What is Uscreates and what was the impetus for its establishment?
Uscreates is the UK’s ‘go to’ service design agency for health, well-being and public services. We were formed 13 years ago, during the early days of service design, from a desire by the co-founders Zoe Stanton and Mary Rose Cook to use their design problem solving skills to solve meaningful and important challenges.
Our first ever project used design to tackle unhealthy eating behaviours in the workplace. Instead of designing a new product or poster to get people to eat healthier, we spent time in offices to understand what made people tick and what made people choose unhealthy options and behaviours. We got people to take photos of their lunch, show us what their day was like and keep a food diary. Then we worked with the deep understanding of people to design new services and interventions which led to a 33% improvement in eating behaviours. This impact from our first project supported us to grow and scale across our work tackling big health and well-being challenges today.
How do you consider that health and well-being are related to design?
Health and well-being is all about people – right now some of the world’s biggest challenges and biggest opportunities are about people’s health and well-being. For example, our ageing and growing population, increase in poor mental health, strain on health services and reducing resources to tackle these issues.
Design is a really valuable tool and approach for really understanding people and creating better futures; designing better experiences, interventions, services, organizations and systems that positively impact on people’s lives.
Bringing together design with health and well-being means better futures for people using services, better futures for the organizations and people providing those services and better futures for our society as a whole.
What are some of your projects that relate in one way or another to increasing well-being and good health?
We’ve designed cutting-edge block-chain enabled drones to improve blood donation experiences and supported acute mental health nurses to feel 80% more confident about making improvements in their workplace. Our work on new approaches to preventing and managing homelessness are being used by local councils and our behaviour change interventions has increased referrals to stop smoking services by 15%. We have also designed a new social enterprise, Make Kit, to develop an award winning affordable healthy eating recipe kit that has been proven to change health behaviours by 83%. Read more about our work and the impact we have made through applying design to health and wellbeing challenges here.