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Participatory Design

Participatory design exercises engage stakeholders and end users in the process of solving a design problem. Participants bring their own perception of the problem and may offer unique ideas and design solutions based on user needs and preferences that were not evident to the researcher. For example, a participant may be asked to complete an exercise that will determine the style of a website and the features it will support. Upon completion of the exercise, the participant will be asked to describe why they need or prefer the website to be designed the way they envision it. This provides the researcher with a clear understanding of users’ needs and preferences as they relate to the goals they wish to accomplish on the website.