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Exploring ideas

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1-3 hours, depending on the case

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  • Presentation material

  • Markers and pens of different colours

  • Whiteboards

  • Sticky notes

  • Other case-related materials such as handouts, etc.

What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?


A co-creation workshop involves customers and other stakeholders in generating ideas for the service together. They meet in workshops with experts and developers to provide and exchange their perspectives and ideas on the challenge at hand. In the process, participants influence each other as they work towards possible outcomes for the challenge. The ideas become more holistic when generated together. Involving users and customers in idea generation increases user-orientation in the developed services. Co-creation workshops give customers and users the opportunity to influence the solutions that are developed for them.

Steps how to use this tool in practice

The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group.


Plan the co-creation workshop starting from the goal that is based on the identified problem, and what and who are needed for solving it. Identify and invite relevant stakeholders and customers, and arrange the room, materials and handouts for the workshop.


Start the workshop by presenting the goal and have some ice-breaking activities to create an open and positive atmosphere for co-creation.


Have participants use selected ideation methods, such as brainstorming, sketching, SCAMPER or brainwriting, for co-creation. Take notes of all the data and results from the event. You can involve participants in taking notes by, for example, asking them to write on ideation tool materials such as sticky notes or a mind map.


At the end of the workshop, present the results and discuss together to obtain further ideas. The workshop may also have presentations of the outcomes at earlier phases.


Pass the results to the next phase of alternative concepts and prototypes where ideas will be selected. You can also vote and select ideas at the co-creation workshop.

Tips and hints for using this tool

  • You can also involve participants of the co-creation workshop at later stages of the service innovation process.

  • Besides services, co-creation workshops can be used for many purposes, such as choosing the premises of a shop or a museum, for example.

Other tools of this phase

An active and exploratory way to generate ideas


An inspiration board for ideating solutions

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A group ideation tool


A fictional description of a typical customer.


Drawing parallels with analogies for ideas.


An ideation matrix of service aspects.

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The must, should, could and won’t haves of a service.


Soliciting the expertise of the crowd.


A visual map of existing solutions to the identified problem.

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A visual idea generation diagram.

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Generating ideas quietly and getting inspired by others.

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