What is Design With and who is it for?
Design With is an online guide created to help people working on social issues—whether community groups, civil society organizations, or governments—develop effective strategies, policies, and services in collaboration with the people who will be affected by them.
Design With provides a framework for how to effectively apply co-design in pursuit of this goal, and is open to all practitioners interested in co-design as a creative approach to problem-solving.
No background in design is required to engage with the guide, but the materials are framed for people who are currently working on multi-stakeholder initiatives, including by means of stakeholder engagement, public consultation, community development/organizing, and other methods.
For more on what this course is and why we made it, see the About page.
What exactly is co-design, anyway?
Co-design draws inspiration from the fields of human-centered design, community organizing, and citizen engagement. It is a process for developing products, initiatives, and strategies directly with eventual users and the partners and staff who will deliver them.
In our experience, co-design, when done well, is the surest process for creating effective and sustainable products, initiatives, and strategies.
By enabling stakeholders to define problems and the approaches to them, co-design reveals otherwise unknowable paths. It evokes user experiences, addresses the motivations of partners, and considers all the operational details of implementers’ daily work that can make (or break) an initiative. With these perspectives in the room, co-design increases the sustainability of final solutions by developing a smarter intervention, designing for people’s actual needs and preferences, and increasing implementers’ investment and ability to successfully execute.
Do I have to pay to use Design With?
The online and email versions of Design With are free and open to anyone interested in learning more about co-design.
How much time will Design With take?
Design With consists of five modules to accompany you along the co-design process. Each module includes a mix of resources, including essays, podcasts, illustrative case studies, hands-on tools, and reflective exercises.
Since it was built as an interactive guide and resource rather than a traditional online course, you can spend as little or as much time on it as you like. You can treat it as a resource that you dip into selectively as questions come up in your work, or follow it online chronologically through a single co-design process.
A third option is to sign up to receive each module by email, directly to your inbox. You can set the emails to arrive daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, meaning that the modules would arrive in your inbox over the course of one, five, or ten weeks.
I’ve read all the materials and I want more. Is there more?
In 2020, Reboot plans to pilot a praxis version of Design With, which will involve more hands-on coaching and active participation. If you are interested in this level of support or tailored guidance for your co-design work, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.