When I heard that Ravencourt where developing a reminder clock to help people living with memory loss and cognitive impairment I was very excited. I think their range of products is great and they make are a real benefit to peoples lives. Its good to have someone in the industry constantly pushing things forward.
When I got a call from Oli asking for some help selecting and designing alarm files I said YES straight away. A lot of my patients are living with dementia and Alzheimer’s so I see first hand the problems that arise and a friendly reminder can often make all the difference. Time of day orientation can also be a constant struggle.
After an initial brainstorm the key points for this product we;
1. Keep it simple! We decided that other similar products had been over engineered and filled with unnecessary features that actually detract from the user experience and over complicate the operation.
2. Make it friendly! We wanted to design a product that looked nice someone’s house and that people would relate to.
3. Add up to 20 alarms that would be right for most people, most of the time.
The four different calendar modes had already been designed and when I saw them I was so pleased that they had hit the nail on the head. Covering all bases in a very attractive, simple and informative design.
Calendar mode 1
This is my favourite of the calendar modes. Not only does it feature the Time, Day, date and time of day it also has a visual of a sun during the day and a moon during the night. Certainly for early stages of dementia this is ideal.
Calendar mode 2
When cognitive function is impaired, too much information can be confusing, resulting in anxiety and stress. This calendar mode simplifies the information you may want from a clock and helps orientate the user as to what time of day it is. This helps users to sleep and eat at appropriate times.
Calendar mode 3
When somebody has been used to a standard analogue clock it helps to give them something that they are familiar with, even if they can’t always quite process the exact time. The Day and the time of day points them in the right direction.
Calendar mode 4
This calendar mode can be really helpful for the later stages of dementia as well as brain injury and autism. Its very simple but also very pleasing and calming to look at. It doesn’t look out of place in the home either it looks like an attractive ornament as well as being very useful for orientation.
17 Alarm Files
We looked closely at what would be the key reminders that would best fit this product. One thing I was keen to achieve was to relieve anxiety when someone comes to the door. By being able to prompt the user for eg when family will be visiting or when a carer or home helper will be arriving. I also wanted to cover the basic needs of eating a drinking by having meal time prompts. We added feeding a pet as often pets can be neglected when owners cognitive function diminishes. One thing that we didn’t want to do was add unnecessary reminders as we wanted the user to set the appropriate reminder quickly and easily without scrolling through 100’s of options. When we got to 17 we felt as though we had covered everything that we set out to with this.
User input own video or text and audio files
It’s a great thing when family and friends take time to record personal messages for they’re loved ones and it can be very comforting. It had to be very simple to do and have clear instructions. Having now seen a prototype Ravencourt have achieved which is great.