Planet-centered design

a cartoon image of the earth covered by big sky scrappers and trees, floating on the ocean with icebergs, fish and a diver, the sky is busy with planes and birds.

On Wednesday 6 December we learned about planet-centered design

Planet-centered design is a methodology for designing products and services that do not harm the planet. As simple as it sounds, this approach of design is fairly new, with fewer case studies and no standard guidelines and methodologies for design-led organisations to use it in their projects. This month we focussed on demystifying planet-centered design.

Our speakers shared their work and discussed ways to embed the practice of planet-centered design in services or digital products. It was useful for people who want to build their expertise in this area, to hear about how to get started, best practices and useful tips.



Don’t wait for the green brief – Sandrine Herbert Razafinjato

Digital is physical. And digital pollutes. In this talk, Sandrine took us through the dilemma of creating digital products and services that are responsible. She gave us some simple tips to approach design briefs differently and bring the Planet as a key stakeholder and beneficiary. 

Sandrine Herbert Razafinjato is Design Principal and Head of Sustainability Practice at Method, a design and engineering consultancy. She has been designing brand experiences and human-machine interactions since 2003, and has been leading Method and her peers on a journey towards digital sustainability. 

Slides from Sandrine’s talk (PDF)

You can also check the Responsible Design Card Library v1.0 shared by Sandrine on the day.


How services can be planet-centric by design – Ned Gartside

(Extracts from the talk at SDinGov 2023). Ned  briefly covered the concept of planet-centred design and why a shift of perspective from user/human-centricity is needed, before focusing on the principles and how they can help us think about how we can practically start to design lower-carbon services.

Ned Gartside, is a service designer at the UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Alongside his day job, he is designing a new digital waste tracking service, He has led work to develop a set of principles to guide multi-disciplinary teams towards the goal of designing and delivering lower-carbon services.

Slides from Ned’s talk – Online PDF


Sustainability built in from the start: the role of design and UX in delivering green software solutions – Sam Woolard & Helio Costa

We explored how design and UX can contribute towards creating more environmentally friendly services and solutions in 3 ways, drawing on practical learnings and insights:

  • Defining sustainable features – Balancing environmental friendliness, viability, desirability and other interests in defining features and adopting a ‘delivery just enough’ mindset to meeting business requirements and customer needs
  • Choosing sustainable UX components – including the plug-in we developed to help our designers understand the environmental impact of different components
  • Collaborating with engineers – understanding how designers can support developers to deliver greener implementation choices

Sam Woolard is Sustainability Services Lead at BJSS, a technology and engineering consultancy. Coming from a background in digital transformation consultancy, Sam is leading the development of BJSS’ sustainability services which help organisations to be both ‘greener by technology’ and ‘greener in technology’ and works with teams across the BJSS business on how they can reduce the environmental impact of their work. 

Helio Costa has been Head of Product Design at SPARCK, the BJSS design arm, since 2017 during which time he has helped multiple organisations on the design of mobile apps, AI solutions, chatbots and web apps. Recently, Helio developed a plug-in which calculates the predicted carbon impact of UI components and guides on greener alternatives, which has since been used within client engagements and made available to the public using Figma.

Slides from Helio and Sam’s talk (PDF)

More links from Helio and Sam:


More resources shared in the chat during the call : a carbon intensity forecast with a region breakdown

A blog post from GOV.UK One Login: building a green digital service

And 2 online courses:


This was our last UX Glasgow event for 2023.

We will be back on Wednesday 3 January 2024.

Enjoy the holiday season! 


Cover image on this post is by José Reis