Co-design is not the same as design by committee.
There are similarities. Especially in the wide stakeholder consultation/involvement.
- There is still a designer (or a design tean with a design lead) who makes experience and expertise driven decisions throughout the project.
- Decisions are vested in the project owner; and not a committee.
- Expectations are managed throughout the consultative process.
- The people consulted include non decision makers.
- Consensus is paramount - the design must satisfy every committee member.
- The main people consulted are the committee members; the decision makers.
- If designers (or other experts) are involved, their input often carry little weight. The committee of non-experts essentially overrides any expert input.
Committees are not by their nature bad or evil. Their behaviour is quite understandable. And the consensus approach can work in different contexts. Just not terribly well when designing user experiences.