We work with organisations from all sectors on projects big and small, using a variety of different funding models. All programmes have a social good purpose, incorporating a range of commercial, political and charitable aims.
As part of the Enabling Better Choices workstream of Design for Care, we conducted a research project combining insights and methods from design and behavioural science to better understand the decisions people make while going through the care process. Our approach included observing and interviewing people about their experiences, a large online survey and experiments, helping us focus on a set of key decisions and factors that may enable better choices and a better quality of life.
Marsha and Umar organised an event in partnership with UnLtd to match PhD students at Warwick and other universities with ventures in the UnLtd Big Venture Challenge. Many of them are now working together to use scientific methods to demonstrate social impact, crossing the divide between research and practice.
We held an event to launch our partnership and joint programme of research and development with the consumers’ association, Which?. Our combined aim is to improve people’s lives through original research and the design of practical solutions across consumer markets and public services. Daniel and Mat spoke alongside Alex Chesterfield, Head of Behavioural Insights at Which?, and Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at Caltech.
In October 2014, Design Council launched a major design programme to improve the quality of care for older people. Our goal is to help create a care system that is more personalised, connected and preventative. The programme consists of four workstreams and we’ll be focussing on ‘Enabling better choices’.
Avri helped Which? run a choice experiment to understand the role of speed in the decisions people make about broadband. He found that people chose a different deal if they had better information on their broadband speed and that speed became more important when presented based on the speed 90% of customers would get, rather than 10% (as is standard). The results were used as part of the “Give us broadband speed guaranteed” campaign.
Ed ran a training session on behavioural insights and policy-making for selected staff members in the Public Services Development Agency, part of the Ministry of Justice, Georgia. The first day of training was on the key principles from behavioural science. The second day was on the design of experiments, particularly randomised controlled trials.
Daniel and Ed wrote a letter to Jo Swinson MP about the Consumer Rights Bill. Regarding the clause on Unfair Terms, it is our view that simply providing consumers with information about a charge does not absolve the seller of the responsibility for ensuring the charge is fair and reasonable.
Julia Kolodko joined us to start her PhD funded by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team. Her topic area is the application of behavioural science and field experiments to health policy.
This summer we were lucky to be joined by Zoe Donkin, a Senior Social Researcher on secondment from DEFRA, and Disha Mitra, who recently graduated from Warwick, to help develop our Design for Care programme.
Daniel and Ed supervised Marek Maruchacz, a MSc Finance with Behavioural Science student, in partnership with Which?, to run an experiment on how information disclosure effects people’s mortgage decisions. We found that disclosure of the APR produced inferior choices, while total cost information had a positive influence on people’s choices. The results formed part of the Which? Mortgage Fees briefing, which led to the government asking in the Autumn Statement for the Council of Mortgage Lenders to work with Which? to improve the transparency of mortgage fees.
Marsha is currently working with now>press>play and Talentino!, two companies in the UnLtd Big Venture Challenge. She is helping them embed scientific methods into the development process to understand what works and demonstrate the effect they’re having.
Providing high quality care and support to our growing population is currently a national priority. We conducted a research project, combining methods from design and behavioural science, to better understand the factors that influence staff performance and wellbeing, in order to reveal new opportunities to improve the quality of care services.
Ed spoke at Nudgestock 2 on how organisations can make good ideas happen, turning a spark into new products, services and places that improve lives.
Ed has been a project advisor on an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project being run by a team of design researchers and behavioural scientists from multiple universities. The project seeks to develop a better understanding of how SMEs and public sector organisations use information about design for behaviour change.
Marsha and Sinong recently worked on a project aimed to increase awareness of cancer in secondary school pupils at Riddlesdown School in collaboration with CoppaFeel, a charity aimed to encourage girls of all ages to check themselves for breast cancer. Our role was to bring some rigour to the project, and develop valid measures of behavioural change.
The full time MBA students from WBS came down to the Design Council for an introduction to design-thinking. The day involved talks and activities to introduce the principles of design and different research methodologies. Ed has also been giving guest lectures across a range of business and entrepreneurship modules at WBS to introduce design to the students.
Warwick Business School is part of CLAHRC West Midlands, an NIHR funded partnership between local health services, universities and local authorities. The research focuses on health for mothers and children, mental health, care for long-term conditions and the prevention of disease. We are helping embed an understanding of human factors and user needs before interventions are implemented and trialled in the field.
We have a Knowledge Transfer Partnership in place with Honeywell Building Solutions, co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, to research, develop and evaluate a new commercial service that reduces the energy consumption of organisations through behaviour change.
Nick’s free online course started again exploring questions such as what are the forces shaping human behaviour? How do we think and decide? And what are the origins of human rationality and irrationality?
The last decade has seen a 250% leap in the number of under 30 year olds admitted to hospital for liver disease in the UK. We worked with the Nominet Trust, British Liver Trust and service design agency Paper to identify the risky behaviours associated with liver disease in order to design a tool that steers people away from these habits. They have now launched Spruce, a service that helps you drink less frequently by supporting you to take three dry days in a row each week.
The Knee High Design Challenge is a partnership between the Design Council, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the London Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth. The Design Council challenged people from across the UK to come up with new ideas for radically improving the health and wellbeing of children under five in these boroughs. We are now helping the best ideas innovate and experiment to see them develop into new services, products and environments.
Ed has been on the consumer behaviour working group of the Green Food Project at DEFRA. The aim of the group was to look for clarity on what is well understood about consumers’ behaviours relating to diet and sustainable food and what is not with a view to identifying where priorities lie for further investigation/follow-up action.
Nick spoke at Digital Shoreditch on the need for more experimentation and rigour in the development of new ideas and policies.
We held an event to address the challenges of the information revolution with talks by Klaus Fiedler, Professor of Social Psychology from the University of Heidelberg, Michael Blastland, author and broadcaster, Felicity Algate, Senior Economist at the Behavioural Insights Team, Rich Lewis, Director at Decision Technology, and Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group.
Ed spoke at TEDxStAndrews on how behavioural science and design can be combined to tackle social issues.
There is now a significant evidence-base that the environment in which care is delivered can have an impact on patient wellbeing, staff performance and contribute to better clinical outcomes. This is why Macmillan Cancer Support created a range of programmes for care facilities to aspire to. We worked with them to support the development of these programmes by analysing existing data, running new experiments and implementing a wellbeing measure.
We held a workshop with people from across the Ministry of Justice to begin exploring the factors that may influence a person’s decision to reoffend before, inside and after prison.
The Design Council worked with three NHS Trusts and the design agency Pearson Lloyd to develop three solutions to improve the A&E experience through guidance, reflective practice and a toolkit for healthcare professionals. The evaluation showed a significant reduction in aggressive behaviour towards staff and the solutions continue to be rolled across NHS Trusts.
We launched the Behavioural Design Lab with a small event and a series of short talks and discussion between leading economist, journalists and author, Tim Harford, Professor of Behavioural Science, Nick Chater, and Chief Design Officer, Mat Hunter.