Designing for informal services: a participatory approach to prevent sexual violence within a university

Bridget Malcolm
UTS Design Innovation Research Centre, Australia

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Ingår i: ServDes.2020 Tensions, Paradoxes and Plurality Conference Proceedings, 2-5th February 2021, Melbourne, Australia

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 173:22, s. 203-218

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Publicerad: 2020-12-22

ISBN: 978-91-7929-779-4

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Universities, alongside many other public and private organisations, are beginning to grapple with the issue of preventing sexual violence and providing effective services to survivors within their context. This article describes a unique participatory design-research project conducted to better understand staff and student perspectives of sexual violence within a university and how to better design services. One of the key findings of this research was the general distrust of formal services and reliance on informal services provided by both the organisation’s staff (employees) and students (users or customers). This provides unique insights into designing services for challenging social issues within an organisation and raises key questions about how service design can better support informal services and the co-production of services by employees and users.


informal services, informal networks, co-production of services, value co-creation, preventing sexual violence, university service design.


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