Beliefs at odds with user-centric approaches

Findings Map

At the moment I am developing some videos aimed at public sector audiences explaining the WHATs, WHYs and HOWs of design-led approaches in public sector.

I am now scripting a video on the main challenges and barriers that emerged in the case studies analysed, these were collaboration and user-involvement. And I am as well including initial findings on environmental factors that either promote or inhibit design.

The research has shown several beliefs or viewpoints that are at odds with the application of user centric approaches:

1. Users don’t know what they need or want, experts do.

2. Users are negatively biased. Public services’ users are often not so by choice, but by need or even obligation, and thus their perception of the services will be negative.

3. Users should not be bothered. It is public sector’s responsibility to develop good services.

4. Involving users only complicates the process.

I am building the narrative trying to contrast those four viewpoints with the designerly approach and evidenced value that are behind user-centric approaches, drawing from the literature, research findings and my experience as design practitioner.

How do you argument to clients user involvement in those situations?


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