How do I explain to my friends and family what we did to win three Good Design Awards?

Meld Studios win three Good Design Awards

Photo credit: Good Design Awards

Me: “OMG, we won three design awards last night – including best in show!” 

My friend: “That’s great, Ali! And what is it that you actually do again?”

Ok, it’s time to really break it down and shed some light on what we do.

Last night we won three awards for a project we did to improve the way people get help from the government. Our project won GoldBest in Class, and Good Design Award® of the Year! Here’s our press release.

That third award is incredible because it places us joint first overall out of 536 entries from all over the world and across 10 disciplines: architecture, engineering, industrial and product design, graphic design, websites and mobile apps, fashion…

Our category is service design. This means we design the service and experience people have with an organisation.

New centre play area and water cooler

Our project was with Queensland Government. We helped their staff to think from a customer (citizen) perspective and to design a service centre for people who need housing.

Think One Stop Shop in NSW or a Work and Income centre (WINZ) in New Zealand that is really well thought out for the people who need to go there.

For example, this image shows a play area to keep children occupied while their family meet with the centre staff.

Sounds obvious, right? But it’s actually quite novel for government, and big companies also, to think this way and really plan for what their customers need.

I’m quite shocked that a service design project has been acknowledged over traditional categories like architecture and product design.

Our work was up against some serious competition – for example, Elon Musk’s entry for a Tesla charging station; the water re-use project at Sydney Park; beautiful new buildings across Australia; furniture, lighting, household appliances, and industrial machinery from around the world; sustainable fashion practises; plus lots of websites and mobile apps.

Our project was deemed to have a greater impact on improving everyday life for people.

What makes me even prouder is that this work is one of 50 odd projects we do each year with organisations across ~15 different industries. We are doing similar work with Federal and other State governments plus lots of corporate and not-for-profit work.

Here are some examples:

  • We are helping the ATO make tax returns easier; the Australian Bureau of Statistics to design the next Census; and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to improve financial literacy across the country.
  • We are helping State transport departments to think strategically about how people will use public transport in the next 30 years. On a tactical front, we are testing how passengers will use a new fleet of trains and buses.
  • We are designing visitor experiences for art galleries, museums and libraries across Australia.
  • And we have done lots of work for young people and people facing a tough situation – like return to work programs, mental health support, healthcare services, and going to court.

testing storytelling
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there. Needless to say, I’m excited and I’m proud; and it’s time to shout out loud for the incredible work we’ve been doing. Go Meld!