Week 11

“The world needs collective wisdom.” – George Lee, The Age of No Retirement

This week has been all about how collaboration is essential in creating successful service design. To go back to a previous week on the course, we are all fallible and have limitations. Often, it can be dificult to not pigeon hole ideas and by working in a more open environment you are more succeptable to suggestions.

I really love the following quote from Henry Ford, which appeared in this week’s lecture.

“If you ask people what they want, they will say a faster horse”.  – Henry Ford

If you can’t imagine a car, then you will continue to want a better version of what you have always had. This says to me, to always keep my options and viewpoints as wide as possible – you never know what you will end up with.

In the collaboration world this can also be true. By collaborating with those who are different to yourself, you can come across ideas which you would never have thought of by yourself.

Achieving cultural diversity and buy-in from more marginal voices is not something you do only at the beginning of the project. It is something that you have to focus on all the time, and continue to do so after the solution or service has been launched. – Jonathan Collie, Age of No Retirement

Microsoft – Changing the Game

During the Super Bowl in February 2019, Microsoft aired a 60-second ad titled ‘We All Win’, the latest installation in the company’s journey of empowerment and inclusion — showcasing how the Xbox Adaptive Controller is designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility.

The Super Bowl spot, YouTube instructional videos; and e-sports tournament for gamers of all abilities, received 1.1 billion impressions, according to the brand’s case study.

But more importantly than all of that is they made a change of inclusiveness. Now, even those with disabilities, could play the game.

“Design can able us, or can disable us” – Patti Moore

Technology and Language

Shortlisted for Creativity for Good in Service Design 2019 at the D&AD awards, FCB inferno submitted the ground breaking technology ‘Storysign’.

Many of the 32 million deaf children in the world struggle to read. 90% are born to hearing parents. They can’t hear their mother or father reading them a bedtime story, so they can’t match words with the concepts they represent. We created StorySign to help change that. A free app that uses the power of Huawei AI to open the world of books to deaf children. The app launches with our European campaign, directed by Academy Award®-winning director Chris Overton. StorySign can be downloaded from the Huawei App Gallery and the Google Play Store in 10 markets across Western Europe. – www.fcbinferno.com

With 90% of deaf children being born to hearing parents, communication issues including reading were identified. StorySign uses AI to translate selected childrens books into sign language.

The development and collaboration with Aardman Studios, known for Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, resulted in the creation of Star:

Her approachable and youthful demeanour enables the young reader to build a relationship with her. By signing as the words are highlighted, both child and parent begin to understand the nuances of sign language and develop, not only reading, but communication as a whole.

We have raised awareness of deaf literacy issues:

5+ billion global reach 

128+ million app film views 

1000+ pieces of international coverage

Stop. Collaborate and Listen

This week I collaborated with fellow student, Heidi Baker, on her idea for her hometown of Haverfordwest. She came up with the concept of improving perception and aspiration in the town by asking people to describe the locality as a colour.

The technique used to roll out this project was a colouring sheet which can be seen below:

I really liked the concept and that it was an offline solution to the issue. However, I felt like there was a great opportunity for there to be a physical installation of some sorts which made the most of digital technology.

I remembered seeing a marketing / event type prduct where people would submit photos of themselves and a programme would print out these and use the colours to make a bigger picture. Quite difficult to explain! Check out the promo video below:

With this in mind I developed the idea to come up with the following:

Heidi responded with:

“Brill, thanks Gary! Wow what an amazing treat it would be for the town to have something as happening as this. It reminds me a bit of the big I [Heart] Amsterdam lettering which people flock to for a photo opportunity. A couple of years ago we had a movie event where the movie was powered by a host of bicycles … we could do the same with this.” – Heidi Baker

Reciprocated Collaboration

Heidi responded to my project brief with the following:

I really liked the styling that Heidi has applied to her idea. It suggests to me that, while we may look similar on from the outside, some things, including language, are hidden.

The second slide suggests an enhancement to my initial idea where the proposed ‘local communication for all’ is expanded to include education, socialising and community champions for when you need more specific assitance.


In response to Heidi’s ideas I produced the following app interface.

To explain it in simple terms – The app loads and you are presented with a screen showing you all the languages available. You select one and click the arrowed button at the bottom. This then takes you to a confirmation page where you are asked to, “begin”.

On clicking this button you are presented with the main page of the app. from here you can click on the following:

At the top of this page is the option to fill out your own profile or to use the camera in an augmented reality way where you can photograph english posters and they will be converted into the language of your choice.


Kemp, A., 2017. Henry Ford: Horseless Carriages, Zero Emissions and Driverless Cars. [online] QAD Blog. Available at: https://www.qad.com/blog/2017/01/henry-ford [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Vlaskovits, P., 2011. Henry Ford, Innovation, and That “Faster Horse” Quote. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2011/08/henry-ford-never-said-the-fast [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Dandad.org. 2019. StorySign D&AD. [online] Available at: https://www.dandad.org/awards/professional/2019/digital-design/231305/storysign/ [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Youtube.com. 2019. Huawei Storysign 2019. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRWkdeoKSuk [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Youtube.com. 2019. Microsoft – Changing the Game (McCann New York, 2019). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY67yz9FtHQ [Accessed 14 May 2021].
Dandad.org. 2019. Changing the Game D&AD. [online] Available at: https://www.dandad.org/awards/professional/2019/experiential/230248/changing-the-game/ [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Lbbonline.com. 2019. How We Made: Changing The Game with Microsoft and McCann New York | LBBOnline. [online] Available at: https://www.lbbonline.com/news/how-we-made-changing-the-game-with-microsoft-and-mccann-new-york [Accessed 14 May 2021].

The Events Company. 2021. Photo Mosaic Wall Hire | Interactive Branding | The Events Company. [online] Available at: https://www.theeventscompany.co.uk/events/team-building-events/indoor-games/photo-mosaic-wall/ [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Baker, H., 2021. HBlog. [online] Hblog.cargo.site. Available at: https://hblog.cargo.site/ [Accessed 14 May 2021].

Hansen, J., 2020. 3 ways CEOs can foster effective collaboration. [online] Blog.flock.com. Available at: https://blog.flock.com/3-things-ceos-must-do-for-effective-collaboration [Accessed 14 May 2021].

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