Design Matters – Ed. 10 May 24

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Design Matters, and the 10th Edition of our monthly newsletter celebrating design, sustainability and good people doing good things.

After what always proves to be an incredibly challenging shortlisting process, we’re delighted to announce that the 2024 Design for Good grant winners are Talking Money, Centre For The Deaf, and Step and Stone. We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. Narrowing down the applications was incredibly difficult as both the quantity and quality of entries was extremely high.

While on the road last month, we attended Innovation Zero at the London Olympia where we met some fantastic people and were able to gather some great insights about the challenges to growth and wider adoption facing Green Tech businesses in the UK. We’re conducting wider research on the subject, so if you work in this sector we’d really appreciate you taking a few minutes to share your thoughts here.

This edition of Design Matters celebrates our recent work with Hawkspring and Retrofit West, some amazing global and local projects that you can get involved with, some award winning plant based food (which is eggcellent to say the least!), and a way to support environmental conservation projects by simply listening to music.

We hope you enjoy reading!

Ed, Issy and The Discourse team

Our latest blog:

User experience (UX) design is the approach that design and product teams employ to create websites, products and services that deliver positive experiences to their users. It covers the complete journey – from creating an effective brief, to improving and optimising the website or product once it’s been delivered.

It also incorporates other creative and technical elements such as branding, usability and functionality.

Read more here.

The DIY Designer

The great thing about UX theory and design is that it relates to any product and service imaginable, from websites to coffee machines. Yes this is a skill that takes years to develop, but by placing yourself in the minds of your users, and by prioritising their needs over (or at least on an equal level to) the needs of your own organisation, anyone can apply the basic principles of UX to their work, website, products and services.

To support you on this journey, we’ve selected three essential UX resources to help you on your way.

Don Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things”, first published in 1988, is today more relevant than ever. In this book, Norman thoroughly explains this concept with numerous examples of both successful and flawed designs. As a renowned UX designer and researcher, his extensive insights on User-centred Design since the 1960s are crucial for understanding the field’s evolution and importance.

With 173,846 graduates, the Interaction Design Foundation is the world’s largest online design school specialised in UX design. They lead online design education with content created by top experts, covering UX design from beginner to advanced. Trusted by industry giants like Adobe, their courses are also used by MIT and Cambridge. They offer a vast library of UX Design literature and facilitate learning in 107 countries.

Created by Design Educator Brandon Groce, this Instagram account fosters a vibrant web design community, offering daily tips on UX/UI best practices while also staying at the top of industry news and trends. Covering productivity, colour theory, and the “laws” of UX/UI design, to name a few, it serves as a valuable resource for designers of all levels, from beginners to advanced professionals.

“I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.” – Greta Thunberg

Work from the Agency

If you don’t already know, Hawkspring were the winners our 2023 Design For Good grant funding. They are a Bristol based charity who provide support to individuals and families experiencing drug and alcohol addiction. We have loved working with Chloe, Hannah and the Hawkspring team over the last 12 months on their brand, website and content. We’re excited to share and celebrate the work! The full case study is in production so watch this space. In the meantime, you can visit the new website through the link below.

Retrofit West is a community-interest company funded by the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority. They offer independent advice and support for domestic retrofit projects in the West of England – helping homeowners to plan, design, and deliver energy-efficient and sustainable home improvements. We’ve had the pleasure to work with them on their video content this year. Check out their socials for the bloopers to!

Think global...

Did you know there are more than 650,000 metric tonnes of microplastic-fibres entering the ocean each year? That’s more than the weight of 5000 blue whales. One third of the world’s ocean based microplastic originates from textiles and clothing contributions. Matter. are a microplastics capture technology company focused on sustainable design and circular economy. Listed in BusinessCloud’s EnviroTech 50 ranking for 2023 and recently exhibiting at Innovation Forum in Amsterdam, they are tackling this issue at the domestic, commercial and industrial level. Find out more about their brilliant solution here.

Act Local...

Not Impossible is a new South West B Corp (pending) that helps less advantaged 16–25-year-olds find great careers. They are turning work experience into something busy employees want to host and have designed things from an employer’s perspective with Smart Matches, Flexibility and Convenience. Not Impossible would love more employers to be part of the team.

Find out more about their work here, and get in touch at: [email protected]

Solutions for the planet:

In response to the ‘substantial meal’ and scotch eggs debate during the 2020 lockdowns, Veglife has reimagined the Scotch Egg, with a difference…

It’s made entirely from plants. With the same amount of protein, less fat and less calories it’s both healthier for the consumer and the planet. They recently won the Dragon’s Pantry award at the Farm Shop & Deli Show, not to mention that Ed and the rest of the team are massive fans! If you haven’t tried them already, you won’t be disappointed… check them out here!

In our spare time...

Did you know Spotify now recognises Nature as an official artist?

Singers, songwriters and bands who use nature’s sounds can add it as a feature and revenue from these tracks will go towards supporting biodiversity and conservation projects. Every time you listen to a track you support an environmental project.

Type nature into the Spotify search bar or check out this link, to start listening and supporting environmental conservation, in arguably one of the easiest ways possible.

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