Co-creation Canvases for the Design of Social Robots

Co-creation canvases for co-design of social robots with users and domain experts

Role: Design lead

All canvases are available here


I took initiative in designing co-creation canvases for the creation of social robots. I discovered the problem of lack of these tools during my master's thesis. The canvases aim to solve the problems of:

The canvases follow the process of first defining the problem space, after which design guidelines are created, which project the qualities of the problem space onto the solution space, in order to ensure purposeful design.

The basic structure of the framework

The canvases can be used to think about social robot design problems, to design an entirely new robot, or to modify or select an existing robot to answer a particular problem.


I created a series of 8 canvases, which can be printed out and used in co-creation sessions. The canvases are grouped as follows:

Phase 1: Problem space
Phase 2: Design guidelines
Phase 3: Solution space

If the group has only very little time, these 4 canvases can be replaced with the canvas

referring to minimum viable product, although this canvas is recommended for playful use only.

Instructions for use of the canvases

Sessions can be structured in two ways:

Choosing the method depends on the time slot available. In order for everyone to be able to participate more easily, the first method is usually preferred. Canvases should be used in an iterative manner, and to explore each iteration of the robot as it is being created.

The canvases can also be used independently for building and analyzing robots.

The problem space canvas is the first of the canvases.

6 ethical considerations are implemented within the framework.


The canvases will be used in 3 different design concepting projects in the domains of public services, public media, and health care.

The canvases have been used in workshops with interested people across domains, in order to help them learn about the emerging technology of social robots, to demystify the sometimes negative media connotations of robotics, and to help in considering important ethical questions.

Some feedback form participants:

Introducing the framework at the technology conference Mindtrek in Tampere, Finland


service design, user insight, expert insight, academic analysis (related to initial framework building phase) , graphic design (Adobe Illustrator)

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