experience design + illustration
VOICeD is an innovative, statewide diabetes telehealth service, allowing chronic diabetes patients in QLD to visit multiple practitioners (endocrine, renal, cardiology, etc.) in the same virtual appointment. I was brought on by the team as part of my work with HEAL (the Healthcare Excellence Accelerator Lab) in the Design Lab at Queensland University of Technology. The goal was to engage end-users (diabetes patients) in the design process and introduce practitioners to methods of Experience Design – visualising patient journeys, facilitating co-design workshops and guiding the application of UX design insights to improve the VOICeD service.
This project was a collaboration between the HEAL lab at QUT and the Statewide Diabetes Network.
Part 1: The practitioner perspective
My involvement with VOICeD began with a UX design workshop that I led virtually with members of the Statewide Diabetes Network. The purpose of the session was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current service model from the perspective of practitioners, and over a number of hours we developed a comprehensive journey map and persona based on the imagined end-user. For many participants this was their first introduction to visual design methods for understanding healthcare experiences, and feedback from the experience was incredibly positive. A rich discussion emerged when practitioners imagined the service through the eyes of Ralph, a 54 year-old farmer from Mareeba.
Part 2: Visualising the journey
After the initial journey mapping session with practitioners and several follow-up discussions for clarification around the desired user experience, I developed a series of refined journey maps for the VOICeD team to communicate their service model to patients and stakeholders. The first was a highly detailed map following Ralph's journey before, during and after using the service, indicating his locations and the role of practitioners (f2f and virtual), admin, clinical delegates and other stakeholders in facilitating the experience.
Following this, I began to develop a number of illustrations that could be used in branding and marketing efforts, as well as to communicate unique patient journeys. A series of more simplified journey maps were developed, focusing specifically on variations within the VOICeD session.
Patients might see three practitioners in the same room, in seperate rooms, in a complicated order, or separately then all at once. This visualisation process helped clarify to the VOICeD team the diversity of potential patient experiences.
Part 3: Patient participation
After gathering insights from the VOICeD team, I travelled to Cairns to facilitate a co-design workshop at the Cairns Hospital alongside Evonne Miller, Co-Director of HEAL. We wanted to better understand the day-to-day lives of people with multiple chronic diseases, their positive and negative experiences with traditional face-to-face treatment, their relationship with telehealth/digital health technologies, changes to their healthcare treatment around COVID, and their ideal healthcare experience ten years in the future.
The workshop was designed as a future workshop, a well-known Participatory Design method that was originally employed by researchers such as Jungh, Müllert, Kensing and Madsen to encourage participants to envision possible and imaginary futures. First participants critique past and present practice, before moving into the "fantasy phase" where they imagine potential futures. Finally, in the "implementation phase", they consider what changes could be made short-term to work towards their utopian visions.
To ease participants into discussions around digital health, chronic disease management and their utopian and dystopian visions of healthcare in 2030, lo-fi PD methods like collaging and journey mapping were employed. Following this, participants were invited to user-test the VOICeD service.
Part 4: Finding themes
In order to communicate insights from the workshop and user testing sessions to the VOICeD team to inform the development of the service, I conducted a thematic analysis of participant discussions and the rich visual data they created. I presented these insights to the team as five key themes, alongside extensive recommendations.
Part 5: Visualising VOICeD
The VOICeD team did not have any visual elements to brand and build awareness around the service when I came on board. The project could not have a "logo" per se, as it was nested under an existing government organisation, however the team showed a need for a simple wordmark that could be used consistency across marketing material. I created a minimal, clear and text-based logo, a slogan and as a series of illustrations which communicated the benefits of the service in a way that was accessible and unintimidating.
Part 5: Expanding VOICeD
Following my initial work with VOICeD there was significant interest to expand the service into different healthcare contexts across Queensland. As part of my continued involvement with the project I travelled with the team to Rockhampton to meet with health professionals in the CQHHS and explore opportunities to embed this kind of multi-clinician telehealth model. I assisted the team in adding somewhat playful elements to the workshop – in small teams, participants had to "pitch a patient group", following a template that explored the who, how, why and what if's. After the pitch, anyone in the room could adopt the role of "Devil's Advocate" (complete with a silly paper hat) and pull apart their proposal to identify potential issues and opportunities, challenging the team to overcome them.