Better by Design has now finished and on Friday 15th May 2015 we came together to celebrate the achievements of the 15 organisations who took on the challenge to test design led approaches to sustainability.

In setting up Better by Design, we were intrigued by how a process of design led support could encourage sustainability in the widest sense. We knew that there would be no ‘road map’ but what we hoped was that those taking part would go on a unique journey where they would drive the process themselves, along the way testing ideas, responding to challenges and embracing change.

Better by Design was as an experimental programme and the evaluation report offers key learning about the value of design-led approaches for the third sector. It shows that for many of those involved, the process was challenging, but it was also rewarding, supportive and empowering. Whilst the programme has now ended, we are confident that those involved will continue to embrace the design tools, techniques and mindset of Better by Design to improve their services and become stronger and more resilient.

A user’s guide to the design tools and techniques is now available along with the full evaluation report and a summary report.

The Better by Design: A Users Guide 

Better by design User guide cover

The Better by Design: A Users Guide is an introduction to some of the methods and mindsets used throughout the programme.

This  book aims to inspire and encourage rather than teach.

If you were part of Better by Design, we hope that this both brings back memories and encourages you on your journey from here.

If you were not part of Better by Design, we hope that this encourages you to try some of the methods in your own organisation and inspire you to experiment with new ways of working.

Click here to download the Better by Design User Guide


Summary Report

Screenshot 2015-05-20 14.37.31

This short summary outlines some of the key learnings and recommendations from the programme.

You can download a copy here





Full Evaluation Report

Screenshot 2015-05-20 14.34.57

This full report contains nine case studies which feature elements of how the process has made a difference to the organisation. It draws out some of the implications and recommendations to improve the prospects for the implementation of similar programmes and help to create a design-led culture of collaboration and mutual learning

You can download a copy here




Getting animated about Better by Design – 1.12.14

We have developed a Better by Design animation to act as an advocacy tool to help explain the programme to those not directly involved in it and to illustrate the importance of programmes that enable third sector organisations to grow and develop. Click this link to share the animation more widely

 Better By Design 140814 FINAL from Young Foundation Ventures on Vimeo.

Annual report – 19.8.14

The landscape for thirreport coverd sector organisations is changing. Many are now facing increased demand for their services, a more competitive funding environment and heightened pressure to demonstrate their impact in terms of social outcomes rather than services. It is out of this complex need for change that Big Lottery Fund Scotland developed Better by Design, a process of design-led support over two years which aims to encourage sustainability in the widest sense.

You can find out more about the programme, the design process and the progress of the 15 organisations in our annual report Better by Design: Design thinking for the Scottish third sector.


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