September 2008

To overcome the rising loss of the UK postal service, Douceurs is a service solution enabling people to send letters to their future. This poetic service encompasses the beauty, simplicity and personal touch of traditional communication methods.

To better understand the issues currently facing the UK postal service, Lauren carried out interviews with archivists, members of the Royal Mail Innovation Team, Postmen, authors, historians and poets.

To investigate the social role of the Post Office and uncover traditional communication methods, Lauren interviewed a group of elderly ladies in Aberdeen , carried out a playful communication experiment in Edinburgh, and set up a free-typing service outside a Post Office in St. Andrews.

The final Douceurs service enables and encourages people to send letters to their future. In designing the service a number of design principles were outlined, a brand identity developed, a business model explored and user touchpoints were thoroughly analysed. The service journey was mapped and explored, and the design of Douceurs products (envelopes, stamps, website) were fully prototyped. The Douceurs service solution is designed to be centrally accessed via a website, offering a national (and international) portal and potential for the project’s success and future development.

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, Lauren believes we all need reminding of the simpler beauties in life. Douceurs takes elements of the postal service to a new and contemporary level of user engagement.

The insight for the service design has come from real people with real lives. Douceurs is a new and innovative response to the loss of post offices and has the promise of infiltrating our lives many years from now.

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