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A Great Opportunity

With the bulk of the research and understanding stage of the project behind us, we look towards this week and our first presentation. This presentation will showcase the bulk of research, with a focus on; the review of the original Chemotherapy booklet, reports of our field work visiting the hospitals and interviews we conducted there, our insights gained and opportunities established from those insights.

Today we put together our insights into physical insight cards and then developed opportunities from these, which we then produced physical cards of as well.





Let’s do the Timeline Again

Today we refined our timeline for the booklet and put together an infographic that will form one of our key deliverables and aid in our and our clients understanding of the patient journey. The timeline includes information not only on the different stages of the process of chemotherapy treatment, but also of the emotional impact on the patient. All of these areas are connected and the timeline will show this in a visually compelling way.

To finish off the week we gathered our insights into specific themes and used these themes to form a number of opportunities which will then inform the development stage of the project.




Origin Story

This morning at Edinburgh Western General, we had the opportunity to attend a session for new Chemotherapy patients in the Maggie’s Centre near to the hospital. In the session, patients are shown a video of what they can expect during their treatment. This video is intended to complement the Chemotherapy booklet and uses much of the same information found inside it. These sessions having only just begun, but feedback has been very positive.

After the session we had the opportunity to speak to the lead quality nurse who put together the video. This was a particularly useful interview because she was one of the original authors of the Chemotherapy guide book. This was a brilliant insight into the original booklet enabling us to learn, how it was intended to be used, and which of the current content needs updating. We gained great information from this interview and a fantastic contact to collaborate with towards the development stage of the project.




Summation Station

A major overhaul of website design took place today. We create a brand new page for a detailed outline of the brief of the project, and begun work on a page for a summary of the first week of our project. Much of the day was spent typing up information for use in these pages, summarising work we’ve already done that will give a detailed look at the progress of the project beyond just the blog.





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Having created personas of patients who interact with the booklet, we made a template for staff personas and did the same. We also curated useful quotes taken from our interviews and group discussions and picked a selection of these to go with each of the personas, that we felt demonstrated useful insights about that type of individual.

In the afternoon we started work on the timeline of the booklet. Creating this timeline will be crucial in understanding the different ways users are interacting with the booklet. As we saw in our investigations, people were handling the booklet in extremely different ways, some people were reading it thoroughly, while others chose to ignore it completely. Creating a timeline will give us a solid visualisation of both the emotional journey of these users and the interactions (or lack of)  they have with the material.



Transcripts and Personas

Despite working with two men down, we managed some good progress today. We finished up the transcript from the group discussion, which ended up being over 7000 words long. This took up a chunk of time, but it also gave us some great quotes and is full of solid insights that will help us develop opportunities and lead directly to the development stage of the design process.

We also put together personas of patients from all the information we’ve gained so far. These have been mounted so that we use them for future presentations of work. The patients are key to the whole project, so having strong personas developed will help us develop clear and understandable forms of communication for them. Our personas are based on types of people we have seen, but will obviously be anonymised to protect privacy.


Websites and URLs

We pushed ahead with finalising the website today in the hopes of getting it launched soon, including securing a URL for use with the site. We had a Skype call in the afternoon to summarize the project and our progress with our Glasgow School of Art tutor and coordinator. Transcribing work on the interviews also continued, and we made some good progress on the lengthier group discussion.

We began work on a taking our lengthy analysis of the Chemotherapy booklet and putting it into a journal format that would make it far more accessible. This journal will form one of the main deliverables of the project.



A Call from London

We got to speak to the publishing editor of Macmillan based in London via phone today. We were given permission to utilise any of Macmillan’s materials in our project. Macmillan’s support material is very comprehensive, and many of the patients we talked to spoke highly of it, so this is a tremendous asset to our project.

Much of the rest of the day was spent with the group transcribing the large amount of audio recordings from speaking to patients and staff. This was a lengthy process, but given the importance of the information, a worthwhile endeavor. Transcribing these conversations would allow us to pick up key points and quotes and start putting together insights that will inform the design direction of the project.



Crosshouse Visit

Crosshouse hospital of NHS Ayrshire and Arran was next on the agenda, we met with a consultant respiratory and general physician and discussed our goals for the project and what we hoped to see today. Following this we were able to set up a temporary office near to the Chemotherapy ward, there we were able to get an interview with Aileen Roy, a colorectal nurse at the hospital, which gave some great insights into the way staff communicate with patients.

