Designing for Social Impact

When it comes to social impact, there’s more to design than just colour, font, layout and negative space. Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Impressions matter. And in order to invoke a meaningful impression, therefore meaningful impact, designers for Social Change are required to think and act based on how people interact with interface systems, furthermore applying design principles to enhance their experience.

Taking a look at the concept and definition of Social Impact Design, simply put, this is design that seeks to solve humanitarian issues. Social change organisations implement design to enhance the quality of their communication, convey powerful, inspiring messages in addition to providing a valuable user experience all while addressing a theme of concerns. Problems have been identified and it is important for social impact designers to effectively communicate the solutions these organisations can provide.

The term ‘design’, is not only referring to visual elements. Design is referring to the overall system, its components and strategy working in sync. The strategy implemented is based on the persona that will be interacting with the design and system, considering their user experience and designing to appeal to their thoughts and preferences. Human-centred design thinking is significant in this regard as this deploys an approach to solving intricate matters and addressing the needs of individuals, ultimately creating a unique solution.

Another objective of social impact design is to create discussion and awareness. While many designers wish to present thought provoking strategies to initiate discussion, it is important to separate awareness from controversy, which has many a time been the result of well-intentioned social change initiatives. The truth is, social impact design has the ability to influence information, emotions, interactions and of course human experiences. With that power, comes responsibility to honour and be thoughtful of the vulnerability that exists within a social concern, ensuring the conversation and action around it is proactive and constructive.

Think, design and act outside the box: The CreativeBox Team is passionate about addressing and solving social impact concerns with our collaborators. We understand the importance of meaningful design and user experiences and we commit ourselves to creating awareness and driving value with social impact design and communication. We strive for long-term, long-lasting and effective solutions that are inspiring, empowering and cultivating.

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