Year 3 Project
App: Personal Development
Roles: UX Researcher, UX Designer, Illustrator 

Collaborative project with old age psychiatrists and nurses within the female dementia assessment ward at NHS Lothian. The project objective was to develop an understanding of how life at the ward stands currently and explore opportunities to improve the short term stay of patients.

What is an assessment ward?

An assessment ward is an acute ward where patients are assessed and treated for their current individual needs. The patients future care requirements are decided during this process depending on the stage of their dementia and how they are currently responding to treatment. The ward provides 24 hour care for patients for a short term period.

General Patient Ward Journey
Variations of access and development from the ward
What does a typical day in the ward look like for patients?

Variable activities leave opportunity for design to be implemented.  

Understanding the patients as individuals  

Not every patient's day will be the same. This can vary vastly depending on the severity of their dementia. In our group we have created two personas which fall on opposite ends of the disease's spectrum. This enables us to understand the patients as individuals and will encourage links to form between design opportunities in each patient's personal experience.

Patients respond better during activities and routines which relate to personal interests. 

“Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they are all individuals and they are all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.”
– Carey Mulligan

Design Opportunities 


Activities were personalised to match the interests of each individual patient

Patients could host own activities with assistance to gain  back a sense of independence 

We could raise awareness about dementia by using students and volunteers to assist in the activities

Include families in the personalised activities to make them feel involved in the care for their loved ones 

Patient Run Activities (P.R.A)

What does this involve?

P.R.A is a system designed for tailoring activities to patients individually. The system allows patients of the dementia assessment ward to host their own activities which gives them a feeling of independence and provides them with a level of normality. Our research shows that patients respond best when participating in activities which they enjoy. This allows patients to reach their full potential and can be used as a method of informal assessment.  

In partnership with Volunteer Scotland, the Ward Buddy app has been created to allow volunteers with matching skills to participate in the activities with patients. This raises awareness on the disease and shows appreciation for the work carried out by all staff at the Female Dementia Assessment Ward, NHS Lothian. 

Ward Buddy App
The ward buddy app is a personal development that I have started designing in December 2020 after revisiting my group project. The app is currently a work in progress and will continue to be developed. 
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