Seven lessons from seven years of design research with young people

Design research with young people takes courage, creativity and plenty of pizza. Being prepared, authentic and sensitive to the teenage brain is essential.

ReachOut Australia and Redrollers Research have collaborated on many projects over the past 7 years and regularly share learnings in between projects. In this presentation, we’ll draw on our design research experience from multiple projects working with young people on the topic of their everyday lives, mental health and wellbeing. We’ll share our successes and failures, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

We will walk you through 7 key themes: sharing stories; methods; activities and materials.

We will cover the following:  

  • How do we match our research methods to the teenage brain?
  • What are some ways to make young people feel supported and okay with sharing their struggles and ideas with strangers?
  • How do we empower young people and acknowledge that they are experts in their own lives?
  • How can we design for immediate impacts so the research experience is positive and capability building for the young person?

In this presentation we will also illustrate why we both love working with young people and continue to be blown away by their wisdom, resourcefulness and wicked sense of humour.

Presentation audio