Evaluating values in design with stakeholders



Technology and Design

Design phase:







This teaching activity supports students in evaluating (prototypes of) products, systems and services together with stakeholders. Through the activity, students argue and reason for their design as they present it to stakeholders. Together with stakeholders, students discuss, judge and evaluate values in the designed product, system or service to generate reflection on whether the students managed to embody a value-oriented attitude and approach in their design and design process.


When designing products, systems or services, it is important that students invite stakeholders to evaluate and reflect together with them about whether their designs managed to integrate and express the intended and desired values. That is, students need to engage the stakeholders as a gauge to see whether they managed to act as responsible designers and successfully consider values in design. If students do not present their designs to stakeholders they will lack validation of their value-sensitivity as well as the value-sensitivity of their designs.

Through evaluating values in design together with stakeholders, students go full circle by returning to their values, stakeholder values, the values of the design context and the values of the design project. In doing so, they reason, judge and reflect on whether values were appropriately and attentively embedded in the product, system or service.

Overall, the teaching activity provides students with arguments for the suitability and value sensitivity of their designs, allowing them to judge if there is alignment between the values identified at the beginning of the design process and the values the stakeholders experience in the product, system or service.

For this teaching activity, students and stakeholders meet in a workshop where the product, system or service is presented, tested and discussed in order to evaluate values in design.


After the teaching activity students will be able to:

  • argue and reason for values in design through presenting their designs to stakeholders,
  • discuss and reflect on values in design together with stakeholders,
  • judge and evaluate whether values in design are sensitively and appropriately manifested in their product, system, or service and in their design process.


Before running this activity, students should have created a prototype of a product, system, or service targeting identified stakeholders, based on identified values that have been integrated throughout their design process.

  • Invite stakeholders to the workshop at a set time and date.
  • Ask students to prepare a presentation or pitch arguing and reasoning for how they have worked with integrating values throughout the design process and how values have become manifested in their product, system or service.
  • Ask students to prepare a hands-on demonstration of the product, system or service focusing on highlighting values in design for stakeholders to generate discussion and reflection on whether the students were successful in acting as value-sensitive designers working with values in design.
  • Ask students to decide on ways for documenting or collecting (e.g., surveys, post-its, field notes, video or audio recordings, sketches) stakeholder evaluations to be able to validate the value sensitivity of their designs.


Step 1:

  • Before the stakeholders arrive, talk to students about the importance of keeping the focus on values in the evaluation with stakeholders. This should be the focus both in pitches and hands-on demonstration, as well as in discussion and evaluation. Highlight that the aim of the workshop is not to evaluate the product, system, service or the design process as such, but to discuss and judge the value-sensitivity.

Step 2:

  • The students run the workshop with stakeholders.

Step 3:

  • After the stakeholders have left, ask students to shortly present central results, insights and reflections that came out of their workshop in relation to evaluating values in design with their stakeholders. Highlight important points and discuss with students how they can use the outcomes of the workshop to further validate their products, systems or services and themselves as value-sensitive designers.

Step 4:

  • As a final step, ask students to synthesise and present the stakeholder evaluations in a way that can be shared. Ask them to focus on the value dimensions of the evaluation and how stakeholders discussed, evaluated and judged the value sensitivity during the workshop. Ask students to include a paragraph summing up the most important and critical insights coming out of the workshop as well as the implications of these in relation to acting as (more) responsible designers in the future.


To assess whether the intended learning outcomes were attained by the teaching activity the following assessment activities can be carried out (in class or after class).


Assess students' learning by asking them to apply their knowledge to real-world examples (authentic assessment). To do this, ask them to integrate the results from the workshop by comparing their design to similar existing products, systems, or services. Students do this by relating the insights from the evaluation with stakeholders to real-world examples with similar values to reflect on how their design could function as a real-world product, system or service.

Assess students' learning by having them create a timeline of the values within the design process (ipsative assessment) focusing on how values evolved during the design process through interactions with stakeholders containing 1) values in the initial design concept, 2) values change evolving from working with values throughout the design process 3) values change evolving from presenting and discussing the design with stakeholders, and 4) the values change found in the adapted design based on the results of the workshop with stakeholders.


In the assessment activity ask students to focus on:

  • presenting and synthesising the value dimensions of their design and how they have worked with values throughout the design process,
  • arguing for the values change based on insights and results from the evaluation workshop with stakeholders,
  • reflecting on the outcomes of the design process and how well they achieved to sensitively and appropriately manifest values in their product, system, or service.