Clever (terrifying) use of ‘Big Data’ to counteract Covid-19

it’s very clever… maybe. Depends how it was achieved and how people were ‘identified’. What’s scary is the line ‘A city official said 355,000 people had been identified for testing using ‘big data’ but did not say how’.

However, if it ends up saving lives and stemming the second wave of the virus in Beijing, then it’s kind of ok, surely? I guess it just depends what data is being acquired and what else it’s being used for.

Read the article from Daily Mail here.

Sign of the times

This dropped through the door today. It’s significant. Why? Because it’ll GO THROUGH A NORMAL LETTERBOX!

I remember when The Phone Book was the ultimate test of a man’s strength.  Only Geoff Capes and Giant Haystacks could tear one in half. Nowadays, however…

Join our webinar: How healthcare changed overnight

For too long patients have experienced fragmented services, administrative hurdles, legacy systems and unreliable lines of communication from care and health services. The “patient experience” often remains an afterthought leading to worse health outcomes and in-turn, costs the industry dearly in both time and money. It’s been a well-documented battle in UK media and one that looked set to continue.

But in a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has shown us that change is possible with the speed of response from government, health organisations and society to protect both patients and our health services by finding alternative ways to treat and seek advice. In this webinar, we’ll discuss how digital technology has accelerated the health and care systems to better cope with the demands and difficulties caused by COVID-19, and how combined with the newly forced societal behaviours, digital technology could have a positive long-term impact on the sector going forward.


  • Dr Ansgar Lange, Chief Product Officer, Cera
  • Tobias Alpsten, CEO, iPlato
  • Dr Jack Kreindler, Founder & Medical Director, CHHP
  • Benedict Ireland, Head of User Experience, Splendid Unlimited
  • Nick Chiarelli, Head of Trends, Unlimited

Register your interest and join the discussion on Tuesday 19th May 2020, 10:45 – 11:30am. Unlimited is a fully integrated agency group with human understanding at the heart.

Our world-class data, insight and technology drive our creativity and define our solutions – creating genuine business advantage for clients. Our four divisions deliver award winning work across data and research, marketing, communications and digital transformation.

Interested? Register here!

Porsche launches track app… just like the one we designed in 2008!

Porsche has launched a track app, which utilises CarPlay to give real-time track data to the driver. Befitting their brand and in line with current technology pace in automotive.

i was particularly interested in this as we designed almost the exact same software for Aston Martin back in 2008, while designing their in-car infotainment system. We worked with then head of electrical engineering Alan Bennett and race team head Chris Porritt, to develop a variety of apps from track pack to business perspectives.

The idea was to create a scalable system which allowed components to be included dependent on model, so the DBS would get the track pack, the Lagonda (then proposed) would get business packs in the back seat.

We even went as far as to build a prototype into a DBS test mule, I’ll see if I can dig out the video.

Well done Porsche, for having the balls to do it.

The importance of ‘Internationalising’ communications

I received this message just now from Withings. I use their scales to watch my weight (while kidding myself I’ll be racing a motorcycle again anytime soon), and also their blood pressure monitor, due to my alarmingly-named hypertension.

Couple of things: they were bought by Nokia, I believe? Well, I know, because I was sent lots of Comms about the acquisition and name change. This one’s from Withings. I thought it was an anomaly so I looked it up and no, apparently Nokia offloaded Withings. They just forgot to tell us.

The real point tho, is about internationalisation. I opened this message (I do read their Comms, I think as a health company I give an unusual amount of credence to them), and I almost had a heart attack.

’I’ve got a sleeping heart rate of 101?!?!’

Ah. No, no I don’t. It’s trying to tell me that this is a basic lesson in sleep heart rates. Having lived in the states for 7 years (something I rarely mention), I’m aware of the term ‘101’ as an early phase of education. However, I’d say most people outside of America aren’t so used to it. Especially when their software refers to heart rates in numeric terms.

A really good example of where communications should be checked for international acceptance.

Splendid Unlimited Honored For Best Apps, Mobile, and Voice: Health, Fitness & Lifestyle In The 24th Annual Webby Awards.

**Press release**

May 5th 2020

London, UK — 28.04.2020 – Splendid Unlimited announced today that it has been honored for Best Apps, Mobile, and Voice: Health, Fitness & Lifestyle in the 24th Annual Webby Awards for it’s work with Cera to create a voice assisted app to help better connect care-workers, families and their loved ones. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of Internet industry experts including Instagram Co-founder Kevin Systrom, Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, 23andMe Co-Founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki, PBS CEO Paula Kerger, Headspace Founder Andy Puddicombe, The dtx Company Founder Tim Armstrong, News Not Noise Founder Jessica Yellin, R/GA US Chief Creative Officer Tiffany Rolfe, The Ringer Founder Bill Simmons, and Target CMO Rick Gomez, Girls Who Code Founder & CEO Reshma Saujani, and Pineapple Street Media Co-founder Jenna Weiss-Berman.

