The calculator suggests that the British population now fits into seven social classes rather than the traditional three, outlined by their economic, wealth and social connections and cultural interests. It is based on the Great British Class Survey, research conducted by BBC LabUK in collaboration with sociologists from the University of Manchester and the University of York.
Applied Works was commissioned over a year and a half ago to design and prototype the class calculator. Joe Sharpe, creative director of the consultancy says, ‘It was fascinating to work with the BBC. Our brief was one with blurred boundaries, as it was both technical and design led.’
Asked to simplify the research, which was based on a cluster analysis from a survey of over 160,000 people, Applied Works’ calculator enables users to share and compare their results.
Sharpe says: ‘We have developed a graphic that offers a light-hearted window into the research through five basic questions. The calculator is a simpler step to the information aside from the 25min survey originally conducted by the academics.’
At the start of the project there were only four classes included in the prototype, however, as the research progressed Applied Works were contacted only six weeks before the launch and asked to include seven classes. Sharpe says, ‘Working on a prototype was a challenge because the academics had not fully finalised the research’.