There are plenty of design methodologies in the world. They have long names, and they are extremely powerful tools. We've got it down to a few that we love – that we now use as our design principles. Together, they help us to make things that work for people, for business and the environment. They allow us to innovate while minimising risk, and help us to run great projects with amazing people.

User-centred design

The best products and services start with an understanding of the needs of the people who will use them. We actively engage with end-users (also known as people!) to gather insights that lead our design process from the earliest stages. Different users often have very diverse needs, and we work hard to accomodate the interests of the public, government, business and civil society.

Sustainable design

For some this is a moot point: sustainable design is just a fancy way of saying good design. And that's the way we feel about it. Good design uses less energy, less carbon, and less money to do more. It's designed for life, not for landfill. We won't be happy with a design that is profligate, wasteful, uses too much or does too little. If something is thrown away at the end of its life, then it's rubbish - and it always was.

Evidence-based design

If design is going to be truly great, it needs to be based on facts rather than guesswork - however inspired the guesswork may be. Our evidence-based design process uses social research processes to measure and define aspects of the problem space that otherwise might elude a design team. It allows us to rigourously define the problem space before we start, and to test designs against measurable objectives and benefits as projects progress.

Interdisciplinary design

One of the best ways of minimising risk in innovation is to reuse tried-and-tested techniques in new areas, kind of 'mashing up' knowledge from diverse specialisms. We have in-house expertise in product and service design, hardware and software engineering, and business architecture. We have a broad network of associates - from policy scientists to poets - who help us to quickly and efficiently understand and address novel problems while minimising risk.