Method in Action



Our design team was tasked with creating a marketing strategy for a client that sold health insurance through a mobile money platform in rural Nigeria. We wanted to co-design the messaging with our audience, but the challenge was, explaining this service could often get confusing. Most of our audience had never heard of health insurance, much less mobile money. We decided to start with the most basic explanation and let our end users shape the direction for the campaign, through creating a collage.


We asked 25 workshop participants to show us what “community health” looks like by making a collage. We picked the term “community health” because it felt like the ultimate goal of this service we wanted to market. We provided images, words, and magazines and told them simply to create something. The prompt should be simple, yet evocative. It’s best if the magazines are full of imagery, have some relevance to the topic you're looking to learn more about, and are purchased locally. If you have specific images you think are relevant or interesting, feel free to print those off in advance like we did on this project. In addition, you can also print some key words or phrases if you want to test language or voice.

02 collage user story testing


Going into this process, we assumed our audience would want to see medical imagery like doctors, clinics, and medications—images that spoke to the credibly of the service. What surprised us, however, was that community health was far more nuanced than that in the minds of our users. During the collaging activity, people were drawn to images of fruits and vegetables, exercise, families, and community events. When we asked people to explain why they chose these, they said that health goes far beyond having access to modern medicine. Few of them had been to the doctor’s office in the past year, and they wanted to invest in something beyond a trip to the doctor. We then applied insights gained from our collaging co-design directly to our messaging. In the end, we went with the phrase, “Invest in your health and strengthen your community,” which many thought of as a community health pool that everyone would benefit from over time. When you put the creative process into other people’s hands, it is not only inspiring, but can create more meaningful and considered solutions that better resonate with the people you are designing for.

Minnie bredouw portrait
Minnie Bredouw

Interaction Designer, IDEO