Tactile co-design tools for complex interdisciplinary problem exploration in healthcare settings

Leah Heiss, Olga Kokshagina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the role of tactile co-design tools to enable interdisciplinary collaboration in complex healthcare settings. We present the Tactile Tools method and discuss our comparative case study of five healthcare settings then demonstrate how affordances of tactile co-design tools can support equality in decision-making, improve literacy within teams and challenge established power structures. We show how re-usability and the affordance of “sliding” help to manage complexity and circumnavigate traditional hierarchies. Design diagrams are investigated as a way to capture the exploration space and support better problem understanding in interdisciplinary teams. We argue that the Tactile Tools method enables participants to collaboratively explore complex interdisciplinary (healthcare) challenges and helps teams to empathize with the lived experience of health seekers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101030
JournalDesign Studies
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • affordance
  • co-design tools
  • design methods
  • design practice
  • participatory design

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