We split into two teams, with one group interviewing staff and the other interviewing patients in the chemotherapy ward. We able to interview two patients undergoing chemotherapy, while the second group interview, a Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist nurse with Macmillan.

In the afternoon we had an hour long group discussion between ourselves, two patients, and two people who had come with them to support them as they receive their treatment. This was an extremely valuable session that gave us a lot of great insights around treatment, information and plenty on communication. Having patients discuss in a group setting proved to be an excellent way to facilitate discussions, and we learned about aspects of dealing with chemotherapy that we wouldn’t have thought to consider.



Lothian Visit

Our first hospital visit for this project is on the agenda today. In preparation for this we printed out a selection of our questions and consent forms.

We visited Edinburgh Lothian today to begin our primary research. There we had a meeting with the clinical service manager and arranged some future visits so that we can start looking at the way information is communicated.



Field Preperation

This week we will be concentrating on seeing the booklet in action. It is vitally important to the design process to see the context in which the booklet is used and how it is utilized by both patients and staff. We therefore spent much of today arranging contacts for visits to the hospital this week. We also redrafted a consent form making corrections based on feedback from our NHS contacts.

We made a start to putting together a process journal that will give a detailed look at our approach to the project. Outwith this we continued working on the website and booklet analysis.



First Contact

In preparation for our first official meeting with staff from the NHS we compiled our key insights together to be able to talk through our initial findings of the booklet. Typing up of our analysis continued and we put together a lengthy contact list of everyone who is collaborating on the project and any useful contacts we’d been given. We created a list of commandments that the new booklet or method of communicating the information within the booklet should absolutely do.

In the afternoon we had our meeting and were able to discuss the direction the work has been moving in so far. We briefly talked about our involvement in the UWS impacts event taking place in Ayr in July where we will be contributing. We then discussed our work, and took the group through our process of breaking the booklet down to sections and analysing the success and failures of each using the 5W system. Finally we arranged an appropriate time to be able to visit Crosshouse hospital for the first time, a major stepping stone in our development of the project.



Interviews and Analysis

We split into two groups today, with one group working on creating templates for interviews that would allow us to easily write up any notes during and after the interviews. This would also be used for us developing personas of users and stakeholders for our research.

The second group began work on typing up the analysis we had done on the original Chemotherapy booklet. This will be a lengthy process that will take several days and result in a document thousands of words long, but this analysis will be extremely important to identify exactly where the booklet can be improved. The plan is to include a summary document that will highlight the key points of the critique in a far more concise manner.

We planned out the website layout, what would be included and how pages would link to each other. We wrote individual bios for use when the website is published and took mugshots to use in our profiles.




Today we finally finished our review of the original Chemotherapy booklet by analysing and critiquing the contact pages, the map and the note section at the end of the booklet. We now have a detailed analysis and critique of each section of the book, as well as a list of any items listed sporadically throughout the book that a patient might require.

Work continued on the website and we implemented a camera to record time lapse videos to give a better insight into progress and a detailed look at how we are approaching the project.

Following this we began work on our questions for the interviews we would be conducting the following week. We prepared a list of questions for patients, staff and carers/family members. For each person we divided the questions into introductory icebreaker questions, general questions about support materials and finally questions specifically about the Chemotherapy booklet.



Post-It City

In preparation for visiting the hospitals of Crosshouse and Edinburgh Lothian we drafted a consent form for use with any interviews that take place.

We continued our lengthy review and critique of the original Chemotherapy document and started work on a blog/website that will be viewable by the general public and will show our progress with the project.

In the afternoon we create a to-do list for the week leading up to our first presentation of our initial findings and progress with the project. Finally, we emailed our NHS contacts to help answer some general questions we have regarding the booklet.



So It Begins

Today we began by arranging a workspace where we would be working from for the duration of the project. We gathered the materials we would need to begin the project and had a preliminary discussion about how to start work.

We began by printing out the pages of the booklet and going page by page and analysing each using the 5w method (who, what, where when, why and how). From this analysis we began to critique the sections, looking at what worked and what didn’t.

The first section covers a very basic introduction of both the booklet itself and chemotherapy. The second section regards expectations of inpatient and outpatient treatment. The third section deals with side effects and avoiding infections, with the final two sections covering a general FAQ and contact details.

We also did some preparation for our hospital visits taking place next week. Looking at what we would need in advance and the format of any interview we would be doing.

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