Better By Design

Better by Design was an initiative funded by Big Lottery Scotland, that introduced the mind-set and methods of design to support fifteen Scottish voluntary and charity sector organisations simultaneously to design new ways of working with, and for, people in the context of the communities in which they live.

The support provided was bespoke to each organisation's needs and focused intensely over an eighteen-month period on achieving predetermined outcomes.  The cumulative effect of the support, however, over-lapped single team and/or organisational boundaries and created the conditions for better collaborative working across and between participating organisations.

A design approach offers simple frameworks to help people and organisations find problems and map them out in ways that are sharable and reveal patterns, connections and opportunities for new strategic direction. These tools and methods help stakeholders to gain fresh insights and develop new perspectives on unmet needs and the services they currently offer. New perspectives are vital if we are to change behaviours, develop new relationships and support change across the system of service delivery.

In Better by Design we described the stages of the design process as insight, inspiration, innovation and implementation, however it’s important to recognise that the process is not linear but loopy, iterating through phases of divergent exploration and synthesis of ideas.

Whilst we’re not suggesting that everyone who took part in Better by Design became a designer, the process showed that anyone can use the tools and methods that design offers and that the design process can help to develop a culture and process of strategy development that engages people who use services and people who deliver them, collaboratively, to make a difference.


Participating Organisations