You’ve probably heard of the terms ‘co design’ and ‘co creation’ before. But what lies behind the two concepts? Are they in fact the same thing, and if not, what then separates them from each other? We will be looking into that in the following, as well as why you should consider incorporating them into your business or organisation.

The difference between co design and co creation

Although the two terms are quite similar in many ways, there are some differences. To understand those differences, a thorough understanding of the two terms is needed. 

What is co design?

Co design, also known as co-operative design or participatory design, is an approach to design experiences, solutions and/or products in which stakeholders, such as employees, partners, customers and end-users, are treated as equal collaborators in the design process. In other words, co design is a design process aimed at actively and intentionally involving relevant stakeholders in the design process to ensure that the outcome meets their needs. 

What is co creation?

Co-creation has very different definitions depending on the context. Co-creation in business is used as a strategic advantage to give employees, customers, end-users and more, a seat at the design table to build better products, services, solutions and experiences together. It is, in short, a collaborative development of new value. Most companies and organisations keep their design- and product development process strictly internal, but with co-creation, the stakeholders are invited in.

The difference

The similarities of the two concepts are obvious. Both concepts seek to exploit the knowledge and expertise of the stakeholders to design the best possible products, services or experiences by involving them in the design process.  

However, there are actually some differences between the two. When it comes to co creation, the stakeholders have a more active role and direct involvement in the different phases of the design process. Whereas in co design, ideas and thoughts of the stakeholders are primarily submitted, and the stakeholders are rarely part of the actual production of the product or service. In contrast, co-creation seeks to encompass the entire process of design and production. 

Why co design or co create?

The complex challenges our world faces are far too great to be handled alone. Whether you chose to incorporate co design or co creation, both concepts bring in new viewpoints to help your business disrupt itself, thus making better solutions.

Learn more about Co-creation & Co-design through our two-day course, Co-Creation Design. Get further information by clicking here.

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