thinkpublic takes a collaborative, “co-design” approach and uses experimental methods to design services within a range of industries, especially healthcare. It taps the expertise of a diverse network of graphic designers, programmers, marketers, social scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, and more to identify unseen problems before designing solutions.
thinkpublic believes in rigorously testing new ideas and approaches to be sure that they work in the way in which they’re envisioned. An important part of the co-design approach is to set up systems so that feedback can continue after the initial discovery, design, and implementation have taken place.
One initiative saw them launch an app-based co-design tool that captures data from patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals about their experience with healthcare services. Using this tool, they create infographics and reports that identify key issues to be addressed through a further process. Recently this was used to engage stakeholders around Alzheimer’s Disease.
Another initiative, “Relative Friends,” sought to address inner-city loneliness. Based on thinkpublic insights, they developed a service to support people living in cities without family support networks by helping them build family-like relationships within their local area. Relative Friends won the Service Design category at the Design Week Awards, which recognizes the best British design talent of the year.
More recently, the “Sound Asleep Club” was inspired by the need and desire to help NHS frontline workers and communities deal with the anxiety, stress, and sleepless nights during COVID-19 lockdowns in the UK. thinkpublic worked with communities, wellbeing experts, and a sleep scientist to identify the best holistic practices to support relaxation and sleep. The club was officially launched in November 2020, providing a range of live online bedtime classes, on-demand videos, and products designed to appeal to people that may not have experienced holistic practices before. Additionally, for every new member, thinkpublic gave a free subscription to someone struggling with mental health.
The Sound Asleep Club has received support from the National Lottery Community Fund and has partnered with a range of charities and public sector organizations to provide access to bedtime classes and workshops.