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Service Design (MA)

Yashasri Sadagopan


I am a multidisciplinary Service/UX Designer and Design Strategist with a background in Computer Science and possess four years experience in design consulting, service design and product design strategy across healthcare, business operations, technology, mobility, finance and social impact.

Glimpse of my work:

Service and UX Design at Philips to improve accessibility and usability of diagnostic imaging systems, providing maintenance support, improving service workflows for clinicians and support engineers to impact quality of life for patients in hospitals.

Service and UX Design at frog design, bringing in an accessible and inclusive approach to design, business development, working with clients and management consultants at Capgemini Invent.

UX Design and Product Strategy at Accenture Song, working with top level management, clients and stakeholders in business operations and analytics across NA, APAC and EMEA geographies to design transformational experiences.

Service Design Strategy at Imperial College Business School for designing sustainable in-orbit services in collaboration with Lockheed Martin.


Royal College of Art (MA Service Design) - 2022 - 2023

Imperial College Business School (Entrepreneurial Journey Module, Wicked Problems Module) - 2023

University of Mumbai (B.Tech Computer Engineering) - 2014 - 2018

Projects at the RCA:

Public Policy with UN Habitat (United Nations Human Settlement Programme): Academic project in designing for collective intelligence and participatory democracy for building a service ecosystem to enable local governments implement successful initiatives in line with SDG11, to be implemented as a part of the UN Habitat’s Digital Helpdesk for Cities platform.

Intelligent Mobility: Academic project in Service and Experience Design in collaboration with Intelligent Mobility studio to design for the future of car experiences in the context of rural India.

Finance Lab: Academic project centred around financial well-being for digital nomads in line with brief provided by UBS.


INCLUDE 2022 - Unheard Voices, London Design Festival: Academic research poster Service Design proposal for a holistic care ecosystem to manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome selected for presenting in the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ track in the INCLUDE 2022 - Unheard Voices conference for inclusive design at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art.

D'source Corona Design Challenge: Selected as a winning entry from over 2000 entries across 52 nations, organised by IIT Bombay, Government of India, World Design Organization for proposing a Service and Interaction design solution to manage crowds in public spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deep Tech Acceleration - Imperial Innovation Challenge: Selected to be a part of this venture to design prototypes and accelerate the development of powerful, early stage technology in Living Bionics, its application to neurotechnology, especially invasive neuromodulation devices, and the impact on the quality of life of people suffering from chronic neurological disorders that require neural implants.

Degree Details

School of DesignService Design (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Stevens Building, Second and third floors

Profile Image of Yashasri Sadagopan.

Today we are engaged in a deep discourse about thriving in a society that is intertwined in an intricate and complex mesh of ecosystems. The journey towards unraveling these complexities and seeking solutions is laden with human emotions which are often forgotten, yet hold the key to transform the society.

​With a background in technology that enables me to design for practicality coupled with a practise in Experience Design that provokes and pushes me to design with empathy, I bring an ability to look at systems and services through a multidisciplinary lens.

Through my work in professional life as well as a student at the RCA, I strive to design for complexity by co-creating with people, businesses and stakeholders to create strong value propositions and transformational change.

Brief from the United Nations

The UN Habitat has a multi-stakeholder initiative called The People Centered Smart Cities Flagship Programme. Within this lies the Digital Helpdesk for Cities which brings together UN Agencies, city networks, development banks and other organizations to provide technical support to cities through digital transformation and digital governance. Their expectation from the brief was to explore how a service that brings together a global community of actors through new and existing networks of communities would look like, its integration with the Digital Helpdesk and possible implementation through a pilot project currently being conducted in four European cities.

For our project, we decided to focus on the region of London city. There are platforms for citizen participation that have been launched by the government but the engagement levels on the platform are very low. Our initial question was to understand how these initatives are created, launched and impact the public.

