Hospital care project at UX conference
/ Sep 27, 2017
by Claire Langer - Creative Strategist
Studio - Not-For-Profit
Since April this year I have been working on a volunteer project outside of work. It is all about hospital care and I’ll be speaking at the Interact London conference about it in October alongside Ruby Steel from the BBC’s Big Life Fix.
Here is the project’s story so far…
Mycarematters is a web portal through which you create a profile about yourself in case you ever need to go into hospital or care. A record of your non-medical issues, it tells doctors and nurses about your likes and dislikes, enabling them to treat you as a person and not just as a patient.
Mycarematters was founded by Zoe Harris to help people with dementia and their carers. People living with dementia are often unable to communicate for themselves, and it can be daunting for their loved ones to leave them in care knowing this. Little details, such as how a person takes their tea, or what hobbies they have that they like to talk about, can greatly improve a person’s experience when they have to be away from home. On a more critical level, details like a person's mobility needs enable hospital staff to avoid situations which would lengthen the patient’s time in hospital or care.
Zoe has run the company single-handedly for 5 years but has now brought a team, including Ruby Steel from the BBC’s The Big Life Fix, together to help further the development of Mycarematters. So far our work has been quite broad: creating press ads to encourage more people to sign up, helping with pitches for funding, and improving the UX of the website, both on the patient/carers end and when it gets used in healthcare environments.
However, it hasn’t been an easy challenge for many reasons.
Firstly, how do you speak sensitively to someone who’s dealing with being diagnosed with dementia, and is having to make difficult decisions about the next stage of their life? How can we get care homes, and the NHS, to want to start using Mycarematters? And how can we make our digital platform accessible in a non-digital way for patients and their carers, the majority of which are less technologically able? These are things we are continuing to consider and tackle.
I will be speaking about Mycarematters with Ruby and the rest of the team at Interact London on the 18th of October. Interact brings together those involved in, and interested in, digital design, user experience and information architecture. https://2017.interactconf.com/
It has been great to have the opportunity to make experiences better for people whose circumstance denies them things most of us take for granted.
On a personal level, working on Mycarematters has helped me improve my knowledge of UX and also my ability to create a brand and messaging based on strategy. I look forward to continuing to use these skills in my role at Bond & Coyne.