Recruiting Co-Designers

Activity for Community Involvement


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.

Table of contents ↑


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.

Table of contents ↑


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.

Table of contents ↑


To recruit

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
  • emails
  • 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:

Table of contents ↑

Plan logistics

Accessibility for co-designers

Access guide

Table of contents ↑

Sample recruitment letter

Consent forms and policies

Table of contents ↑

Further resources

Recruiting in non-embedded co-design situations

Our outreach process

Multiple engagement channels

Dealing with consultation fatigue

Missing perspectives

Building trust

Table of contents ↑