‘Safe spaces and places’: the value of design-led methodologies in developing online narratives

Rebecca Oswald*, Sarah Soppitt, Nick Spencer, Lauren Powell, Charlie Richardson, Sophie Coombs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper considers the value of a design-led methodological approach, adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate online interviews with young people (aged 15-17) who had been involved in crime and violence in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. The development of an original digital workshop and set of exercises (referred to as a tool) using interactive methods engaged criminalised youths online and gathered qualitative data regarding their experiences of crime and violence. The research demonstrated how principles of design can be used to empower participants, overcome communication barriers, obtain rich data through online methods, and move away from a traditional ‘interview’ experience, creating a safer space for more genuine accounts and narratives. Thus, this paper suggests that researchers of youth crime and violence, and social scientists more broadly, may wish to consider how adopting design-led methodologies can allow places and spaces for participants’ narratives to develop.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2024


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