Skip to main content

We ask these questions to develop our campaigns

1. Which social issues can we comment on?

Creativity is a license for commentary on social issues. Some of the brands we work with will be more radical than others. In every instance, we have to make sure we do our research, understand our audience, and open an intelligent dialogue. For every campaign, we should always consider a crisis management plan, just in case things go wrong. The internet is a sensitive place.

A man sitting on the moon discussing social issues.

2. Which everyday actions can we reimagine?

We do tons of things that we take for granted. Then when we see someone else describe those things, we think that they’re relatable. What if we reimagined taking a selfie, or walking on a treadmill, or opening the fridge door? The possibilities are endless.

3. Which social settings can we reimagine for the product?

Social settings can be both online or offline now. For example, what are the conversations that happen in the barbershop? What are are the conversations that happen in Fortnite? How can we understand and reimagine these settings to house our brand?

Man floating while doing yoga.

4. Which social values can the brand align with?

Social values are shared beliefs. What does the brand believe in? What does it love or hate? Based on this, what is the character that emerges? We can use this to create stories that motivate the settings for our ideas.

5. Which two words can we combine to create a new category?

An innovative father had a toddler who constantly demanded horsie rides. To accommodate these requests, the father came up with an invention: a saddle that he could wear. A saddle for a dad… the Daddle. You get the idea. How can we create our own Daddles?

A desert landscape with a camel, a beach chair, and a tree into a tiny bottle.

These are the principles that guide our designs

Design Principle 1 of 10

Build digital services, not websites

A service is a process that helps people to do something. Our job is to uncover user needs and build the service that meets those needs. Of course, much of that will be pages on the web, but we’re not here to build websites. The digital world has to connect to the real world, so we have to think about all aspects of a product or service, and make sure they add up to something that meets user needs.
Man working in a computer sitting on a ladder over an XYZ axis.
Design Principle 2 of 10

Start with user needs

Service design starts with identifying user needs. If you don’t know what the user needs are, you won’t build the right thing. Do research, analyse data, talk to users. Don’t make assumptions. Have empathy for users and remember that what they ask for isn’t always what they need.
Design Principle 3 of 10

Understand context

We’re not designing for a screen; we’re designing for people. We need to think hard about the context in which they’re using our services. Are they in a library? Are they on a phone? Are they only really familiar with Facebook? Have they never used the web before?
Hands building a puzzle.
Design Principle 4 of 10

Design with data

In most cases, we can learn from real world behaviour by looking at how existing services are used. Let data drive decision-making, not hunches or guesswork. Keep doing that after taking the service live, prototyping and testing with users then iterating in response. Analytics should be built-in, always on and easy to read. They’re an essential tool.
Data charts with an Ok hand gesture.
Design Principle 5 of 10

Do the hard work to make it simple

Making something look simple is easy. Making something simple to use is much harder – especially when the underlying systems are complex – but that’s what we should be doing. Don’t take “It’s always been that way” for an answer. It’s usually more and harder work to make things simple, but it’s the right thing to do.
OK hand gesture.
Design Principle 6 of 10

This is for everyone

Accessible design is good design. Everything we build should be as inclusive, legible and readable as possible. If we have to sacrifice elegance – so be it. We’re building for needs, not audiences. Let’s think about people from the start.
Two hands reaching out.
Design Principle 7 of 10

Do less

If we’ve found a way of doing something that works, we should make it reusable and shareable instead of reinventing the wheel every time. This means building platforms and registers others can build upon, providing resources (like guides) that others can use, and linking to the work of others. We should concentrate on the irreducible core.
Design Principle 8 of 10

Iterate. Then iterate again.

The best way to build good services is to start small and iterate wildly. Add features, delete things that don’t work and make refinements based on feedback. Iteration reduces risk. It makes big failures unlikely and turns small failures into lessons. If a prototype isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it and start again.
Hands sketching ideas.
Design Principle 9 of 10

Make things open: it makes things better

We should share what we’re doing whenever we can. With colleagues, with users, with the world. Share code, share designs, share ideas, share intentions, share failures. The more eyes there are on a service the better it gets – mistakes are spotted, better alternatives are pointed out, the bar is raised.
Man with a speaker sharing ideas.
Design Principle 10 of 10

Be consistent, not uniformed

For each client, we should use the same language and the same design patterns wherever possible. This helps people get familiar with the client’s services, but when this isn’t possible, we should make sure our approach is consistent. This isn’t a straitjacket or a rule book. Every circumstance is different. When we find patterns that work, we should share them and talk about why we use them. But that shouldn’t stop us from improving or changing them in the future when we find better ways of doing things or the needs of users change.

Let's Build Something Together

We send really great emails.

Get the latest posts and other things in your inbox,
once or twice a month.