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DS 93: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2018), Dyson School of Engineering, Imperial College, London. 6th - 7th September 2018;
The Design Society
The Kidz Design Lab (KDL) is a new and unique way of enabling customers to be participants in a design process. It is a lab, a methodology and a brand where kids develop products for kids. This paper presents the methodology of KDL, which represents an extreme exemplar case illustrating the inclusion of end users as designers. As the customers themselves develop the product, the methodology emphasises embedding the customer into the particular setting of the product rather than to empathise with them, as suggested by design thinking. The methodology of KDL extends the scope of the design process and incorporates the development of a business case, packaging design and marketing as well as negotiation with producers and distributors. In particular, the products are sold based on a presentation of the prototypes to distributors, rather than the final product. This enables KDL to severely reduce risk for the owner of the product as well as shorten the process from an initial idea until the product is in the store. Based on the documentation of the design process using a television crew, KDL enables storytelling and personification. The holistic thinking of KDL has important implications for practitioners in that it shows the benefit of integrating different stakeholders related to a product in the development process. It also illustrates the benefit of developing process facilitation skills for product developers in order to enable involvement of customers. As the product is sold before production, KDL allows for extensive risk reduction compared to many traditional product development processes.
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