Co-Creation Research

Generating solutions directly with users to confirm the opportunity at hand

What is Co-Creation Research?

Co-creation is an iterative and collaborative in-context research approach that allows your organization to lean into a new business or design opportunity quickly. By co-creating solutions with end users/customers in their real life context, you will be able to learn rapidly about how big the opportunity is, what the nature of a useful solution is, and what upcoming challenges across design execution are. 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.

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/users to design, build, and launch products that truly fit their needs. We not only co-create with end users but also bring together people from other parts of the solution ecosystem: stakeholders, employees, competitors, and more.

How is Co-Creation Research Valuable?

Collaborative Creation Experiences

Co-designing with end users/customers as part of your research projects is one of the most effective ways to learn quickly about the extent and promise of a design opportunity. Our team of design researchers lead a co-creation process 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—from customers, to employees, to competitors and more.

  • Dives into the solution realm without delay, bridging opportunity-finding and solution-design. 

In-Context Research Methods

Traditional market research evaluates ideas through remotely conducted surveys or out-of-context focus groups, thereby not really understanding how an idea or opportunity fits into users’ context. Our qualitative research and observation-based methodology reveals how a new product or service interacts with end users’ environments  and   and surfaces the upside potential as well as deficiencies in an idea.

  • We employ a range of co-creation and co-design methods that generate a quick and contextual understanding of users’ environment, mental models, lifestyle fit, and desirability as it relates to an idea or opportunity.

  • Co-creation sessions provide opportunities for real-time problem solving and validation that are essential to bridging the gap between ideation to action in the design process across all your initiatives.

Value Co-Creation

Users want to help shape their own experiences and their feedback is a vital tool that allows you to better understand the value that they want to receive. Throughout this participatory design and research process, they can help you understand:

  • How they use a product in their daily lives

  • How they interact with your product

  • What emotions occur while interacting with your product

  • The rationale for their decision making

How we do it

All of our research methods relate to whether or not the user's context is accessible to us and the length of the behavior that we are interested in observing–short or prolonged.

For Co-Creation Research, we engage with users in their context and work with them to generate and qualify ideas that work in their context before we get carried away or fall in love with our own ideas as designers. Qualitative methods are best proven for this purpose because they allow us to spend significantly more time going deeper into each idea that emerges.

"We wouldn’t be achieving our business goals without Highland. Everyone on their team was very clear on what we set out to do. We worked with an incredibly high-caliber group."

- Jill Cole Mesaros, Director of Membership at Thrivent Financial

How can we help?