A co-design project with people at retirement age for happier, healthier and better connected later lives
In 2015, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation funded Innovation Unit to lead a co-design process and prototype a range of solutions aimed at improving wellbeing during retirement and later life.
The Next Up project had 3 stages: explore, co-design and develop. We developed paper prototypes of 10 ideas and tested our ideas with 40 potential users. Based on their feedback, we further developed 4 ideas before refining down to 2 to test components of them and revise. The co-design project focused on designing with users; it involved real people and we listened to their needs and aspirations. It also engages people with a creative approach and process; we helped people test ideas in different ways and be creative.
MY ROLE - Throughout the process, I designed, developed and delivered various co-design workshops with people at retirement age. I designed materials for workshops as well as other design outputs including the logo. I also generated service ideas with the team and conducted horizon scanning research for inspirations.
We recruited 2 project advisors around the age of retirement to help us understand the key issues. We undertook context research including horizon scanning and development of 4 design briefs. Later on we came up with initial customer segmentation and ideas inspired by horizon scanning examples. We then generated 10 initial storyboards to test with users.
2. Building the ideas with users
At this stage, we built on our initial ideas by testing them with users to refine them. We did co-design workshops and in-depth interviews with 40 potential users for our concept development. This was an iterative process to codify different versions of storyboards and user profiles.
3. Develop. Prototype for real
After testing different ideas and storyboards, we finalised our ideas into two:
1. Next Up Stories - a campaign that shares personal stories of retirement and other changes people face in later life.
2. Make a Change - a club where people approaching retirement make a change in their community while learning how to manage change in their own lives by volunteering and learning mindfulness.
We prototyped both ideas for real and test components of the ideas with users.