Week 10

Service Design for Good

For this weeks lecture we looked at how service design campaigns can successfully instigate regional change and awareness. Before getting into tackling this brief in terms of my locality, I felt it was important to reflect on how global brands try to effect behaviour and feeling through carefully placed campaigns and design.


Nike was one of the first big brands to respond to the death of George Floyd in 2020. They used their position, on a global stage, to increase influence and awareness. They changed their famous slogan, “just do it” to “For once, dont do it. Dont pretend there’s not a problem in America. Dont turn your back on racism”. 

Bold and brave. However, there is always this niggling feeling in the back of my head that Nike are doing this as part of a wider brand strategy. Cynical, i know! I suppose, ultimately, it’s a win/win situation for them. They get to raise awareness of an important social issue while continuing a dialolgue with their publics which paints them in a positive light.


Bodyform | Wombstories

Bodyform, a national company, states that it is their brand purpose to normalise periods. The above campaign shows that they go further than this and try to highlight the wider issues that effect women’s health. This is powerful, believable and perception changing stuff. It really hit home for me, maybe because I am a dad to two girls, or maybe because it is so expertly crafted that it would effect anyone who would view it.

This certainly doesnt feel like it’s a shipped in response to whats trending on twitter. It’s at bodyforms core values and beliefs and I believe it. Linking this back to what I hope to portray in my service design – It needs to be believeable. Something I believe in and something which is well thought out and curated to create a resonating piece of design.

Design for Public Good

Make it Work

Sunderland Council recognised an issue with unemployment. 26% of working age people were economically inactive. A pilot scheme devised by live|work ran which explored how the long term unemployed interact with employment services.

“Over a three-month project, the design
team talked to and shadowed 12 long-term
unemployed people to build up a picture of
their needs and experiences. They also talked
to service staff, discovering the extensive
but sometimes confusing array of support
services available.”

Live|Work’s solution was relatively simple. They combined the resources of many support agencies to provide a more holistic solution. When a long-term unemployed person registered with an organisation that dealt with one of the five main barriers to work, (drug and alcohol dependency, mental health issues, long-term caregiving, being over 55 and physical illness or disability) the whole network was made aware. This cut out bureaucracy and delays in providing support.

The scheme has supported more than
1,000 people, of whom 275 found work.
The total cost of running the programme
was £180,000 (€211,000). The return,
calculated by an independent evaluation,
was that over £360,000 (€422,000)
was saved from the public purse through
reduction in welfare spend.

Government Design Priciples

Working as a Designer in a Government agency, I was pleased to find that they too have a set of design principles and put them into practive when contemplating service design.

Designing inclusive services is really important. One of government’s core roles is providing services that meet people’s needs, and because government is not a shop, we can’t pick and choose who uses those services, and users don’t get a choice of government services.

An Example

The problem:

The Solution:


“The accessibility regulations aim to help make sure online public services are accessible to all users, including disabled people. To help your team understand why they need to meet the website and mobile app accessibility regulations please read the guidance on understanding accessibility requirements for public sector bodies.”

My Challenge

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is about to launch its locality strategy which can be seen below:

They summise that there are four key priorities for the borough of Great Yarmouth. They are:

  1. Health and Well-being
  2. Low Educational Attainment, Skills and Aspiration
  3. Vulnerability and Exploitation
  4. Loneliness, Isolation and Social Exclusion

The two that stand out for me are 2. and 4.

Low Educational Attainment:

Local educational attainment
in the Borough underperforms
against county, regional and
national averages. Average GCSE
attainment (15-19 years) is 44.1%,
significantly worse than national
average. Furthermore, we have
seen only a negligible increase
in residents achieving high-level
qualifications. Although a large
proportion of students stay in
education or pursue employment,
there is a need to improve the
visibility of, and access to, pathways
through education to qualifications
and on to high-quality, more
permanent jobs. Average weekly
earnings are £354, significantly
worse than the East of England
average (£462.70 a week).

Loneliness, Isolation and Social Inclusion

Being connected with other people
matters. A lack of relationships and
social connections in our lives has
a negative impact on our physical
and mental health, wellbeing and
behaviour. It is also expensive, with
increased service usage by older
people experiencing loneliness
costing up to £12,000 per older
person over the next 15 years.

The thing with these themes, is that they try to tackle big parts of society in one hit. Rather than looking at micro communities, how they engage with services and what blocks are in the way to inhibit successful realtionships.

In Great Yarmouth there are lots of micro communities – Those who don’t speak English, those who are less educated and those living with disabilities. Providing for these micro communities, in terms of services, must be difficult and, as far as I can tell, is not being addressed strategically.

That gives me an idea….

It’s All Dutch To Me

Imagine, if you will, that you are a Chinese national who moved to Great Yarmouth in January 2020. You don’t speak English and have very few links within your small local micro community made up of those who only speak your native language.

March 2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic is sweeping across the globe at a worrying rate. Through your phone and contacts back home you are aware of how the disease is spreading and what steps the Chinese Government is taking to tackle the spread of one of the world’s most virulent infections.

But what is happening in Great Yarmouth? How do you find out what the local government is doing to control the virus? You could spend your time translating web pages in the hope of finding a trustworthy source? You could try to reach out to your network to assist?

As a member of the borough of Great Yarmouth and legally working and living, shouldn’t the Government be finding ways to get this information to you in quick, responsive ways?

I plan on looking into the way Local Authorities communicate with their micro communities and try to discover a more effective and efficient process.


Christie, D. and Koltun, N., 2020. Nike’s ‘For Once, Don’t Do It’ ad seen as empowering, exploitative: study. [online] Marketing Dive. Available at: <https://www.marketingdive.com/news/nikes-for-once-dont-do-it-ad-seen-as-empowering-exploitative-study/579095/> [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Bodyform.co.uk. 2020. Why Our #Wombstories Need To Be Heard | Bodyform. [online] Available at: <https://www.bodyform.co.uk/our-world/why-our-wombstories-need-to-be-heard/> [Accessed 14 May 2021].

2013. Design for Public Good. [ebook] Design Council. Available at: <https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/Design%20for%20Public%20Good.pdf> [Accessed 14 May 2021].

GOV.UK. 2012. Government Design Principles. [online] Available at: <https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-design-principles> [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Local.gov.uk. 2019. Understanding new accessibility requirements for public sector bodies. [online] Available at: <https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/accessibility> [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Instagram. 2021. Government Digital Service. [online] Available at: <https://www.instagram.com/gdsteam/?hl=en> [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Great-yarmouth.gov.uk. 2020. Current Local Plan – Great Yarmouth Borough Council. [online] Available at: <https://www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/article/2489/Current-Local-Plan> [Accessed 14 May 2021].


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