After getting through our inboxes as we started back on Monday and dusting off our post its and setting up our project sprints for a new year, we took a moment to look back on what was a pretty phenomenal 2014 for Snook.

What a year we had.  There was some international travelling, a few awards and the launch of in-house ventures we’ve been sitting on for a few years as well as our continuing to design better services and experiences for people.





Care Information Scotland Phase II

We were again invited to work with NHS24 and Scottish Government to help implement the recommendations from our initial service redesign proposals, created in 2013 on Care Information Scotland. The first elements of the new service will go live at end of March 2015 as we’ve supported the phase by fleshing out a full service blueprint and developing further personas to develop digital use cases.  It’s great to see our work being followed up and heading towards implementation on what will be a vital service as more of us take on a caring role both formally and informally in years to come.


Team Training

I lay a big emphasis on ensuring we train our staff well, and with many projects kicking off in 2014 centred on young people, around some particularly sensitive subjects we made sure to equip ourselves.  Thanks to our client Heather Sloan at NHS, as she managed to make us the first group involved in young people’s mental health first aid training in Scotland.



Loch Lomond and Trossachs

We presented our strategy work to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which led to the development of the Live Park Campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and online.  What a fantastic, fun and ‘roll the sleeves up’ bunch the team were to work with, as were under pressure to release their Main Issue Report in the most dynamic and engaging way possible.  They even used lego to discuss planning, appeared on the TV, radio and did the best ‘non-pro presenter’ walk to camera we’ve ever seen. Thanks to Anna Maclean for being a star to work with and inviting us to work on the team’s brand and strategy.







Valerie continued our work with Social Value Lab evaluating the impact of the Macmillan Cancer for Glasgow Libraries services, engaging with service users throughout the city and producing feedback boxes for libraries, which Alex worked a fantastic job on.



Neilston Going Places


We began work with Tom Sneddon, Scottish Government and East Renfrewshire council on supporting ways to engage citizens in the consultation around local plans.  We set up an Open Design Studio in the Neilston Trust and ran a suite of events from lego workshops to community walks and interactive boards to gather opinion and humanise the planning process.

We created a feedback platform for the Neilston community, to gather their opinion on the development of the town. One of our favourite moments was when one lady ended up becoming our biggest advocate, even baking us homemade macaroons and raspberry ruffles, delicious! You can find all our Instagram snaps here of our community engagement work.



Nigeria Hackathon 

Our partnership with British Council continues abroad, this time programming and running our third Culture|Shift in Nigeria. After some dodgy Skypes, we had a plan and Andy travelled to Lagos to work with local innovators, designers and developers to create digital products to stimulate the local cultural economy.






Whose Round research completed 

Our Whose Round work with NHS GGC on co-designing an alcohol awareness campaign for young people in Greater Glasgow and Clyde came to an end, bringing together the board, project partners and the young people involved in the research.  We produced a Newspaper in partnership with The Matter of the results highlighting insights across a ‘night out,’ and what campaigns young people did and didn’t like. We presented behaviour research both of offline and online habits to the NHS to inform the development of our campaign for the rest of 2014.        

  Dearest Scotland Launch dearestscotland_letterspread We finally launch Dearest Scotland, a plan in the making since 2011.  We hosted an opening at the Glad Cafe and fantastic photographer Peter McNally came along to document the evening.  The project is our response to hearing people all over the country talk about future ambitions though never having the platform to share those visions, dream, hopes and fears. Dearest Scotland over the year grew into a popular space which encouraged open democracy and inclusive citizen participation. We start collecting letter written to the future of Scotland, both in hand written and digital submission format, the catalogue of which can be read here at    

  Nightriders launch We launched Nightriders, the finishing point of a support programme for eight people.  The programme was instigated by Unltd and Santander who reached out to Spark and Mettle, Good for Nothing and ourselves to brainstorm ways to develop a peer-to-peer network to inspire social entrepreneurship.  We brought a group of fantastic Nightriders together who wanted to ‘start something’ and every Monday night ran through a series of modules on business, design and network-based thinking.  Our friends at Flux Video made a fantastic video of the process which brought the energy from the programme to life.        

  RITA (Responsive Interactive Advocate) Funded by Innovate UK, as part of the Long Term Care Revolution, we worked with the University of Kent, Centre for Child Protection, Portsmouth University and Affective State, a Winchester based SME, to develop a personalised support system with an avatar based interface, RITA. Our role focused on developing the service and how RITA could be used as a product in supporting Long Term Care.  Friends at Igloo film produced videos that stimulated discussions on how technology can be used to support the growing need of those in care.      


  Sexual Health and Well Being in Glasgow The Matter | Sexual Health Working with Young Scot and LGBT Youth Scotland, we explored young peoples views and experiences of relationships and sexual health in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde area for NHS GGC.  We produced this in partnership with The Matter and with a group of young people who ran their own consultation approach with their peers. The report is due to be released next year.        

