To cut to the chase, informal carers (family/friends of the patients) of dementia are extremely undersupported. In 2019, it was recorded half of the informal carers in the UK experienced depression, when the care hours where reaching 1.34 billion among carers in the UK per year. Due to COVID-19, the care time has only increased dramatically. ‘Exhausted’ family and friends spent 92 million extra hours caring for loved ones with dementia since lockdown. So the need to support carers is rising and rising, parallel with the pressure to step up and care for your loved ones, which ultimately exceeds what you can handle.
Forgetmenot is an assistant mobile application to help support and ease the pressures of dementia care on informal caregivers. This application helps to manage regular tasks involved with being a caregiver, facilitate communication between other carers, provide more effective care to the patient, and ultimately decrease the likelihood of the caregiver themselves suffering from dementia in the future.
To start I spoke to real users, informal carers who where or still currently are caring for people suffering from dementia. I carried out a survey to assess the real need and the seriousness of it. This survey helped form design decisions based on the feedback given, but also was the basis of other conversations forming on the side. I was able to talk to people about their struggles, if they thought there was enough support out there for informal carers, and what they would find useful in an application to assist them whilst caring.
I personally care for someone with dementia with multiple other women, so I not only applied my own thinking but I asked for their insights too. I have experienced firsthand some of the struggles when multiple people are caring for someone when neither of the carers live with the patient. So again, I applied these insights (backed up by others to avoid a biased approach) to the features and flow of the design for the first set of wireframes.
I combined these findings into empathy maps, and user personas, forming from those user journeys and user flows to start building the first blocks of my application. From there i jumped into Figma and Forgetmenot began to come to life. With many revisions, versions and design concepts Frogetmenot started to hold its own when the brand was applied. And from there, working conherently with the simplistic UI, the app was created.
I began user testing throughout the design phase, before it was finished to ensure the app not only worked with the brand but that it was actually functional and served a purpose. From there until today, refinements are made to develop it into the best it can be.
I dedicated a significant amount of time to the brand, ensuring it was as impactful and emotive as it could be. The brand is representative of dementia patients and their caregivers, using patterns in the wordmark to highlight everyone’s unique make-up. The brand is designed to have variations that change and adapt in different areas of the application and marketing materials, showasing the unique stories of how dementia has become a part of people’s lives. The shapes are representative of how dementia ‘shapes’ the lives of those affected.
‘Forgetmenot’ stems from two aspects; one,helping the patient not forget their loved ones and two; assisting the informal caregivers to not forget the tasks to complete in each care routine. The vibrant colours relay back to how colour is immensely used in care to assist the patients with memory gain.
Forgetmenot. The digital solution to easing the pressures of dementia care.
A mobile application designed to manage care tasks, facilitate communication between carers and ultimately take the pressure off the informal carers. Combining user insights, statistics from online resources and feedback as to how the app could better perform - I have come up with the solution of a clean, simple user interface to allow for easy navigation & reduce stress for the informal carers as they stay on top of each task. Giving the carers a little time back for their own families, giving their mental health a wee deserved break.
The app is accompanied by this meaningful brand as mentinoed above. It has been curated from insights of research into dementia and how colour is crucial for effective care of a dementia patient. Forgetmenot makes sure to touch on every little detail, to make sure the user is felt seen in every aspect.
You can find the latest version of Forgetmenot and more of the process behind the whole project here.