Recruiting participants is an important step in the co-design planning process. This is most effective when communities and organizations take the lead and recruit co-designers from their community.
Centering the perspectives of those most affected by the design is a core value for co-design. It is important to recruit co-designers who are often considered to be "edge cases". This would include those who have challenges with how the current system or design works, or can't use it altogether.
The effort and time it takes to recruit participants is often underestimated, especially if you are looking to recruit co-designers with a wide range of needs. We recommend starting the recruitment process as early as possible in your co-design process.
It is also important to note that co-designers will have different accessibility needs. As a result it is best if you start planning the logistics of the event at the same time as you are recruiting participants.
Reaching out to community members or community leaders is a good first step in the recruitment process. Use methods that are most comfortable or preferable to them.
Here are a few different ways to reach people where they are:
- phone calls or text messages
- social media
- joining town hall meetings
- at community centers
- posting a note on library bulletin boards.
If people raise any issues about accessibility or other concerns when you are speaking with them, take a note of them for your planning process.
Suggested content to include in recruitment communication
Check out the sample recruitment letterfor information to put in the recruitment communication. You can also put out a simple recruitment invite, graphic, or social media call-out to inform people of your plans. Once community members express interest, you can provide more details.
To support recruitment
Collaborators (designers or others) can support community organizations and leaders in recruiting by providing:
- Recruitment letters, graphics, or social media call-outs
- Detailed recruitment information (ex. sample recruitment letter)
- Any consent forms required