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Public offers of help for refugees

Due to a high level of public interest and concern, we were tasked with developing a trial online solution to help members of the public find out how and what kind of help to be able to offered to refugees.

User research identified that councils enrolled in the trial project needed a way to tell the public what they wanted to help their newly arrived refugees, rather than receive lots of things that they didn’t need.

Design for a new system where local area councils can log into their administration website to check a list of items or services to select. This is then published to the public website. The public select their local area on the website, view the list of requested donations, check off what they’d like to offer on the list, leave their contact details and the council will contact them to arrange for delivery of the items or services.

Tasks included:

  • Identifying pain-points of the councils enrolled in the trial project.

  • Identifying the best approach through user research with councils and refugee organisations.

  • Designing and process-mapping a system.

  • Stakeholder workshop to prioritise functionality.

  • Designing UX, interactions and UI for the new digital service using GDS design principles.

  • Building and user-testing digital prototypes.


  • Between the launch in July and August 2016 the service had over 900 offers.

  • Councils and associated organisations now have an effective way to manage the offers of public help by publishing the things they want, rather than receiving the things they don’t need.

I designed this simple process diagram to communicate exactly what the service was all about

I designed this simple process diagram to articulate exactly what the service was all about.


This process map was used to show how the user information flowed. It was also simplified to help the main stakeholder understand the proposal.


This is the landing page for the service. There was a lot of effort put into the content design and the layout in order to make it as simple and straight-forward as possible.


The user selects their local council area. Since this service is a trial, there are only a certain number of councils currently signed up.

The hope is that it works so well, it can be used as a proof-of-concept for rolling it out to many other councils in the UK.


When the council has published their list of requested donations and services, the public can then choose what they’d like to offer.

The published list is editable and the council can also add new sections.

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