Coffee, Croissants and Creatives

Design on the Inside


Design agency Snook hold a talk discussing challenges in design

“Design on the Inside” is a talk held by London design agency Snook, in an effort to help better connect people from each end of the design process, by creating a platform for designers and organisations to converse and understand the processes involved to improve the ways in which design is done and implemented.

Over pastries and coffee, a panel of guest speakers give presentations on the challenges that have been presented to them and how they overcame them. Before breaking off into smaller “challenge corners” for a more open conversation, where both the speakers and the audience have the opportunity to bounce ideas off one another, discussing problems they currently have and potential ways to solve them.

“We decided to create Design on the inside to have these open and honest conversations on what it’s like for people working on the inside, or agencies working with organisations on how this is happening, being thought through and what the key challenges are.” – Sarah Drummond, We Are Snook

This edition of the talk was on Service design; the process of planning and organising people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve the interaction between the provider and its customers.

As a practice, service design is centered around a ‘user-first’ principle. But it is tough to grow and sustain these platforms and often, like in most areas of design, getting the top level on board is no easy task. Connecting the ‘top’ to the ‘bottom’ is always difficult within design. When value is often seen as a financial KPI, instead of the actual success of outcome, it is the designers role to subvert and push those at the top to think differently. Challenging, questioning and breaking down the thinking of organisations to create a better outcome for the end user.

“If you’re not annoying anyone, you won’t change anything.” – Ayesha Moarif of the Digital Home Office

Each speaker stressed the importance of understanding. Who is it you’re designing for? What are their needs? As well as the importance of effectively connecting an organisation to its users, because until the organisation understands those they are serving, and until the designer understands the audience, there will continue to be a disconnect.


Written by Nathan Sumpter




Ayesha Moarif – Digital Home Office

Mia Peters – Waltham Forest

Kieran Whiteside – Big Society Capital

Beatrice Andrews – Policy Lab


Zaneta Stepien
Resident ZuQeenie