Service design for utilities

In close collaboration with the Design Council we worked on a service design scoping study for a water company. Our task in this multi-stranded project was to generate consumer insights that could lead to the identification of strategic opportunities for improved and innovative services.

We visited a mixed group of people in their homes and asked them to share their thoughts on their water usage with us. In these conversations we touched on a wide range of issues, from costs and health to education and environment.

Water usage for consumption

We filmed all the interviews and asked people to show us the places in their homes that are most related to their water usage. Substantial parts of the interviews were therefore done in bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms and coal cellars. These recordings offer a lively and contextual illustration of peoples’ daily practices and perception of their water usage.

Water usage for washing

Overall it struck us that most people seemed to be fairly concerned about their water usage. Many of them expressed a wish to be better able to understand and monitor their personal usage. They would welcome services that can help them do this in an easy and accessible way.

As a result of the consumer research we identified a series of opportunities for further exploration in more detailed service design projects. Together with the Design Council team we discussed the insights from the consumer research in a workshop with the utility company. We also assembled a video library with of a large collection of tagged clips for future reference by the design teams.