Discovery for structural and fire safety service post Grenfell

When a fire destroyed Grenfell Tower, it became one of the UK’s worst modern disasters. In 2018, Dame Judith Hackitt released an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety to help prevent major structural and fire disasters, which included a recommendation to expand the industry safety reporting tool.

Confidential Reporting On Structural Safety (CROSS) hosted on the Structural-Safety site, is a platform where professionals in the construction industry can report concerns and events on the safety of structures.

Meeting the needs of today’s users

CROSS was launched in 2005, and in order to meet the needs of its users today, our multi-disciplinary team of researchers and service designers will take an evidence-based approach to help Structural-Safety understand the needs of its users and the sector to re-design the service.

We are currently running a research-led discovery project to understand how the CROSS service can be designed in a way that makes it simple and easy for people to share information and learn from others.

How might we design the service in a way that means people feel confident and safe submitting reports, often including confidential information? How might we ensure information in the service is organised in a way that matches the way people think about it? How might we facilitate access to specific pieces of information at the right time?

Research and workshops

Through a series of workshops, face-to-face interviews, surveys and experience mapping, we will be uncovering what people need when using CROSS to report structural and fire safety concerns. We’ll be exploring what stops people submitting reports, what the experience is like for people who do submit reports and seek out what would make people more likely to submit reports. We’ll be uncovering how people think about structural and fire safety and how they want to access information.

We’ll then be using our extensive experience of working with GDS design patterns to create concepts that illustrate a simple and intuitive process.

Simon Flanagan, Director Structural Safety Ltd, said:

“We wanted to take a completely user-centred approach to the redesign of this service which meant taking a step back to understand how people are using the existing service and think about the art of the possible. We needed to know what does good really look like for our audience and where can we invest our budget so it’s going to have the biggest effect.

“The only way to do this is by working with our users throughout, so we engaged Mace & Menter because of their deep experience in user-centred design for public sector and their enthusiasm for helping us re-vitalise this important service. We’re excited to be creating a service that will reach more people in a more effective way.”

Growing our roster of public sector clients

Structural-Safety are working with Mace & Menter and the initiative has been funded by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers, and the HSE.