Design a series of icons for dementia patients to help with way finding in care homes.

This human based design project for a set of simple icons and signs, is one which I am very proud of. A good example of how my design skills help people.

After meeting the owner and MD of visioncall at an entrepreneurial enablement unit in Ayrshire, we immediately hit it off. Brian is just one of those guys you meet that you instantly get on with. His energy, passion and enthusiasm for getting to the bare bones of a business, is quite frankly second to none.

I started working with Brian on a project for his company to design an innovative reporting system for care home residents. This was based around their likes, dislikes and involved easily recognisable but relevant icons. I started to research the dementia market and found that current dementia signage is inconsistent and extremely patronising to the user.

I then attended a ‘designing for dementia surroundings’ course at Stirling University’s dedicated dementia department. My task was to design a series of simple but effective icons that could be used to help reduce frustration when residents were trying to find their way around the care home.

The icons were developed through research and testing with residents and care home managers. The signage and icons are now being rolled out to the full 7500 care home clients that Visioncall look after throughout the UK.

The feedback from the residents is tremendous and very touching. One email I received in particular from one of the care home managers said this –

“I love the new signs and icons I think they look great. One of our residents commented that they now feel less frustrated finding their way around the care home – Thank you”.