Fair By Design, in partnership with the Money Advice Trust, is leading a programme of research and events, to explore inclusive design in energy, credit, insurance, and other essential services markets.

Inclusive Design in Essential Services includes the production of two guides on how regulators and firms can embed inclusive design in policy development and product design, for better outcomes for consumers.

Their aim is deliver improved products and services that meet the needs of more consumers, tackling long-standing issues such as the poverty premium and financial exclusion.

By providing regulators and firms with the tools to implement inclusive design approaches, Fair By Design and the Money Advice Trust hope to build upon recent progress on the treatment of consumers in vulnerable circumstances.

What is inclusive design?
Inclusive design is the practice of designing products and services to ensure they are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as possible.

Regulators are increasingly focusing on these issues, with the importance of product and service design recognised in publications from the Competition and Markets AuthorityFinancial Conduct Authority and Ofgem.

Why is this project needed?
There is not, however, a well-developed, shared understanding of what inclusive design means in the context of essential services, how it relates to current regulation and UK law, or how it should be incorporated into the work of regulators and firms.

Our project aims to fill this gap by providing practical guides for regulators and firms operating in the credit, insurance and energy markets in particular.

Regulators’ guide

The regulators’ guide explores how inclusive design will help regulators achieve their objectives – particularly improving outcomes for consumers in vulnerable circumstances, including those on low incomes.

Firms’ guide

Alongside the new guide for regulators, Fair By Design and the Money Advice Trust have produced a guide for organisations working in the credit, energy and insurance sectors. Inclusive Design in Essential Services: A practical guide for firms and suppliers provides practical steps and examples to support firms – from the point of starting out in the design process through to launching the end product.