When it comes to designing better solutions for real, impactful and lasting social change, it is imperative to take time to hear the voices and understand the lives of the people we’re designing for. This requires active listening and high levels of empathy.
At Heart & Soul Story we are passionate about the role of deeply listening to people’s stories and being a conduit to helping the heart and soul of their stories come alive.
Having spoken to hundreds of people across a wide variety of subjects, our passion lies in social sector research, stemming from a desire to help address large scale social change. This desire has led Founder, Samantha Heron, to complete a Post Grad degree in Social Impact through UNSW in 2013 and complete research and strategy work for clients including;
- Diabetes NSW – provide programs, services and information to help everyone affected by diabetes to live their best lives.
- Media Access Australia – Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disability)
- Life Circle – A Social Enterprise aiming to effect social change around attitudes to dying ( Projects have included work with Opal Aged Care and Bupa)
Human-centered design, also called design thinking, is a process of design that incorporates feedback and iteration to create a product or system that is tuned to the needs of the community it serves. It is a collaborative process that begins by opening the pathways of communication between the users and designers. immersion in a community, listening to the problems and challenges of that unique community, and opening your mind to creative possibilities. The most important part of the inspiration phase is the listening process. Human-centered design is first and foremost grounded in knowledge about its users, and much of the research and strategy work of Heart & Soul Story has been guided by this important process, pioneered by design firm IDEO.
Heart & Soul Story has the honour of listening to some incredible stories through our work. From hearing how vision and hearing impaired people navigate the landscape of ever changing technology for work with Media Access Australia ( Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disability) to the unimaginable challenges and often unexpected rewards of being a carer for a loved one who was dying for and an of life care project with Life Circle and Bupa.
In listening to their stories and then having the precious job of sifting through our conversations to try and reach the heart and soul of the matter for each project we have worked on, we have found that despite fundamental differences that always emerge, a common element of humanity always shines through. By taking the time to carefully uncover that, examine it and share it with others, that the heart and soul story emerges and we can help the team we are working with feel just a little closer and less separate to those they are trying to help.