Self-Management Beyond the Self:

Participatory design practice towards preferable diabetes self-management principles

This practice-based research project follows on from the outcome of my NHS 24 Live project, Connected Community (McIntosh et al, 2018), through further considering the relational implications of internet-connected digital self-management devices and services for long term conditions, such as; trust, agency, responsibility and accountability of mismanagement outwith the user. This research project explores how participatory design can help discover the barriers and facilitators of digital type 1 diabetes self-management practice, to reveal user-centred design principles for long term condition innovation towards connected health systems beyond the self.


Through utilising participatory design approaches, I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants to understand the lived experience of using their self-management devices and undertook an interactive situational mapping activity with each participant to discover relationships beyond the user, which resulted in a synthesised stakeholder relational map. I then facilitated a collaborative participatory workshop featuring generative activities; relational map validation and co-analysis, what if provocations and prototype generation, and alternative now contextual interventions towards the co-creation of self-management design principles.


From conducting situational and thematic analysis, the following findings emerged; self-management relations go beyond a singular user and their devices, self-management trust needs to consider the holistic user experience and self-management education and experiential insight is key. I further discuss the potential implications of considering user needs for those with long term conditions as well as future research opportunities after dissemination. I conclude by reflecting on the value of participatory design approaches to develop preferable relationships towards self-management practice for users, collaboratively with users.

Graduate Profile:

Ross McIntosh

As a graduate from the Innovation School’s MDes Design Innovation & Service Design programme and BDes Product Design at GSA, I consider myself an innovation designer with research interests in speculative interactions and relationships towards technology that inspire preferable futures.

Website : mastermcintosh.com

Contact : mastermcintosh@me.com

Learn more about this project here
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