  Future Cities Glasgow We came to the end of our work with Open Glasgow and Glasgow Future Cities.  We developed Service Blueprints of how My Glasgow would work for the city and how waste and road services could be improved to incorporate citizen action.  We worked with groups across Glasgow having interviewed citizens, produced future tech timelines and designed systems for how the council could both operate human-centered services whilst optimising their back end services with the goal to reduce spending in the provision of public services. Our work was produced into reports that brought the user need perspective to the development of new business processes inside Glasgow City Council and supported the building of narratives for how future cities might work in Glasgow focused on enabling people to live better lives.        

  Servdes We hung out at ServDes hosted by Lancaster University and Imagination presenting BadgeMaker tools for developing Open Badges, our project with Mozilla and TSB on open education accreditation.      

  Teach in Austria We taught in Austria at the Innsbruck Management School on behalf of our friend Marc Stickdorn, author of This is Service Design Thinking.        


  Broadway Kick Off Pic_3 We kick off our partnership with Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, running a large scale design and digital thinking training course, Know How, for arts organisations across the East Midlands area.  We hosted 16 organisations through the first part of the process, culminating in December 2014 and starting up again in early 2015.          

  D14 We presented at D14 on Innovation in Education thanks to Alistair Gunn.  We talk about open badges, user-centered thinking for education and the concept of digital and design fellowships in schools.        

  Service Design In Government

We keynoted at the first Service Design in Government Conference, talking about inside to outside innovation of public services and how design can make an impact on joined up services that consider empathy in how they are delivered.  At the conference we also launched our co-produced paper with Design Managers Australia on Design Principles for working in public services and government.






Badgemaker goes to trial

We run a small scale pilot testing of BadgeMaker in a high school in Edinburgh, releasing Open Badging to teachers to create additional activities for inside and outside the classroom which students can earn.


CycleHack 2014

We ran CycleHack, a hack event aimed at reducing barriers to cycling, taking place concurrently over the same weekend in Beirut, Melbourne and Glasgow.  We attracted international attention and within a month we had 25 cities signed up for 2015.  Boom.



Berlin Keynote and Barcelona

We keynoted at Berlin’s webinale on all things digital and web.  Except we focused away from digital explicitly and talked to people about engagement. Apparently, it went down a storm and we recieved a lot of great feedback.  We then, after a segway trip to Brussels because missed our flight, talked at We Question Your Project event on Social Innovation and public services in Barcelona.



Glasgow School of art degree show

We proudly sponsor the Glasgow School of Art Product Design show where there was an array of interesting products and services showcased, many exploring the use of data in the 21st century and complex human relationships.






Penny in your pants goes viral

Penny in Your Pants was the simplest of ideas to help ladies who bike in skirts made at our 2014 CycleHack.  A 60 second film was produced showcasing this cyclehack and ended up reaching 3.2 million view and has now been featured in publications all over the world, including the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan magazine and  Snook and CycleHack are supporting the team which is developing a slicker product to raise money for the Afghan’s Women’s Cycling Team in 2015. Watch this space for more more Cyclehack activity in 2015…



Carr Gomm report and launch of CG Futures

Screenshot 2014-11-10 23.45.53

We worked with Carr Gomm, a care organisation who have scaled up across Scotland supporting a variety of different people.  We set up Carr Gomm Futures, an internal research and development capacity running design led projects inside the organisation with cross diagonal slices of teams from frontline to business development.  The process will be finished in February this  year with us stepping away after training staff in how to research needs of the people they support, co-design with them and prototype and test new ideas. We’ve been prototyping new marketing, one page profiles for their Merchiston home and new forms of engagement across the organisation.



We began work with Includem and part of our embedding programme by placing Keira on long term lease with the charity. Throughout July we met with young people across Glasgow and Fife, who work with Includem’s Transitional Support Service. We encouraged them to tell us more about the experience of working with Includem, to highlight the best bits and to identify parts of the service which could be made even better.  We turned this into a short film and a began to piece together what the core components of the transitional service are.






Know Sugar

In August, we ran a pop-up shop called Know Sugar in partnership with Design in Action.  Know Sugar was a campaign and public space where people could come and learn more about their sugar intake. Over the two days, we gathered research on the publics’ attitude to sugar, and had more than 700 people pledging to take our Know Sugar Challenges. A highlight was the surprise people had on realising how much sugar was hidden inside fizzy drinks.



