Co-creation: involving end-users as innovation partners

Co-creation is about involving end-users and relevant stakeholders when developing new digital solutions. Throughout the process, participants contribute with ideas and concepts to ensure that we create game-changing tools that meet actual daily-life requirements of patients and healthcare professionals.

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We believe that co-creation is key to digital concept development. RheumaBuddy is a great example of what we can build using co-creation: the app helps people with RA/JIA to register symptom variations between visits at the rheumatologist. Combining a personal tracking tool with a community of peers has proven to create value for people living with RA.

Our approach

First, we were curious of what it is like to live with a rheumatoid disease, and we invited several people living with RA to a co-creation day. We guided them through a brainstorm session focusing on what tools and app features could make a difference for them. Eventually we were able to map out all the challenges they have to deal with on a daily basis, their actual needs, and pain points. Throughout this ideation phase, we focused on ideas and concepts that could create value for them in everyday life.

After returning to our office with numerous posters, post-its, drawings, ideas, and a huge smile on our faces, we knew that the first steps for creating a user-centric solution had been undertaken. The co-creation day had given us valuable insights to how it is living with RA. The posters were a great basis for us to move into a conceptualization phase. We turned the brainstorm input into sketches and wireframes. Thereby, we involved rheumatologists and the patient association FNUG in the process to also ensure validation from healthcare professionals.

Including the feedback from healthcare professionals continued throughout the entire process: We had numerous iterations of user feedback while developing RheumaBuddy, both in connection to the release of RheumaBuddy 1.1 and 2.0+.

So what is the outcome?

Today we have a patient-centred app that was received positively among people with RA of all ages. Our overall goal to create a tool to get insight to treatment developments for valuable dialogues with their rheumatologist was accomplished. We were proud to hear people calling RheumaBuddy ‘the tool they have longed for’, and some app-users even shared with us, that they received a new diagnosis due to the use of RheumaBuddy.

Our toolbox: co-creation METHODS

Daman also hosted a co-creation day with 15 people with psoriasis at the age of 15-30 years. The idea was to guide them through a series of brainstorm sessions in order to create the most valuable and meaningful concepts for them in the future.

Eventually, we defined their empowerment vision and developed an empathy map, using the method 3-12-3 brainstorm to prioritize and expand their ideas. We concluded the day having formulated four inspiring concepts that can help make a difference for young people with psoriasis.


The process of capturing knowledge

One thing that is for sure is that co-creation not only helps your digital service partner to get a lot of inspiration and ideas for possible digital concepts, but it also provides the team with valuable insights about end-users. On that note, the co-creation method develops an anchor point in making digital tools that meet actual daily-life requirements in the longer run.

Co-creation is the key to user-centred innovation.  So why not get the best out of your design process: involve the user, and co-create.

Senior User Experience Consultant, Mie Fink Nielsen