Aligning three ministries, companies and consumers with Service Design

  • Public services


    European regulations require a central point with reliable information about chemicals in consumer products. The challenge lies in bringing together public and private parties, such as manufacturers, consumer organisations, and the government, because there are often conflicting interests. Norday has developed a platform that connects consumers to valuable, reliable information about chemicals in an accessible and understandable way.


    Through a co-creation study, we first mapped out the common interests from the stakeholders. We used Human-Centered Design, such as working with focus groups and field research, to understand how and when consumers use the website. This revealed that consumers consult the website after incidents involving chemicals. These types of user scenarios are important for structuring the website. Ensuring accessibility for everyone is crucial, which is why we have achieved a WCAG 2.1 AA rating A. We also improved the website’s SEO by designing its structure and content to be optimised for search engines. This is vital to help users quickly and effectively find answers. This approach has paid off, with at least 50% of users finding the website through Google.

    What we did

    Accessibility, visual identity, roadmap, service design, prototyping, development, SEO optimization


    weekly visitors
    growth each year


    • Accessibility | WCAG 2.1 AA Score A
    The Norday method of 'prototyping, -checking what works, and improving it', was the key in this process. With all these parties it could not have gone in any other way.
    Hester HendriksRIVM

    Aligning public and private interests with a focus on the end user

    There was no central place with independent and reliable information about chemicals in consumer products. Quite crazy actually when you consider that there are chemicals almost everything. New regulations by the European Union state that information about chemicals in consumer products must be available to all Dutch people.

    Under the authority of VeiligheidNL and RIVM, and with the support of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I & W), we started this challenging question. With our Service Design, we managed to develop a concept in which the (somewhat opposite) interests of producers, consumer organisations and government, have been brought together in a platform that connects consumers with valuable information in an easily accessible and understandable way.

    The websites name is ‘Waar zit wat in’, which means ‘What is in it?’

    I think it is important that people have quick and easy access to reliable and up-to-date information about chemical substances in products that they use regularly, and that they receive good advice on this.
    Bruno BruinsMinister for Medical Care and Sports

    Our approach

    To successfully accomplish a complex project like this one, Norday created a specific approach regarding the Service Design and Design Thinking principles. Both techniques are emerged from the creative industry, and are gaining ground in mainstream boardrooms from McKinsey to General Electric. We dig deeper in this process according to four steps explained in this article.

    1. Discover: what is the real question?

    The assignment was to develop a product database with information about chemicals. In phase 1 of our process, we first investigate if we are focussing on the right problem. To find out, we conducted a research among our clients’ end users and other stakeholders.

    In this case we did user research, expert reviews and visited places where chemicals were sold.

    2. Define: boundaries of the research

    During the second fase, the job was to develop a website about chemical substances.

    Low interest / high engagement
    After the conducted user research and interviews with experts; the vendor of a painting shop and the director of a chemical concern, we discovered that chemical substances belong to the low interest / high engagement category. You only think of it when there is need of/ when it is urgent, but if the case you want to gather trustful and independent information.

    Life events
    The search of chemical substances is often associated with incidents and occasions like an accident with a chemical substance, pregnancy or holidays. That’s how we found out we should not develop an app but, instead, an easy accessible website.

    3. Develope: prototyping and testing

    This is where we (finally) start with developing the creative concept. It starts with a plane website, including a brand reflecting a human and trustful feeling that doesn’t feel too corporate. We first create prototypes which we got tested in a test environment, after which we launch the website so it got tested by real visitors on its core functions.

    4. Deliver: an easy to find platform worth trustworthy information

    The result is a clear website where consumers can find reliable information about chemical products in and around their homes. In the spirit of Service Design, we see the website as as service, and therefore not as something static, but in contrary something we keep developing over time. We are currently working on optimising content and find-ability.

    Norday is capable of applying/practicing a problem-solving approach. This was needed to bring public and private parties together during this project.
    Ine BuuronVeiligheidNL


    The cooperating authorities invested serious effort in producing high quality content for the Waarzitwatin platform. That is why we have developed an API so that the content can easily be used by third parties. By doing this we make sure the content has optimal reach and value.

    Many positive reactions from serious parties

    Waarzitwatin was quickly picked up by various media. This shows that this is an important theme in our society. There is a need for reliable and up-to-date information about chemicals in products that we use every day.

    Norday immediately stood out against their competitors. Their knowledge and experience about databases in combination with the method 'try-look what works-improve'. In this process with all these parties it could not have been done in any other way. Furthermore, the design is really beautiful.
    Hester HendriksRIVM

    Speed ​​of action and short lines

    Norday helps (semi-) public institutions and corporates to draw up and implement solutions for strategic challenges. If the case requires it, we work together with a fixed network of experts. We are a team of strategists, designers, marketers, techies and managers. Take a look at our cases from Kandoor, an innovation process that we created for a large pension provider and get an impression of the platform we made for the City of Amsterdam to help parents with the school choice of their children.

    Ready to change things?

    Marlies de Gooijer

    Also want to start accelerating innovation in healthcare? Get in touch with Marlies de Gooijer

    Marlies de Gooijer's Linkedin