Co-creation quickly creates clarity and confidence around a new business or design opportunity, using an iterative and collaborative in-context research approach.

By co-creating solutions with end users and customers in their real life context, you will be able to learn rapidly about the size of the opportunity, the nature of a useful solution, and uncover challenges and constraints in designing and delivering that solution. Having this in-depth understanding of specific and desired outcomes is an important early stage step that all product or service providers should consider before designing prototypes or launching a product.

Highland team working on a project

What Makes Co-Creation Valuable?

Behavioral science tells us that what people actually do can be very different from what people think they will do, or even say they do. When in the realm of new ideas or solutions, it can be very tempting to believe that if users say they will use a new product, service, or feature, they actually will. Co-designing with end users and customers is one of the most effective ways to learn quickly about the realities of a new product or service idea. Generating solutions with users and customers in their context or environment is a reliable way to separate ideas that appear good from those that actually resonate with users and customers. 

Our team of design researchers lead a co-creation approach that:

  • Builds clarity on strengths and weaknesses of an idea or an opportunity from the get-go, avoiding longer cycles of design and subsequent feedback
  • Encourages diverse opinions to be shared and enables communication between different stakeholder groups: customers, employees, competitors, and more.
  • Dives into the solution realm without delay, bridging opportunity-finding and solution-design.

Getting the Most Out of Co-Creation

At Highland, our co-creation process goes beyond traditional market research and allows us to gain deeper insights into the decision-making process of your end users. By facilitating participatory creation experiences, we work directly with your customers and users to design, build, and launch products that truly fit their needs. Some key principles come into play when conducting co-creation activities, like the importance of being in-context, focusing on creating value, and not getting too attached to certain ideas. 

Traditional market research evaluates ideas through remotely conducted surveys or out-of-context focus groups, and often fails to uncover how an idea or opportunity fits into users’ context. Highland’s design research and strategy team members engage with users and customers in their context or environment, staying true to their immediate mental models, lifestyle, barriers, and perspectives. Contextual co-creation sessions provide opportunities for real-time problem solving and validation that are essential to bridging the gap between ideation and action.

Our qualitative research and observation-based methodology reveals how a new product or service interacts with end users’ environments and surfaces the upside potential as well as deficiencies in an idea. We work with users or customers to generate and qualify ideas that fit into their needs, routines, and rhythms.

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