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Co-Creation workshops in MATUROLIFE – Interview with Gulay Ozkan

As MATUROLIFE has completed the first round of co-creation workshops with older persons and carers, we would like to give you a few more insights from Gulay Ozkan, leading the design of MATUROLIFE:

  • Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I am an Istanbul-based entrepreneur and founder of GEDS, a design consultancy. We are leading the design of MATUROLIFE. With an impact-focused personality, I am passionate about bringing design to the high-impact technology environments and organizations to create a human-centric effect on the next economy.

  • What is your role in the MATUROLIFE project?

As the design coordinator, my role is in twofold – leading design activities to ensure that user and human data are at the center of all our activities, and building and aligning a design language embraced by all partners.

  • What are the advantages of co-creation?

Co-creation is a design methodology whereby designers and people not trained in design work together in the development process. In MATUROLIFE, we have run co-creation activities with both older people in nine countries who are the intended and targeted end-users of these smart assistive technologies and also together with MATUROLIFE partners not trained in design at different stages of the project.

Co-creation democratizes the design process by allowing for diverse perspectives. It is a strong tool which can also solve the problem of inclusivity, the most important challenge of technology development in this century.

I believe we have utilized and enjoyed the co-creation methodology from several perspectives in the project.

  • What were key insights you gained from the interviews and workshops?

The interviews and co-creation workshops were part of our design research activities where we collected data about older people’s problems, preferences, and desires in the context of maintaining their independence and autonomy. Based on this data, we built our design principles and guiding personas.

Older people are quite clear about what they expect from a new product or service. They want purposeful, assistive, utilitarian, informative products and services. Not to mention simple and usable.

  • What are the next steps for you in the project?

We recently completed the conceptual prototypes and are now transitioning to building the actual prototypes. As of April 2019, the technology teams are now taking over the lead from the design teams. Since MATUROLIFE is a user-driven technology project, GEDS will make sure that human data and user perspective continues to remain at the center by creating systemic design management tools at different stages of the project.

More infos: GEDS websiteAbout Mrs Ozkan