Our work is all about getting the expertise of charities and the voices of ‘lived experts’ into businesses. Whether driven by a desire for more inclusive products, tougher requirements from the regulators, or the broader ESG agenda, we enable businesses to do a better job for their customers.
Insight, knowledge and stories from charities and lived experts form powerful data – “data with a soul”. It is deep, first-hand qualitative insight and it inspires action. We add expertise in bespoke design, thoughtful facilitation, and focused analysis to create programmes that make an impact in business, and in society.
Some are designed to simply bring insight into a business, on topics like the cost-of-living crisis, neurodiversity or digital exclusion. Others are about using insight to tackle problems, test products and services or to innovate from scratch.
Either way, it’s a highly participatory process, with client teams playing an active role, giving them really memorable experiences and a strong sense of ownership over the actions inspired by the learning.
We have developed three approaches, with healthy overlap between them, and we’ll always design in a tailored way.
Providing the ‘glue’ throughout is our Lived Experts Research Community, a group of over 200 people whose lived experience, stories and ideas play a fundamental part in making our projects and programmes real, visceral and highly impactful.
Insight sessions allow people from business to get under the skin of societal issues and the realities of life for underserved and vulnerable customers. We run them online and in-person; over full days and in ‘bite-sized’ chunks; with active participation from client teams and, for large audiences, through webinars and podcasts. In all cases they’re designed and delivered with charity partners and lived experts from our own community. The Outside In Project brings insight to a number of member businesses at once. Have a look at case studies of sessions for Lloyds Banking Group on topics like digital exclusion and fraud & scams, NatWest Group on the use of cash, and our Outside In Project for six businesses on Consumer Duty topics.
When design works for people with vulnerabilities, it works for everyone. We gather lived experts in a wide range of circumstances to form panels; and those panels critique, test and help develop products, services and customer journeys – making them more understandable, accessible and inclusive. We run one-off and regular panels. Some are formed to bring specific experience, such as economic abuse or gambling-related harm, into businesses. In other cases panels represent many different circumstances. Product owners from businesses play an active part in the sessions, experiencing the insight and feedback first-hand – making them well placed to then embed in the day to day and, when done at scale, to influence business culture. Learn about NatWest’s Inclusive Design Panel and a pop-up panel of disabled lived experts focusing on backup power supplies for medical equipment.
Immersive Innovation is an in-depth sprint over two or three days designed to tackle big problem statements and opportunity areas. It starts with deep immersion in a vulnerability topic with an expert charity and the people it supports. The resulting insights help to generate new ideas and approaches. The best ideas are prototyped, and then critiqued by the charity and lived experts to ensure they’ll do the job they need to do for vulnerable and underserved customers. See how we worked with Santander to devise ways to support customers experiencing gambling-related harm, with Experian to develop ideas for an ageing population and with Royal London’s life insurance team to learn about the changing world of cancer.