# Co-Creation

# Phase: 🎨 Problem shaping
Focus: Converge


Time commitment: 90 mins minimum (to account for level-setting)
Difficulty: Moderate
Materials needed: Meeting space (physical or virtual), working tools (this can vary depending on the type of co-creation and could be anything from a whiteboard and stickies to a code IDE), participants from a variety of technical and cultural perspectives (the more of these, the more useful)
Who should participate: User experience designers, visual designers, product/project owners, community specialists, developers, and/or users
Best for: Mid-stage synthesis and insights work that benefits from synchronous communication

# About this tool

While this toolbox offers a variety of methods for iterating on new products and services with your internal team, and following up with user testing, co-creation is unique in that it combines these two frameworks on the fly: you and your users (or other stakeholders) create a product together, and discuss and evaluate as you go along. If co-creation is well-executed, you're more likely to get ideas right the first time, and your community of users is much more likely to use a tool that they actively helped create — even if you may have designed a similar tool using different methods.

Co-creation with users is already at the very heart of open source, and in many ways, leading a co-creation session isn't that much different than leading collaborative development on GitHub, with one caveat. Note that, as suggested by the name, co-creation works more effectively when it's led in a synchronous way. Async co-creation, while possible, is often too laggy to be worthwhile; the effort expended in waiting for others' async iteration cycles might be better spend just getting a team in the same physical or virtual room for a while.

What actually happens in a co-creation session can vary widely depending on the goals of the session, the level of product familiarity already expressed by participants, your progress along the overall creative path at the time of the session, etc. However, you could bring in a variety of methods explained elsewhere in this tool box, such as ...

In any case, the end goal should be to generate a synthesis artifact such as a journey map, set of personas, or low-fidelity prototype that offers insights both leading up to the creation of the artifact itself and to the enthusiasm, reaction, and in-stream testing of your users as they helped create it.