Prioritising what emergency services a product team works on first

Hot on the heels of Refugee Support & Restoring Family Links creating a list of services, we’ve finished doing the same in the Emergency Response team. It’s taken us two months, dozens of interviews and analysing three years of service data and user research. The collective experience of hundreds of service users, volunteers and staff. All summed up in this drawing👇

View drawing on Miro

The goal of this work is to decide what a new team could do first. An Emergency Response product team.

By ‘product team’, we mean a group who:

  1. Centre their decisions around user needs
  2. Focus…


Weekly design meeting, summer 2020

We are looking for two people to lead our design community of practice:

In summary about both roles:

  • £50,000 per year
  • Permanent
  • Flexible working, office work in London — when we go back to offices
  • A mix of hands-on design work and management

Informal chats

We want to give prospective candidates the opportunity to meet the wider team, ask questions and learn if they’d want to apply.

These will be 30 minutes slots over video or phone. …


The Red Cross until recently had a hovercraft for some lochs in Scotland. I loved learning this.

Next month I’ll be leaving the Red Cross. Starting a new job based in Bristol, where my partner and I relocated to last year.

In my career so far, what I’ve been involved with at the Red Cross is the work I am proudest of. Copying Will’s example, I’ve written what I’ve learned in the last two years. Reflecting on the rewarding bits, the challenging ones and my mistakes.

These aren’t all the lessons, but the ones that stick out most in my head.

  1. Design as close to problems as possible
  2. Subject matter experts are amazing
  3. Deliver first, push for…


In Crisis Response & Community Resilience at British Red Cross, we’re about to start a bit work to map our services as users see them.

Example of mapping services

Mapping services have been done for a while. There are some great examples and thinking from the public sector. I recommend reading blog posts defining services by Kate Tarling and understanding your services by Ben Holliday.

‘Mapping services’ is still a bit abstract, so here is an example. …


Taking a design approach is a proven way to reduce risk when developing new ideas, products and services. Risks like developing a new service nobody wants or uses and has no positive impact.

Several teams at the British Red Cross are already taking a design approach. To show what the approach is and examples of where we already do it, we’ve made a small website:

design.redcross.org.uk

design.redcross.org.uk

Our design approach borrows a lot from the stages of agile delivery, popularised by the award-winning GOV.UK website. This approach is now commonplace for teams across the UK public sector and increasingly large charities.


Opportunity to join our team looking at how the Red Cross can be smarter in how it supports communities at risk of humanitarian crises

Look at the job applications [Closing date 23rd August]

Service Designer

Chat to Jess and Harry about the role

We’re saving time next week for informal chats so you can learn more about the role and ask us questions. See the end of this blog post for details.

The team you’d be joining

As the pandemic has shown, the nature of UK humanitarian work is changing. It is becoming more dispersed and community-led. Illustrated by the 4242 mutual aid groups who have provided food and welfare to their neighbours, either shielding or facing other hardship because of the virus. Another example is the community groups who led the humanitarian response at Grenfell.

Mutual Aid groups in the UK

The Red Cross is a large national organisation with a…


Working across emergencies, migration and health inequalities, you’ll lead on designing how people interact with our services.

We have an exciting position in our Digital and Innovation team.

Look at the job applications [Closing date 9th August]

Lead UX (interaction) Designer

Chat to Afsa, Shafqat and Harry about the role

We’re saving time this week for informal chats so you can learn more about the role and ask us questions. See the end of this blog post for details.

The team you’ll be joining

The Internet is central to how British Red Cross needs to support people experiencing emergencies, migration and health inequalities in the UK and abroad. To reflect this the organisation has a growing team of people specialising in product management, software development and design.

As this pandemic has highlighted, many people face challenges from emergencies, migration and…


Since the beginning of April, the British Red Cross has been running a Coronavirus support line.

The support line is for anyone who needs to talk or can’t access food and medication. Anyone calling the support line will speak with one of our trained volunteers.

Volunteers are our service; give them the tools for the job

How people use our service is by speaking to another human, a British Red Cross volunteer. Meaning volunteers are our service. Therefore our team’s aim is to give volunteers the tools for the job.

One of the first tools we built was the Operator Manual, which gives volunteers information and tools for answering support lines…


Four steps to help catalogue a nation’s bins

#govbins is a project to photograph wheelie bins in every UK local council.

It started sort of by accident when I noticed that bin designs varied in different areas. It’s a bit niche; each photo is like a postcard to myself. But it’s been nice and surprising when it’s got some attention (and some excellent puns) from places like The Guardian, The Atlantic and Creative Review.

This quest has ‘bin’ going for over three years. …


Last summer British Red Cross did a discovery into fires and floods, which went on to become our Visible in Emergencies work. One output of the discovery was a kind of map. The map visually organised our findings into the timeline of a fire or flood.

Download the map.

I wanted to explain why the map was useful and how we made it.

Why bother making a map?

At first I was uneasy about making a map. Service design had got a bad reputation inside our organisation for sometimes only resulting in research printed on long bits of paper. …

Harry Trimble

Head of Design, Made Tech, previously Red Cross, GDS, NHS

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