Design Thinking & Social Innovation with the Design Council
Design for Communities / Ageing Population
With the increasing ageing population, loneliness and isolation is becoming a pressing issue. Age UK’s research reveals that one in eight people (12%) aged 65 plus are feeling cut off from society, which can lead to serious effects on health.
More than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
How could the community around us take more responsibility for the health and wellbeing of older people?
How could there be more opportunities for people of all ages to meaningfully connect?
Ofcom report – There has been a sharp rise in over-75s using tablets, from 15% to 27%.
And the use of smartphones among this age group has nearly doubled, from 8% to 15%
Using the Double Diamond Design
Thinking process we went on to tackled this social innovation project.
We used ethnographic style research techniques for primary research methods, to help understand with empathy the
challenges my elderly neighbours go through, speaking to older family members and the day care Staywell members. Being conscious of research ethics and good practice we
interviewed our key stakeholders. By talking to our older users, we plucked out key insights that informed our design intervention
Planning and conducting 11 user interviews, I ran the service and UX / UI design function overseeing the research and final delivery.
Drawing from the research, we went on to develop, design and iterate using service design tools to help craft out a new service outcome.
A new service which allows neighbours to connect with each other for tea and a social chat, but also as a support platform and knowledge skills exchange.
This platform would help build and strengthen the social fabric of neighbourhoods.
Connect like minded individuals locally. Help reduce loneliness by encouraging local connections with neighbours.