recent updates …

I’ve been a little negligent with the blogging recently. Dissertation kind of took over my life for a wee while, so the project went on hold. I’m not 100% there with the online stuff either, I have to keep reminding myself to do it!


So, catch up…


I’m still concentrating on the 10% vs 90% statistic, because it really intrigues me. That typically, only 10% of knowledge passed from physician to parent/patient during the consultation is remembered.

I’m still thinking about ‘take away’ information, because I believe that parents are more likely to absorb the necessary advice and tips once in the comfort of their own home. Or even anywhere that separates them fro the stress and anxiety of the surgery and of the consultation.

So how best to present this information?

Last week at peachy keachy I presented an idea to provide parent with more informed, paper-based literature. Many hospitals and practices across the country are overhauling the leaflets and pamphlets that they give out and there is a nationwide scheme that has been set up to standardise the level of writing and the overall effectiveness of these hand-outs. It has only just been set up, so there are rules to play by.

After a tutorial with Jenni, where we discussed that, in fact, it really was someone elses job to re-design leaflets.  I am not a graphic designer and would be setting myself up for a massive fall if I were to continue down that route. I’m so glad the tutors catch you when they do, although I was starting to waver with the idea – something just didn’t feel right…


So, parents don’t take all the info home, and they need to absorb it in a more comfortable, relaxed environment.

What if the parents could take the consultation home? A record of it, to replay once home.

  • A hand-held device that records and plays back the conversation and discussions held during the meeting including all of the medication instructions and personal tips – the tailored service.
  • Playback as many times as you need to.
  • Play back to family members who weren’t at the consultation, and school/nursery nurses
  • Upload to keep the memory clear once the child has recovered
  • build up an online health record of your child with the recordings (I’m still thinking about this one)
  • Download audio tips from sites such as nhs choices
  • usb to connect to computer – this could provide the charge too
  • headphone jack for discreet listening. Bus, waiting room, park …


So, how to create this ‘relaxed atmosphere’ this quiet, calming environment in which to absorb the information?

I’ve been looking at what people do when they want to relax. ironically, reading comes up a lot. But so do little things like a cup of tea or a gaze out the window. People like feeling cosy and they like doing something almost mindlessly.

In my earlier research I was told that with this group of users (the under 5s and their parents/carers) there never seems to be a one size fits all solution. It’s when I told myself that I wanted to make my solution simple – but aimed to reach the broadest group possible. I don’t feel a mass of technology would help to solve the problem, but something familiar might. A voice you know and trust.

I’ve been looking at adopting some of these relaxing attributes into my design. A handheld device would be ideal; light enough to carry, easy to slip into a bag, could be taken for an mp3 player if you wish to be discreet…

I want to make the form relaxing to hold, something smooth and rounded that invites the user to play with it. Turn it over, spin it, flip it, rotate it-smoothly.  I like the idea of it having touches of ergonomics, but not to fit exactly into your hand in one position, so the user will feel tempted to try it in different ways.

I also like the concept that the device will warm as you use it. I thought about installing a heating element, like the pocket warmers. Or even designing it to wrap around your coffee cup. (Get home from the doctors, kettle on, sit down, cup of coffee and listen back.)

At the moment I’m investigating using a material that warms as you handle it, up to your own body temperature. The smoothness of the form and the material should feel like it’s another’s hand you are holding – someone to tell you it’s ok.

Ravara, my favourite materials database has crashed on me. disaster But I’m looking into different types of rubber – warms up, soft to the touch, different colours (?) and, importantly, bouncable. Inviting the child to come and play too, bring them into the process a little more.


I’ve made up some sketch models, investigating forms and comfortable weights (I’ll have to take in considerations of mechanisms later). Pictures to follow I promise. It’s really good to be back in the workshop again – sanding is so relaxing!

Right now I’m sketching some ideas for buttons, or sensors – they can’t be too sensitive or raised if the user is to move the device around when it is playing. Plush not only looks good, but seems sensible when you need to make deliberate choices to push down. Oh and trying to get layouts started for the all important boards, I wish they would tell us when this  RSA cull is, and what is expected of us. I presume it’s the 4 boards, but you never know.


That’s me for now. I’ll get some photos up when models are drying tomorrow.


kj x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s