Online-based participatory design: A Case Study of Developing International Standards During a Pandemic


  • Matteo Zallio University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, Engineering Design Centre, Cambridge, UK
  • Thomas Grey TrinityHaus Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  • Pauline Boland University of Limerick, School of Allied Health and Ageing Research Centre, Limerick, Republic of Ireland
  • Helen Kelly University College Cork, Speech & Hearing Sciences, School of Clinical Therapies, Cork, Republic of Ireland
  • PJ White South East Technological University, DesignCORE, Carlow, Republic of Ireland
  • Elizabeth O’Ferrall NSAI Standards Technical, Dublin, Republic of Ireland



Standards are essential instruments to ensure the safety, efficiency and quality of products, services, systems, processes, and environments. In pre-pandemic times, standard development process used to happen through in-person consultation and meetings, however, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the whole routine. A team of technical experts from the National Standards Authority of Ireland trialled an online-based participatory design process to support the review and development of a standard through stakeholder engagement. This article introduces the experience of developing a new standard by leveraging on emerging digital technologies, through stakeholder participation. This research offers a framework, outlining the steps undertaken during the process, to support future online-based standard development processes in co-operation with stakeholders, by respecting cultures, backgrounds, skills, and experiences.