Exploring practitioner’s perspectives on barriers to inclusion in Participatory Design.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

What comes to mind when you come across the term “Participatory Design?” Perhaps you think of sticky notes and thumbtacks on walls at town hall meetings or colorful diagrams with lots of arrows. Or, you imagine design that is, well… participatory. Regardless of your own perception, the buzz around Participatory Design in industry and academic realms calls for exploration, especially as it has been increasingly used with a wide spectrum of people with different lived experiences around the world.

To quickly summarize, Participatory Design is an approach in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience (UX) Research that emphasizes design alongside people…

“This is a cat on a motorcycle, which is freedom because a cat can ride anything it wants.”

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash.

While a cat on a motorcycle is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think about values, it may come up in the process of learning more about children’s values — and we must understand children’s values in order to design for them.

Back in Fall 2017, I wrote a series of blog posts on Wordpress documenting my reflections on working with an undergraduate team to design an app called Flock, which seeks to harness the power of the sharing economy and apply it to all things leisure, recreation, and entertainment. This was a part of a course titled Customer Insights for Innovation, which was one of my favorite courses from my time as an undergraduate. I wanted to share those reflections here, in hopes that they will serve as a source of inspiration for budding researchers in the realms of design, leisure…


HCI PhD Student @ University of Maryland | UX Researcher

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