social value laptop image

In an era where ethics and social responsibility weighs heavily on consumers’ minds, it’s time to reflect and ask ourselves if we can be doing more to enhance the lives of the communities around us and make actionable steps to use technology for good.

What is social value?

Social value is the positive contribution that an organisation makes to society beyond its financial performance. It reflects the organisation’s commitment to making a meaningful difference in the world and aligning its actions with broader social, environmental and ethical goals.

Within our everyday practices there are questions we can ask ourselves to be mindful of to make more conscious choices.

Start by asking yourself these questions…

What is the primary issue or need that this product aims to address?

Can you imagine working months on a project, finally reaching completion, for nobody to be interested in using it – Ouch! Understanding the core problem or challenge a project seeks to solve is crucial for ensuring it has a purpose and making sure there is a real life user need for its existence. Although a project can be done, ask yourself, should it be done?

When Stone approached us we knew there was a problem to be solved. We simplified their IT recycling service whilst also rewarding customers and the environment for their end of life tech. The app continues to revolutionise disposing of e-waste.

How will the product promote inclusivity and accessibility for all users, including those with diverse backgrounds?

Think about how you can engage with a diverse range of users within the research stages and prioritise any enhanced accessibility features that are needed. Adhering to standard UX principles including high contrast colour schemes, scalable text and images, including alt text and creating clear responsive layouts offer a good baseline to start from. If you are able to offer customisation options, this can empower users to tailor an experience that works for them.

Does the app prioritise data privacy and security to protect users personal information?

Robust data protection measures and transparent privacy policies are essential for safeguarding user rights. Users should not only be protected but should also feel confident in the experience they’re using. Putting policies in place and making them accessible to reach is one thing, but also making them easy to understand will gain user trust. Removing jargon and using plain language will increase user comprehension.

What measures will be put in place to monitor and evaluate the impact on users and society?

Have you considered how the experience will affect the current status quo? Questioning how the impact will be measured ensures accountability of the work. Ongoing assessment of a product’s effectiveness should be compared to the initial user needs to ensure your product meets its purpose and provides user value.

Veygo is a great example of a disruptive brand that we’ve worked with introducing temporary car insurance to the market for Generation Z. Constant evaluation of user value and the app’s impact on the market is pivotal to its success as we continue the partnership.

How will the product promote community and connections among users?

With technology becoming more prevalent in everyday lives, it’s important to build peer support around user experiences. Including features that foster community building and bring individuals together to create a more engaging and impactful experience. Geographical barriers can be broken to enable people to stay in touch with friends, families and people with shared interests – let’s face it, we all like to chat with loved ones!

Our work with PADI, supported a whole community of divers, whilst also contributing to the world’s largest citizen science database for marine debris. The app is an integral part of gathering critical data and helping to advocate for global change.

Taking responsibility for the communities we serve

There are many other aspects to social value and projected social impact, but by asking these few questions we’re hoping this sparks a thought for change. Whether you’re addressing social challenges, promoting inclusivity, empowering users or fostering new communities, we have a moral responsibility to look after the digital communities we serve.

If you have an app idea that you’d like to discuss, we’d like to hear it! Whether it’s a mobile project across either iOS or Android or you’re looking for some design guidance, we can partner with you to solve the problems your users are facing.