Enhancing the blood donor experience with colour design

Blood donation
experience design

Using colour to positively influence a donor’s mood through each stage of their donation journey

NHS Blood and Transplant wished to improve the experience of giving blood for donors. We explored how colour could positively impact the donation experience and apply the right use of colour to the different stages of the donor’s journey.


Design a blood donation centre environment conducive to better atmosphere and donor mood

Every donation centre is different: standards vary, and some are better than others. Ultimately centres were not providing the optimum environment for donors during a process which can be stressful. Each space presents a different challenge which needs to be addressed to ensure the environment is the best it can be, encouraging donors to continuing giving blood in the future.


Combined stakeholder insights and user journey mapping with applied colour psychology expertise

Visiting donor centres and engaging with donors and staff enabled us to understand the journey and pain-points for both in the existing spaces. The team collaborated with donor centre staff to apply feasible and viable results.

Through stakeholder interviews and ideation workshops, we identified patterns and key themes while modelling insights into audience segments, personas and user journey maps tied to interior space blueprints. Armed with this knowledge, we worked with applied colour psychology experts to develop a set of design principles for the space in donation centres.


A colour design system to influence a changing mood along each stage of the donation experience

We developed a colour design prototype that was adopted by the Bradford Blood Donor Centre. The design scheme delicately balanced considerations of space, furniture, lighting, layout, artwork and flow against psychological insights for how the use of colour could influence a positive mood progression for donors.

The prototype proved successfully conducive to improving the mood, atmosphere and overall experience for donors, and is set to be introduced to new donation centres across the UK.


  • Focus on waiting and refreshment areas and using colour to mitigate them

  • Designs and recommendations visualised in a crafted narrative book including digital and physical versions of clear guidelines

  • Received positive PR and press stories