Client: WIDEX
project type: research project at The IT University of copenhagen
collaboration: Nina Mørk, Louise Jensen, Katrine Høvsgaard Nielsen and Buster Nielsen
Year: 2014


The case
In this project we worked with the hearing aid manufacturer Widex developing new concepts for hearing tests trough user driven innovation and co-creation methods.

My role
Research, stakeholder involvement and concept development. In this project I was responsible for planning designing and facilitating the co-creation workshop with professional actors. I wrote and instructed the scenarios used in the workshop and facilitated the co-creation session.

“The worst thing that can happen by losing your eyesight is to lose contact with the surrounding world, but if you lose your hearing, you will lose contact with the human.”  (workshop participant)

We learned that it, on average, takes seven years to acknowledge a hearing loss. Therefore, we worked with the realisation phase of a hearing loss and how to make hearing tests more accessible. We worked with future scenarios to develop new concepts for hearing tests.

Co-creation workshop
To learn more about how it feels to live with a hearing loss, we did a co-creation workshop with users of hearing aids, designers and employees from Widex. In the workshop we used theatre methods and enactment to kick start the design process. We had hired a team of three professional actors to play out small scenarios about the acknowledgement phase of a hearing loss and the role of the workplace and family in this delicate situation. The scenarios was used as a method for conversation starter, ideation and co-creation.

Guerilla tests
Later, we conducted three scale and context tests in a café, a canteen on the tables and on the floor in the canteen to see how a hearing test was perceived in different settings.

Concept development trough future scenarios
The final concept was a hearing test you can take at the optician while e.g. waiting in line. Glasses are fashionable, but hearing aid is much more tabooed. By placing a hearing test in a new setting, we hope to raise awareness on hearing loss and make people take the first step towards taking a hearing test.

In this video we illustrate the concept through a future scenario using a combination of story telling and pretotyping