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Collaborative Design Isn't the Same as Democratic Design

18 Aug 2009

Collaborative design describes many people working towards a shared vision and iteratively communicating their discoveries and decision processes. Then members of the collaborative effort take the developed concepts of greatest utility and leverage them towards continually higher level applications. Collaborative design can have a single leader, a group of influencers, or a be completely headless (I keep dreaming about organizations like this, but I haven't studied enough of emergent properties of intelligent networks).

Democratic design results from votes on every decision from the user interface down to the technical nuts and bolts that provide for the backbone of an architecture.

Consider:

There's a place for both but you better make sure you are using the right design concept for the right problem. We don't want democratic design to decide on the style of a product or service, because we end up with something average or boring. We don't want to rely on collaborative design for something that needs to be decided now, a quick vote will push through the issue.

I'd like to share a couple of videos I recorded in the last week.

Actions Speak Louder than Words:

and Emergent Properties of Large Scale Collaborative Efforts: