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Co-designing with doulas

Engaging in a design research and human-centered design process to understand opportunities for improvement in the lives and practices of perinatal doulas.


I worked on a team that conducted a design research and co-design project with doulas, emotional caregivers for parents during the birth process. The project was completed as part of an introductory course on design research and human-centered design practices.

We sought to learn about a user group, identify opportunities for products or services that might solve problems in those users’ lives, and then prototype solutions through a collaborative design process.

Research questions

What is most challenging in the life of a doula? How might doulas’ lives and practices be improved?

Research approach

We interviewed fifteen doulas, midwives, and perinatal specialists in the Boston area to establish an understanding of birth work.

We used card sorting and collaborative sketching activities to identify priorities in doulas' lives and practices and opportunities for improvement.