We believe that design and research belong together. In fact, they are really different flavours of the same thing.

To say that basing design on real insights makes for better outcomes isn’t controversial, but many projects still fall back on instinct, copying competitors or just following the highest paid person's opinion.

This is because design and research are usually still thought of as separate phases within a project, often skipped or ignored when budgets or time get tight.

The EBD framework weaves research into the design process: an agile design framework for measurably better outcomes.

Evidence-based design graphic
Evidence-based design graphic

The principles

We call our method evidence-based design. EBD is a cycle, so works in both delivery and ‘blue sky’ scenarios.

Back up every decision with evidence
Use the design process itself to generate evidence
Recognise there are always multiple solutions to any problem
Keep it simple
Do the most important thing first
Start at the end: what outcome are we looking for?

Why evidence-based design?

Treating research and design as flavours of one discipline reduces silos. Teams are more aligned, have a better overall dynamic, yet maintain their expertise perspectives.

Plus, the cycle of EBD is flexible so you can start at any point.

How does it work?

Start with a problem, an idea or anywhere in between


Back up every decision with evidence


Use the design process to generate evidence


Keep it simple



First Mile: Optimising the homepage for sales and user experience

We started with a full expert review of the current homepage and a deep dive into analytics and heatmaps. Taking to the streets and talking to real small businesses gave us valuable first-hand insight to their needs, pains and expectations.

User testing helped us refine and iterate new homepage concepts. Every design decision made could be traced back to this research.

See how evidence-based design enabled a customer-centric redesign for First Mile

View case study