User led design

Products and services should be easy to use and solve a real problem. At DHI we support you to co-design with people in mind, ensuring any solution you are working on effectively meets end-user needs.

Design thinking

User led design means that the users are involved throughout the design and development of all our digital health and care technologies. Actively involving clinicians, businesses, academics, citizens and carers throughout the process allows for a clear understanding of the problem at hand, and the active involvement of the user means feedback can be integrated into the design.


Through exploratory workshops, we work to identify early stage insights in to the key challenges being faced by the end user. Exploratories are large workshops that bring together diverse stakeholders (e.g. academics, business, industry and technology experts, health and social care practitioners, designers, NHS service users, carers, charities, policy makers, etc.) alongside end-users to explore questions too large for one party to find an answer to. Exploratories are also used to:

  • Map out problem areas
  • Identify opportunities for innovation
  • Better define a proposed area for innovation

By involving a wide range of users and project partners at this early exploratory stage, we can define they challenge areas that we must focus on, gain access to a wide knowledge base and also help directly feed into potential projects.

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The laboratories seek to promote collaboration between different parties in order to tackle the complex health challenges facing Scottish society.

Each element of a lab is carefully designed to make participants feel comfortable to share their personal experiences and think creatively. Researchers work with participants to generate ideas and co-design new services.

Putting the end user of a service at the centre of the design process is vital as their insights mean the ideas generated have a greater chance of success when they are further developed.

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Our Factory stage supports projects in progressing a known solution closer to market and deployment. The Factory phase offers a facilitation and resource platform, including access to expertise and test environments, business mentoring support and facilitation to source funding. The Factory works with industry, health and care partners, third sector and university partners to develop solutions and put them into a live environment such as the NHS to evaluate their effectiveness in real life situations.

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User led successes

We bring together people and organisations in the health and social care, charity, technology, design and academic sectors to develop new digital health innovations. Our user-led design approach helps innovative ideas become real products that are commercially viable and deliver significant health and wellbeing improvement. The DHI is not only interested in assisting in the development of export opportunities for our local partners; but also to assist in creating opportunities for our international partners both locally and across a range of connected markets.

View all case studies

Revolutionising the Outpatient experience

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