’s about going back to basics, and explaining the benefits of this strategy on budget and outcomes (erm, once they are identified, but that’s another post!). Given that my PhD will be using participatory methodology, I guess this a great opportunity for me to get a more detailed understanding of the evidence (is there any??! – is it more of a intuitive kinda of idea at the moment).