How can great design help fight the impact of COVID-19?

The Big Issue are one of the UK's leading social enterprises, working to dismantle poverty through creating opportunities for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The Big Issue offer people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income through selling their award-winning magazine on the street to the general public.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe and the UK were thrust into lockdown, The Big Issue saw their primary source of revenue - vendor magazine sales - completely suspended. The Big Issue quickly launched a number of initiatives to pivot their business model, including a COVID-19 appeal on their website.

We connected with The Big Issue to offer our support to optimise this appeals page in order to encourage online subscriptions and donations in support of their vendors.

  • Digital product design
  • Design & experience strategy
Example activities
  • Rapid market and competitor research
  • UI design mockups
Our top takeaways
  1. 01Living our values
  2. 02Keeping it quick
  3. 03Grounded in research and insight

Living our values

Pro bono in a time of COVID

Improving people's lives through digital and having a lasting impact on the world are fundamental to why we exist. We felt passionately about using our fortunate position (as a business able to continue operating during COVID-19) and our platform as experts in digital to support those whose businesses have been disrupted by this extraordinary shared circumstance.

Keeping it quick

Fast actionable advice. Now.

The impact of the pandemic was not going to wait - this was not the time for lengthy decks, workshops or storytelling. This was the time for rapid, high-impact recommendations with a laser-focus on the practical. In a matter of days, we generated a set of recommendations to optimise The Big Issue's appeals page, in addition to a set of desktop and mobile designs to bring these recommendations to life. On delivery, all recommendations were shared with The Big Issue's development partner for immediate implementation.

The team at This Place produced a really high-quality piece of work with a strong set of recommendations, which we were able to take and implement straight away on our website, significantly improving the customer journey for our COVID-19 appeal.
Group Marketing & Communications Director
The Big Issue

Grounded in research and insight

Data-driven design

Uncompromising on speed does not mean uninformed. We ran a rapid yet comprehensive review of best-in-class activity from within and across sectors to inform our recommendations. Drawing on both our extensive retail expertise and inspiration from within the third sector, we generated recommendations that were well-informed, grounded in research and centred on driving outcomes.

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