Week Summary-1a

Week 2/ Introductions & Interviews


Week 2: Introductions & Interviews | 

Following our initial preparation, the second week of the project involved visiting both participating hospitals. Here, we hoped to use the interview framework previously developed to gain insights from staff, patients and carers. 

NHS Crosshouse, NHS Lothian, Macmillan



Use ethnographic methods to gather primary research within the two hospital sites and view the booklet in context.



A series of recorded and transcribed interviews to develop our user personas upon. An initial outline of the patient/user journey and a development of user scenarios.


Both visits to the hospitals proved to be very insightful. Beginning at Lothian, we were given the opportunity, with a clinical service manager, to discuss the way information is currently distributed within the hospital. Here, we learned of an introductory session held with patients to help prepare them for the coming weeks. This session presents a video, heavily influenced by the booklet, therefore we were naturally intrigued to witness how this form of visual communication contrasts to the text-heavy, written format and how differently the patients respond. Gratefully, we were given the chance to sit in during one of these events which can be found during week 3 of our project.

Arriving at Crosshouse for our second hospital visit during the week, we divided the group in two in hope of acquiring as much insightful information from staff and patients as possible. Using ethnographic research methods, we carried out a series of observations and interviews to influence a selection of user personas. 

During this time, we were able to conduct a group discussion with 2 patients and their carers. This proved to be an invaluable conversation to our research as the patients talked us through their experience with the cancer service. Both suffering from breast cancer, they were coming towards the end of their treatments and approached their handling of information very differently. The first patient had received the majority of literature, read online forums and advised on natural, herbal remedies and seemed to be comfortable in learning about her treatment. The second patient, however, refrains from reading information which at that moment in time is unnecessary and could evoke fear. Surprisingly, the second patient had not received the cancer guide at all, even though they were nearing the end of treatment. When reading over the booklet in hindsight they spoke of how helpful it would have been to have received the document from the start.

Upon gathering these insights, we produced a series of initial user persona cards based on the information gained. These were to create an understanding of the different patient demographics and would be taken into consideration when producing our proposal.

Our second week concluded with a scheduled a phone call to the publishing editor of Macmillan's cancer support material. Here, we were able to discuss the legality of the information we wish to enclose within patient guide and in doing so, acquired the permission of using Macmillan's content. 

Daniel McLarenComment