Enhancing service development and service delivery through co-design

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Busayawan Lam Brunel University, UK

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Andy Dearden Sheffield Hallam University, UK

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Co-design has the potential to help voluntary organisations deliver better services, since it encourages users to co-create services that will be delivered to them. However, the extent of codesign practice in the voluntary sector is unknown. Thus, our research investigated the current state of knowledge of co-design in this sector. A mixed-methods approach, including an online survey and interviews, was employed. The results showed that levels of understanding of co-design among respondents varied greatly. While some participants have successfully applied co-design, others have not heard of it. Iterative prototyping, which is a central feature of most design approaches, was rarely applied by voluntary organisations when designing services. Where organisations were making use of designers, this tended to be in specialist domains, for example web design, but emerging disciplines such as service design were unfamiliar to most respondents. Lack of awareness and understanding may be a major reason for the slow adoption of this approach.

Busayawan Lam Brunel University, UK

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Andy Dearden Sheffield Hallam University, UK

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Voluntary Sector Review
An international journal of third sector research, policy and practice