UX practitioners can improve what is designed by adopting a participatory design research mindset. Often UX designers and researchers operate in an expert-mindset; and engage end-users as reactive informers within the design process. UX practitioners can improve the user experience of what is designed by inviting end-users to participate throughout the design process as active co-creators. With a change of mindset UX practitioners can help facilitate the co-creation of more usable, meaningful, and powerful designs by inviting stakeholders and end-users to participate throughout the design and development process as experts of their own experience. As design as a field continues to tackle a greater variety of more complex problems and challenges, our UX roles could be transforming to becoming experts in facilitating other people’s creativity.
Emily Mayfield, UX Researcher, studied participatory design research at The Ohio State University and graduated with an MFA in Design in 2013. Her thesis research explores generative design research methods that encourage collective creativity through enacting. Emily has worked at Kroger Technology since 2015.