• Whether a commercial service or a complex policy issue, our design thinking approach provides a reliable process
    plus engaging techniques, to make sure you can move forward with confidence.
    Design thinking provides a pathway to innovation, complex problem solving
    and sustainable design results.
    Design Services

Our approach

Diverse perspectives deliver better designs

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The i-d-e-a-s way

a proven process for practical design

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Tools of the trade

A tool for every situation

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our approach

Impactful design emerges from the healthy contest of ideas. There are three key points of interest that count in design – the individual, the organisation and the broader system or market. Our approach makes sure the real conflicts and synergies at each level are identified and resolved during design. 

the i-d-e-a-s way

We use a proven process to move from idea generation to detailed design. Our process draws on the best of human-centred design, business management and applied research and delivers you all the elements you need to move to action.

tools of the trade

We select the most appropriate mix of techniques to solve your challenge and meet your budget. In the spirit of innovation we’re always adapting and growing our suite to make the most of contemporary practice.

Our approach

Diverse perspectives deliver better designs



Engagement with people provides an important counter point to data and desktop thinking. We draw strongly on the principles of human-centred design because in our experience individual stories provide the meaning that leads to insight. We engage with people to give voice to those involved in any project. Through immersion, video ethnography and other field techniques we can bring the individual to life.

This increases the chance of finding that magic differentiator, builds staff empathy and connection with your clients and keeps people at the centre of your design.

Organisations impact and effect the viability and feasibility of any concept. The history, resources, beliefs, and systems of an organisation will shape how staff, customers and decision makers act.

When planning for a new opportunity, or responding to an existing challenge, the organisational context is a critical factor. We draw on our observational techniques and reliable management consulting techniques to get a handle on the organisational context from the beginning of the design process. This means we can help you manage your risk, from brand and investment, right through to implementing change.

As powerful as human centred design is, it cannot account for system complexities. When solving in complex environments it is essential that the process of design operates at all three levels. Factors such as relationships, geography, legislation, and socio-political context are critical considerations that must be identified and addressed when developing new concepts. It is as often at the system level, as at the other levels that competing values and perspectives become very clear. We use our deep experience mapping and understanding complex systems into our design thinking process to ensure the full context is understood. 

the i-d-e-a-s way

A proven process for practical design


We get out into the external environment to really understand what is happening, what people want and how things are operating. We capture key evidence in visual ways to ensure the design team breaks pattern thinking. This process can be swift, or longer term, depending on the complexity of the project challenge.



Low fidelity prototypes help us test, engage and refine concepts and ideas. We go back to end users, and the relevant information, to find the strongest concepts – those that are desirable, viable and feasible. 



Once the best concept has been identified, and been through the relevant gates to make sure it is worth pursuing, we set about designing the concept in enough detail for implementation. This process often includes regular, and normalised re engagement with end users to keep the design aligned and true to the original concept.



Together we will invest the time to set the ambitions for the project and get clear on the question. We will work with you to push the boundaries and ensure each design process is set up to deliver the greatest possible value. 



As an external partner, we know it is essential we support a smooth transition to the internal owners. We take the time to make sure we build the relationships, and provide the products you need, to take action beyond our engagement. 







tools of the trade

A tool for every situation

Secret service

We get out and use similar services to see how they work, test their quality, find innovations, understand market dynamics and much more.

Mobile ethnography

Use mobile technology to walk a while in your client’s shoes. Gather a rich tapestry of information to find the magic in your service offer.


Simulate real life to test the appeal and feasibility of your concept by building and roadtesting key parts early on.


Distil client knowledge into the critical profiles you need your service to respond to. Archetypes keep the client at the centre of design decisions.


Explore relevant trends in other industries to stimulate new ideas and help break through current ways of working.

Service walkthroughs

Build a visceral experience where the service journey is brought to life for clients using as many senses as possible.

Field observation

Observe people in their settings to better understand their unconscious behaviours and preferences without interference.

Service charters

Document and commit to your service promise. This will drive cultural change inside your organisation and strengthen your brand in the market.

Secret serviceMobile ethnographyPrototypingArchetypes

TrendscapesService walkthroughsField observationService charters