The underlying aim is to involve members of the public in helping them make a change in their lives where technology is often viewed as an integral part of the process. This is the point of participatory design.

The main principles of user centered design (Gould and Lewis) are as follows:

  1. Early focus on users and tasks: Understanding who users will be (cognitive, behavioural, anthropomorphic, and attitudinal characteristics) and observing users doing normal tasks, studying nature of normal tasks, involving users in design process.
  2. Empirical measurement: early in development, get reactions and performance of intended users to scenarios/manuals/etc. Then, later in development, get reactions and performance of users to simulations and prototypes. Where possible, specific usability and UX goals should be identified, clearly documented and agreed upon at the beginning of the project which can help designers choose between alternative designs and check on progress.
  3. Iterative design: when problems are found in user testing, they are fixed, then more tests and observations carried out to see effects of fixes. This allows the design to be refined based on feedback


  1. Expectation management: ensuring that the users’ expectations of the new product are realistic and no surprises for users when the product arrives.
  2. Ownership: users who are involved and feel that they have contributed to a product’s development are more likely to feel a sense of ownerships toward it and support its user

The process of this is the double diamond design.


Wide participation helps bring different perspectives to the process, which enhances design itself, produces more user satisfaction with the final product, and engenders a sense of ownership.

Participatory/cooperative/co-design is an overarching design philosophy that places stakeholders as central actors in creation activities. A stakeholder is anybody who is affected by the item