Home' Community Care Review : CCR Jan-Feb 2015 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
real stories, real people -- real solutions
Playing a pivotal role in the project was Michelle Gilmore, design
director at Neoteny, a full service design company specialising
in human-centred experience design. Gilmore and her team of
researchers worked closely with Catholic Community Services, in
order to gain a personal and emotional connection with the clients
who were pivotal to the project. This was a big exercise with a lot of
expectations riding on the outcome.
From the outset Neoteny carried out observational research
with a number of clients following them through various
touchpoints, videotaping their responses and discussing their
experiences in dealing with Catholic Community Services -- from
initial contact, to the first assessment through to receiving their
"In our partnership with Catholic Community Services we had
to think about developing a greater understanding of the user (the
client) who is a decision maker in the process." Gilmore explains:
"We visited clients in their homes to talk to them about their
experiences to find out how things could work better for them." The
clients and their networks, that include family or carers, were a key
input into the project. "Determining who are using these products
and services and who will be in the future, in other words, getting
totally involved in their world," she says.
"We design products and services based on consumer or user
experiences which translate into much better designs, achieving
better outcomes for consumers and businesses."
According to Gilmore the difference between a design that is
done solely by designers and designs that are done by a shared
project team - with representation from everyone who will use
and maintain the product or services - is vastly different. "Our goal
ultimately is to create impact and we believe that great design only
achieves this by getting participation from users."
The end result and enhanced experience for Catholic Community
Service clients involved developing and testing a suite of resources
including apps, websites, printed documents and resource tools
along with a plethora of new products and services. These have
been designed to assist clients to be more involved in all aspects of
their community care.
"The simple fact is that this innovative approach has enlisted
the participation of people who are using services every day, people
with real issues, needs, concerns and challenges. Having complete
access to clients who were part of the design process is very rare,
especially in the healthcare sector. It allowed us to find out what is
working and what is not working for them," Gilmore says.
The project team employed ethnographic research practices,
thoroughly immersing themselves in the client's world designing
with and for them.
"We monitored assessments taking place with a client, family
and care advisor and afterwards spent up to two hours discussing
the encounter in the home. We returned later and asked them to
reflect on that experience. What people remember is what creates
brands and has value."
Gilmore says it has allowed the team to make decisions based
on real insights from evidence.
The project team worked with Catholic Community Services
staff involved in delivering this service, observing them at work and
getting them to help identify the challenges in delivering these
services in a CDC environment. The team observed and interviewed
Customer service centre staff and community workers, rostering
team members and care advisors.
"We've presented the client stories
back to CCS through videos that give deep
empathetic insight and with powerful tools
like journey maps which organisations
can use to keep their focus on clients
when decision making. It has reshaped the
perspective of the organisation and played
a key role in cultural change. Often we
think we can see the world from a client's
viewpoint. What we aim to do through this
process is actually reframe, recast it and
make it more accurate. This forces a shift in
mindset which is extremely powerful"
Redford agrees that the process has
led to improved client engagement.
"Changing the culture, and changing our
approach has led to a better experience
and better products, designed for the
people they are intended for. It is all about
true participation, stepping outside the
square and collecting real stories from real
With the research phase complete,
Catholic Community Services and Neoteny
have chosen a set of tools that will really
empower clients to navigate the new CDC
world . These sets of design outcomes will
be taken into clients' homes and reviewed
by the researchers, giving clients the
chance to test and co-design what they are
going to use.
Redford believes that the investment
has achieved great outcomes for Catholic
Community Services and our clients. "We
have redesigned and reframed our approach
to client engagement. Utilising design
thinking has allowed us to identify the
client touchpoints where we can truly make
a difference and deliver an innovative and
positive experience. We are excited about
the future and the opportunities to work
collaboratively with clients." n
Contact Janis Redford, General Manager,
Catholic Community Services NSW/ACT,
L4, 16-18 Bridge Street, Epping, NSW
2121, PH: 02 9855 2531, Visit:
Catholic Community Services
NSW/ACT is a division of
Catholic Healthcare, which was
established in 1994.
Catholic Community Services
delivers aged and community
services to 4500 clients across New South Wales.
The not-for-profit provider works with older people, people who are
homeless or at risk of homelessness, people with a disability or mental
illness and carers.
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