Discovery Phase
Discovery PhaseOur extensive research phase involved: Conversation with UN Habitat representatives. Desk research of the UN Habitat documentation, literature review and existing services/platforms in policy. Interviews with civil servants and local councillors in various boroughs of London, organizations like Nesta, MIT Collective Intelligence, CitizenLab, Public Digital and Collective Intelligence lab. Community Assembly events where citizens are involved in local governance.
Field Research
Stakeholder Map
Stakeholder MapThe policy field is a complex ecosystem with multiple stakeholders. We decided to simplify this ecosystem by categorising the three main stakeholder groups - Local Government, Partners and Citizens.
Public Participation Journey
Public Participation JourneyWe mapped out the journey that the government follows from initiation to implementation of an initiative that involves public participation to understand the pain points and opportunity areas at each step.
In Summary: A Two-Sided Problem
In Summary: A Two-Sided Problem
Value Proposition
Value PropositionWe identified an opportunity for bringing about structure to an otherwise fragmented and disconnected process.
Service Proposal
Service ProposalIntroducing Unify - a platform that connects local governments with partners.
Persona - Civil Servant
Persona - Civil ServantMeet Trish, who is the Public Participation Lead for Newham. She is responsible for ensuring maximum participation of citizens in government initiatives. Currently she is tasked with engaging citizens in the Green City Project. She is finding it difficult to engage and sustain citizen participation because lack of in-house expertise. She wants help in executing this project.
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She comes across Unify and decides to give it shot! She registers into the platform as a local govt body and starts looking for help by entering her requirements and project details. Trish enters the portal and scrolls through the page to review job listings to identify potential partners whom she can onboard on to Green City project.
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She finds interested partners who would like to support the project. In addition, she also has an option to consult with the UN. The platform recommends Arnauld’s profile to Trish based on his expertise and availability.
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She looks at his skills, CV, recommendations and relevant projects he has worked on. Also, he is a Certified Partner! So she decides to connect with him.
Persona - Freelance Government Expert
Persona - Freelance Government ExpertLet's look at Arnold. He is a freelance governance expert and was invited by the UN to join the platform. Before he signed up on the platform, he found it difficult to work with governments as he had limited say in the decision-making process.
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First, Arnauld enters the platform as a partner. He has an invitation to a meeting from Trish and thus enters the portal. When registering on the platform for the first time, he must either be invited by the UN or apply for membership.
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He reviews Trish's recommended job for the Green City Project and is interested in contributing to the project. So he applies for the position. Once they connected, they would work together on the project.
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Once the project is successfully completed, the case study will be uploaded to the knowledge repository for future reference. The repository also offers tailored support and a glossary of terms used in the policy-making process.
Business Model
Business ModelFlow of Money Based on the feedback from the UN Habitat, we have positioned Unify as a non-profit entity, which is operated on grant-based funding. Flow of Data Through Unify, civil servants post job opportunities for partners. And partners can collaborate with civil servants by showcasing their expertise. Flow of Value UN Habitat will provide partners with verification. And partners will provide civil servants with knowledge and skills. At the end, UN Habitat can carry out their mission.
Prototyping and Hypothesis Testing
Prototyping and Hypothesis TestingWe tested our user, value and business hypothesis through initial prototypes with Civil servants including Councillors, Partners including freelancers, and domain experts to refine the service.
Service Positioning
Service PositioningIn the current ecosystem of public participation, there are platforms connecting citizens and the local governments but the enablers are not able to successfully add value because there is no established methodology of having a connection between enablers and the local government. Unify aims to be this missing link in the ecosystem.
LearningsThrough this project, we explored the complex area of public policy and designing for local government with the UN. We pivoted with our prototype concept by ideating with stakeholders and gaining feedback. We could apply service design techniques to create a new service in entirety. The five of us come from different backgrounds and we collaborated with our complementary skillsets very well. We also thank our tutor Dr.Nicolas and the UN Habitat for their continued support.