How Cera are reshaping the way Care is delivered in the UK

“ Our mission at Cera is to solve the care challenges and provide people with modern care they rightly deserve. By combining the power of technology with a uniquely collaborative approach, we offer affordable, comprehensive care that makes it possible for people to live better lives in their own homes.The Cera App allows carers to check in, check out, locate a service user’s home and record visit reports, all via the app. For family members or other professionals, it gives them direct access to this care information in real time. It also means our branch teams receive and process all of the information from the app as it comes in, to help identify risks of health deterioration as early as possible.Consistently building and adapting our own proprietary technology and software solutions has always been a vital component in Cera’s goals to achieve our mission. As we introduce it into all Cera’s 19 branches, the app allows us to build up sustainable, scalable business, ensuring that we achieve our mission to fix the outdated social care sector and empower people through modern, high quality care to live their best lives in their own homes.

Horus Patel, CTO of Cera

Head of Experience, Benedict Ireland also states that “We’re massively proud of the impact the app has had, and it gives us an enormous sense of satisfaction to do something which is genuinely helping people”.

Reflecting on the success of the app, Head of Creative, Chris Marsh highlights “since the launch of the app the time it takes for reports to be completed has reduced from 20 days to 6.7 hours.”

“Honorees like Splendid are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 13,000 entries we received this year.”


Splendid Unlimited are an award-winning digital design & development agency. They understand your business and your customers to help deliver brilliant digital products: digital made human

Find The Webby Awards Online:


About The Webby Awards:

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Apps, Mobile, and Voice, Social, Podcasts, and Games. Established in 1996, this year’s Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: WP Engine,, Slack, YouGov, BASIC, KPMG, Adweek, Fast Company, The New Museum, and Social Media Week.

Join our Webinar: The post-CV19 future of retail is..?

While we’ve been on lockdown, we’ve seen a lot of our clients having to pivot their businesses in unexpected ways. We will be discussing what this might mean for the retail sector with some great guest speakers, in our webinar series “The Big Digital Recovery”. Should be a really exciting conversation, and the opportunities for digital are vast.

The event takes place online on Tuesday 5th May the 10:30.

Come join us here.

Lockdown website responses

I suspect this post will grow over the next few weeks… but I’m seeing some very strange behaviours on websites during lockdown… are there REALLY such massive server concerns for sites like B&Q (case in point) and supermarkets that they suddenly have a need for an hour long wait time to use the website?

I’d be interested to see traffic mapping pre/post CV19 to see just HOW big the increase of site traffic is. These queues seems o run through the night, which suggests it’s throttling on traffic rather than server overload, I just don’t see why? Is it related to delivery?

Update: I received another interesting message from B&Q (screen shot below). This suggests site traffic volume is the issue. I have to say I find it hard to believe that traffic is THAT increased over normal peaks like Bank Holidays. The message goes on to say ‘only essential repairs…’ etc, which suggests it’s a supply/delivery issue. In which case, why not handle that at fulfilment (checkout, delivery)? It’d also help with order/supply cadence, to know who’s after what and how much over say, the next few weeks, surely?

And another: I was just explaining it to someone and saw this:

Theme-able design systems are a thing

Interestingly, we’ve been looking at possibilities of theming design systems for some time, and I’ve just happened upon this article by Brad Frost (yes, he who coined the phrase ‘atomic design’).

Design systems should, in almost all cases, be created as atomic, and indeed most of us have been do this for years – we hadn’t named it but still.

Lately at Splendid we’ve been hypothesising about the appropriateness of theming design systems. It’s completely true that we often start from a basic library in order to avoid reinventing wheels,  just when does that become a brand element and at what point does it not come useable for another brand?

A challenge we’ve had from our own organisation and others is “why can’t we just use that design system but brand it for this new brand?”. The answer has been “well we can, but we are still go to have to redesign the system at an atomic level to give to the development teams.”

We have always been pretty restricted by the constraints of CSS, meaning once we change colour, typeface it’s not really looking much different. Just coloured in.  What we really want is th ability to specify behaviour, size, location, colour, font, animation, transition… etc etc etc.

I’m going to work with our development teams to see how much we can move those constraints using this theme-able approach, and see if we can find some instances in which it’ll save us time.

I suspect the answer might be a combination of yes but:

a) it’s time consuming

b) it’s costly

c) it’s constrained still, and therefore only appropriate for a subset of situations

… but let’s see.

Read the article here.

Esports: MotoGP Just ran a virtual race with the real racing stars…

Coronavirus has played havoc with many peoples lives globally, and for many it’s put the importance of sports into perspective. However, sports are, for many of us, a genuine hobby, interest, relaxation, or whatever.

Recently, F1 have been using esports platforms as a bit of a gimmick, with several stars (most notably Lando Norris) posting about their engagement in esports while the series is in lockdown.

MotoGP have gone one step further, however, and ran a Virtual Grand Prix which was broadcast live today. 10 current top MotoGP stars, including current World Champion Marc Marquez, competed in the 6-lap race. Predictably it was carnage, but the lap times were ultra competitive when compared to seasoned esports champions.

Ultimately the race was won by Alex Marquez, with Pecco Bagnaia second and Maverik Vinales third after being taken out in turn one, but the result isn’t the important thing here. A bit of a gimmick, yes, but a real feather in the cap of game technology.