Falck UK Ambulance Service

Roles
Designer
Front-end Developer
Year
2018
Client
Falck UK Ambulance Service
Agency
Blue House Design
Website
Falck UK Ambulance

Falck are providers of emergency services based in Denmark and founded in 1906. They operate internationally providing services across Europe, the USA and Asia. Falck entered the UK in 2008 through acquisition and had plans to expand again. But over a decade Falck had done little to update the previous company. Staff still wore uniforms branded to the former company as did the ambulances themselves.

Falck recognised that limping along with legacy systems was limiting their growth. They had begun to transition nearly everything the company used. Blue House Design was hired to redesign and develop the company website.

In initial meetings it was clear Falck had many ideas for the website. This included providing services to members of the public, NHS staff and internally.

It was clear that splitting the work into chunks would aid development and transition for all users. It also became apparent that the website was very much a piece of a larger puzzle. Falck were literally changing everything from the software they used to the carpets on the office floor!

We agreed upon an initial phase to principally establish visual direction and to build a marketing website. Other phases included developing a job application system, creating video content and designing a digital service.

Figure 1 Early home page design

I was excited the most to work on the book patient transport service. Not that it started out as that. You see language is a tricky thing and it's easy to fall back on jargon. Falck kept referring to it as a "web booking portal". See how one describes a task and the other describes the medium?

Getting buy-in is hard as people stick with what the HIPPO says. Not only do you have to convince the person you're dealing with, but their boss, their boss and wider teams that are not really involved.

Applying branding

Falck had an established brand, but its application to digital was not well understood. The brand guide was print focused. It listed what to do with letterheads, adverts, clothing and even vehicle graphics. But nothing at all about digital save the typeface and RGB colour values.

I researched other examples of graphic design. What I found was quite mature, but also haphazardly applied. I found some annual reports and brochures and began taking the elements that worked and incorporating them into the visual design.

A particular element that stood out was a page listing their values each with a headshot of an employee. It was captivating and also embodied their company mantra of people helping people.

Figure
Client guide on transition phases with explanations for design decisions such as putting the most visited page in the main navigation instead of everything.