Co-designing the Our Care Journal app was important to our team right from the very beginning. In fact, you could almost say that the idea for the app was generated by carers in the first instance. In a number of different forums, people told us of the many issues they had as carers and advocates, of making sure their older family members were able to be seen as individuals with specific needs, with a need for a holistic approach. This also rang true for all of our team – our personal experiences with caring were that often our family members had to bend to the needs of others – GPs, hospitals, aged care facilities, in-home care providers – as opposed to an understanding that care is not a one-size-fits-all commodity.
We knew we wanted to deliver health-tech that would not only be useful and useable but lead to a more inclusive and human-centred approach. Collaborating with carers and the people they care for in the development of Our Care Journal was a no-brainer for us and our co-design partner, the Queensland University of Technology.
The co-design process undertaken means that carers from different backgrounds have input into how the app works. They suggested different features to include (we have a long bucket list for future development!). For example, rather than a single dashboard, there are two distinct dashboards in Our Care Journal – one for those being cared for, and one for carers. We started using a planet and moon terminology to help us to overcome the lack of words to describe the caring arrangement (more on this another time). Planets – the people who are being cared for or who are caring for themselves. Moons – the people who are providing care or are important to the care system. You can see this terminology reflected in both our logo and the iconography used in the app.
Planets have a dashboard that gives a quick at-a-glance overview. You can see what’s on the agenda for the day (and swipe to see the next day) as well as quickly access the journal and health tracking functions. You can also access the care plan and see reports and information easily. With a tap of the planet/moon icon in the bottom right corner, you’ll be on the carer dashboard where you can access wellbeing resources aimed specifically at carers, read our newsletter and connect with another carer. Carers thought this function was important.
An Essential Component
From a development perspective, we can’t imagine designing our app any other way. The benefit of working with a ‘user’ community has been wonderful and our objective now is to continue to collaborate with the Our Care Journal community in improving and exploring the app features as time goes on. Co-design is never a one-way street and we hope that the benefit of working together is not only a better product but that the Our Care Journal mobile app leads to better care outcomes for everyone.
Our Care Journal is free to download now: ANDROID: http://bit.ly/OCJAndroid
If your business or organisation is dedicated to improving the care experience, you can use Our Care Journal too. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.