The relationship with users and the improvement of this relationship are much-studied topics within the realm of public action. Different ways of transforming service relationships have been explored over the last twenty-five years and, recently, the co-designing of public services has been presented as the solution. One of these approaches, “public innovation through design,” promises to give users a central role within the design process. Who are these users, and how are they represented within this process? How can we qualify the results of this process as innovations? Through the analysis of a case study, we show that users are mostly absent from these processes and that the focus is on situations of use. Additionally, these situations of use are not necessarily a result of the field study. The most innovative projects propose novel situations of use with new types of users. Does this mean that “real” users would be obstacles to public innovation?
- public service