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Exploring the information space
With a title that includes a potentially ambiguous word, Koen Perters‘ talk started with intrigue. It went on to deliver meaningful value, inspiration, and ideas on ways of… letting go.
Co-creation is an approach to consultancy that builds not on being the genius-expert with all the answers to every question, but a facilitator who can tease the meaningful answers out of the client. On the one hand, it delivers results that the client feels more attached to, because they participated in defining them. On the other, it can leave them feeling they actually did all the work.
In order to work, it is a mindset that needs to be maintained throughout a project’s lifespan; if it is abandoned after the initial sessions, it is no more than a kick-off workshop. This requires far more commitment of key client stakeholders, team members and users than other approaches based on handing off the work and receiving back a set of deliverables. It helps cross-pollinate, exposing different parties to each others’ ideas and challenges.
The whole approach is largely to turn the discovery and solution design process into an exploration and puzzle-solving exercise. It is participatory and interactive. It is fun (yes – there should be games). Much of the output will be in the form of images, or even interactions (that are probably best captured as video).
While Koen approached some aspects of his presentation from the perspective of co-creation, many apply irrespective of the method used. Primary amongst these was the question of content design: simply, start with what is important, the reason for the actual content. The landing/navigational pages will take care of themselves. And, of course, you and the client had better know what youa re doing, why, and what you expect out of the session from the beginning, or it won’t produce as good results.
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