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PGT Digital Showcase

Twenty Twenty

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Key insights

Key insights

Affinity mapping was used to explore, cluster, and analyse the information from the research. Key insights included:

Around 25% of Young adults (20-34) are living back with their families, and this is set to increase with Covid-19 difficulties. Often the young adults want to shop sustainably (vegetarianism or other) but differences in habits and desires cause tension and conflicts, the families want to enjoy food together.

The 'story' of the food is very important to the participants, wanting to know where it came from. McDonalds was given as an example of 'sustainable food' due to their marketing.

Eating and cooking alone can feel unpleasant if you're feeling lonely. Therefore quick decisions can be made not thinking about health or environmental sustainability.

Decisions for food to eat between couples happening remotely on the way home from work can lead to increased waste through miscommunication.

Design ideation

Design ideation

The insights were turned into an opportunity by using the "How Might We" method. The technique 'Crazy 8s' was then used to rapidly generate ideas. These were analysed remotely with participants and put into two selection matrixes. These were: Ability to improve experience vs ability to improve behaviour and obtrusiveness vs product control - to consider the ethics of changing their behavior. The crazy 8 ideas, behavioral interventions and new service concepts were developed through generative service co-design. A journey map was used as a tool to develop a new food service.

Co-design and usability

Co-design and usability

Design concepts were tested with participants and they were encouraged to participate in designing in order to understand their needs. This was particularly useful for bigger picture service design development, and getting feedback on the strength of behaviour change strategies. Usability studies were conducted remotely where users follow a click-through prototype and think aloud.

Thomas Cousins

I’m an enthusiastic deep-thinking designer, striving for creative and innovative designs based on evidence and empathy.

My first degree was in Product Design and Technology, and I have 5 years of experience working in industry as a Product Designer and Design Engineer. I have always strived for my work to be innovative and to improve design methods and strategies. I enjoy solving challenges and creating products and services that people enjoy using. However, sometimes more structured engineering approaches can take the user out of focus as you work towards the end goal. User Experience Design has allowed me to develop the skills and knowledge to keep the users at the centre of the design to create products and services that will feel great to use and meet real needs. I prefer larger picture thinking, researching, service design and iterative design. I can now combine my analytical and methodical engineering and scientific approaches with more fluid and adaptive iterative UX design approaches.
In my career, I would like to put into practice my new UX skills and combine them with more strategic and analytical thinking.

Major Project

Improving the user experience of buying sustainable food for young adults living with parents or carers.


In 2014 I exhibited my Product Design work at New Designers in London. Only a selection of students were chosen to exhibit and it was a privilege to meet professionals from the industry there.

In 2017 I was awarded Incorporated Engineer status with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. This process included the quarterly submission of reports with a final interview in London. It proved my competencies in knowledge and understanding, design and development of processes, systems, services and products, responsibility, management and leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, and professional commitment.

In 2019 I completed IBM's Enterprise Design Thinking & Team Essentials for AI online courses. These developed skills and knowledge for teamwork in UX and responsible designing for Artificial Intelligence.

In 2019 I entered the University UXathon with a team. We won the award for best concept for our sustainability focussed service that easily allowed customers to swap unwanted clothes for new garments. This involved creating a service concept with an app design based on a brief provided by a start up company.

In 2020 our team won funding from the Ford Smart Mobility Challenge for our packaging-free food service concept 'wefill'. A concept where food is delivered to student halls and the reusable packaging is swapped and taken away. We developed a brand, the service design, business model, and preliminary user interface designs.