Dearest Scotland in parliament

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Bill Kidd MSP championed Dearest Scotland and hosted a Members’ Business Debate on our campaign in the chamber of Scottish parliament.  We got a bit teary eyed when politicians from every side of the fence got behind it, including Scotland’s Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop;

“I also commend the project’s inclusive nature, welcoming letters from those of any opinion or indeed none on the constitutional question and accepting letters that are in prose or verse or which are fact or fiction. People do not need to be ministers, parliamentarians or any kind of politician to add their own vision and weave their own thread into the tartan. Although everyone in those categories is welcome to contribute, so is everyone else. The only requirement is that the letter start “Dearest Scotland”, and I am sure that we can all unite in holding Scotland very dear indeed.”



Includem Research Paper on Transitional Services

In August, both young people and Includem’s frontline staff worked together to develop a set of proposals to improve upon the Transitional Support Service. These were brought together in a newspaper, launched at Includem’s annual staff conference in October. Alongside this, young people took the opportunity to tell their stories in a film, which aimed to help define the remit which Transitional Support Service works within.




Whose Round hit freshers week
By September our Whose Round campaign was up and running at full steam.  In the same month, lots of students arrived in Glasgow for the new academic year. Whose Round team raised alcohol awareness at freshers fairs across the city’s universities and colleges, using a Whose Round pub quiz packed with Glasgow facts, and hangover grab bags full of alcohol awareness delights.

Design Management Institute

Our paper on Project 99 from 2013 on Young people, Mental Health and Technology is presented by us at the DMI annual conference in London.  We focus on the need for change in procuring design-led research and the ethics on designing and building sustainable platforms for co-producing knowledge and information between public services, civil servants and citizens.






SDN Conference

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We hung out at the Service Design Network Annual Conference and got an invite to the pioneers’ dinner, which we were very thankful for, not least to get in these kind of Service Design Gold Selfies.



Oman Public Sector Innovation Conference

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We are invited to Oman for a conference on Public Sector Innovation and talk about citizen engagement and running pilots and prototypes of public services.





Blueprinting SQA

Between November and December, we worked in conjunction with SQA to develop a blueprint of their Business Development Directorate processes. The most complex and intricate blueprint that Snook have produced to date, it was great to witness the interaction of SQA employees with the blueprint and to deliver a piece that can continue to be amended and developed by the client over time.

Developing Glasgow Council on Alcohol’s brand and digital presence

At the end of November, we attended the best kick-off meeting we’ve ever had. The Glasgow Council on Alcohol team had filled an entire room with visual props and information from all of their engagements over the last four years, which they walked us through in depth. It proved a great way to gain insight into your client and project – potential clients, please take note.  We look forward to sharing our work in the New Year with the GCA team.


Broadway Hackevent

Know How from Broadway on Vimeo.

Our Broadway Know How programme comes to an end in a hack event of six organisations developing their ideas into working prototypes.  We have services from supporting people with Parkinson’s Disease to dance using online tutorials to reduce shakes to artist skill sharing platforms.



Social Justice Award

We win a final place in Government Knowledge’s Social Justice Award and receive a nice glass trophy.  Thanks to Jonathan Baldwin who we found out nominated us!



British Council blurring the lines exhibition


We are featured in the British Council and Watershed’s Blurring the Lines Exhibition with a focus on Dearest Scotland.

Thanks to Tas Kyprianou for the photographs.


Dearest Scotland NCTJ Award


Dearest Scotland picks up the 2014 National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) award for best multimedia campaign in the UK.



Raft Building


With a few new team members at Snook, we all got to know each other when we headed off to Loch Lomond, spending the morning talking through a brief history of Snook and then off to build raft in teams.  No one got wet, which we celebrated with a pint while basking in our abilities to build wooden and plastic boats on the coldest of November days.



European Institute for Brand Management

We are asked by EURIB and Mike Press to talk about designing co-creative platforms with people to allow them to design products of the future.  We must have impressed, they’ve invited us back next year to Amsterdam.





Analogue Social
We sponsor and narrate Analogue Social’s event, 11 Mitchell Lane, showcasing local products for the home from local designers and makers. We’re proud to support local design networks and gave a leg up to the curation of future shows like this.  We also got to DJ at a pretend house party in the Lighthouse which is a special moment.

Project 99 to grow in 2015

We receive confirmation from Chest EU that Project 99 has been funded for 2015 and is the only UK winner of five successfully funded initiatives across Europe.  Dr Trevor Lakey talks to the Herald about our ambitions.



 Whose Round and Best Bar None

In December, Whose Round alcohol awareness campaign teamed up with Best Bar None to raise money for Clyde Cash for Kids, a charity which supports children who are living in poverty in Glasgow. The festive campaign was featured here in the Daily Record.  We raise over £1000 for the charity with our #morethanaglass campaign.

On with 2015
We’ve probably missed heaps out, though the knowledge we take from a fantastic year is having grown as a team, a company and in our capability set. As we move into 2015, we’ll be publishing updates of the work we’ve built in 2014 in further case studies. Here’s to another great year of creative impact and a thanks from me to our team and all collaborators and supporters who have helped make it happen.
Happy New Year!