Online collaboration facilitates user participation in co-creation activities regardless of time and place. For companies, online collaboration with users and customers is quick and easy and also facilitates co-creation with rapid input from geographically distributed users.

Owela (http://owela.vtt.fi/) is an online space designed by VTT for different co-creation activities with end users, customers, developers and stake holders. This innovative workspace provides tools and methods for understanding users’ needs and experiences as well as innovating and designing new products and services together. Built on the same concepts of user participation as social media, this kind of collaboration environment is easy to adopt by many people.

VTT’s Owela Online service packages offer an efficient way to apply user participation in co-creation activities. With VTT’s expertise and services companies are able to get rapid user feedback and be in a direct contact with users throughout the innovation and design process. Owela project spaces may be used as co-creation platforms from first ideas to field evaluations. Project spaces can be restricted to selected participants or open for everyone. Each co-creation activity can last from one week to a few months. The tools included in Owela can be easily combined and tailored for different purposes and both quantitative and qualitative user experience and feedback can be collected.

VTT’s Owela Online service packages include:

  • Co-design: Involve lead users in ideation, design and decision-making throughout the innovation process

  • Consumer study: Obtain knowledge about users and usage situations

  • Open ideation: Obtain new ideas relating to a topic

  • Concept evaluation: Collect users’ reactions to new product concepts

  • User test feedback: Provide a communication channel during field/online evaluations

VTT can manage the whole co-design project, from start to finish, or provide specific support for select activities from the above list.