newspaper article – Ming

Co-designing a communication system

Some children when they are born, they can not speak or move as other children do, but they still have the right to get the same respect as others, and enjoy the same opportunities for education, health care, love and support.

Compared to other children, they are confronted with bigger challenges in their day-to-day lives. It is therefore extremely important to develop a communication system, which enable staff, parents and relatives of the children from Children’s Hospice Association Scotland(CHAS), to understand and keep up-to-date with the children’s health conditions in an efficient and accurate way. A platform where they can share children’s stories, their likes and dislikes; and even gain emotional support. Such a platform would be similar to Facebook, simple and easy to use, but unlike Facebook would have a trustable online environment as security and privacy is of great importance when sharing information about the children. This means the child’s parents, staff at CHAS and other key organizations and trusted people can have access to the children’s health conditions and gain emotional insights into their personalities in a safe and secure environment.

Ming have an opportunity to collaborate with a company called the Memory Box Network. It is an online platform that focuses on privacy and security, and has been developed for the families of people with dementia but has potential functionality and privacy required for this project.

Therefore, this project is about co-designing a communication system with children who are from the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, and also their families, carers, workers and staff. This project is a part of a bigger project which aims to develop an online platform that will enable users to effectively communicate and share the life of the child by combining a series of networked tactile objects linked to an online interface.

As a designer with a graphic design background, Ming is interested in how the interface can be developed as a useful, desirable and playable media for all the stakeholders to use.

What is next

Ming will try to create a serious of Pilot testing and evaluation workshop at CHAS. To test and evaluate the suitability of the Memory Box online platform for use by families and staff at Rachel House as part of the this project: is it’s functionality and privacy a useful tool for communication in the CHAS setting? On the other hand, this project is going to seek funding for more comprehensive development of the system.

Research Question

How the interface can be developed as a useful, desirable and playable media for CHAS staff, parents and relatives of children with complex communication needs to use.

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About Hazel White

Director, Open Change
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