Co-creation means collaborative practise during the creation process. It is opposite from what is called top-down design, where the input from the users or other disciplines is very limited.
Involving the future users and stakeholders from the very beginning of the thinking process has many advantages.
If the design process is carried out without that external input and the concept is not put to the users test until it has been prototyped, it runs the risk of getting it wrong. The users’ expectations might not match the design features. In that case, the product or service will have to be re-designed with the new specifications.
However, if that external input is considered since the first stages of the process, the time between conceptualisation and user-evaluation will be minimised. So it will be faster to reach the desired outcome.
As well, prototyping ideas at earlier stages will have the same effect, as meaningful feedback can be obtained in advance and the design process is shortened.
Users and stakeholders are a great source of tacit knowledge. Using the right tools that tacit knowledge will become explicit and turn into project specifications. If they are not consulted nor observed, all that information will be left out and the quality of the outcome will decrease.
User engagement and ownership
Users are more likely to engage with a company/organization that actually listens to them. Trust is a key factor to achieve user loyalty. Getting the users involved in the design process promotes that feeling of ownership.
The longevity of a project is deeply related to the user engagement. But to generate a real bound it is necessary to visualise the link between user-feedback and the company’s actions.
The ideal of co-creation is to generate a continuous conversation between users and providers, and extend that collaboration to the future.