A memorialisation platform for parents
Given other focus around early stages of the hospice experience (with onboarding supportive tools like Chiara), we felt it could be valuable to explore the closing phases of the hospice journey, where bereavement and memorialisation are important stages for some families to experience.
We understood the value of the hospice and the role of its professionals doesn’t end with the child’s death. Moreover, we learned that bereaved families often actively share their knowledge and experience with families who may be preparing for a death, who often feel isolated when contemplating the loss of their child. The relationships and bonds that are created around grief and bereavement are incredibly powerful, and we wanted to help support them as much as possible.
We believed that the hospice could become a hub for promoting supportive interactions and maintaining relationships within and between families after bereavement, which would naturally form around memories of a child, and continuing bonds.
Learning with parents
To understand more about people’s current understanding, motivations and feelings around memory-making, we conducted surveys with our network to hear from families’ own words what these activities meant to them. Families told us of the need for families to create memories that reinforced as much as possible, the normal, everyday lives they had with their children.
We then held a workshop with parents, co-facilitated by a parent with lived experience, to further explore memory-making. This uncovered the concept of memories as being useful in the present by providing meaningful thoughts, with families also wanting to ensure that other people helped populate and contribute to the collective story of a child. We uncovered many important insights from our workshop including the fact that making memories isn’t a normal activity. Parents just want to be normal and prefer to just do normal things that create memories (such as holidays or trips). We also learned that memories captured by other people and shared to the family were helpful in making up a fuller picture of the child.
These explorations fed into our design process which enabled us to develop some minimally viable features in a deployable prototype that families could use.
Creating special moments
Moments is a digital platform for a parent’s most special memories. It is designed to capture everyday normal events and create a richer picture of a child’s life.Parents can use it to quickly record memories during the child’s life. Due to its simplicity in uploading new content, we know that people find Moments useful for capturing spontaneous moments as they occur. One parent commented, “it’s a really good thing to put everything in one place. Because I put stuff all over the place and I rely on things like Facebook, which is not good.”
We also found that people were comfortable using Moments to look back at memories and adding new content at their own time after the child’s death, with another parent saying, “I felt really excited about the potential for making a diary scrapbook of memories, with filmed videos, writing.”
Moments allows people to add a feeling or mood to the uploaded content, providing more emotional context to the event. Moreover, it allows the family to relive the same moment from a different perspective, and allows them to track how they feel over time. A parent resonated with this feature saying, “I think the emotion tracker gives the app a little bit more versatility, because it feels more like it’s a memory, rather than a diary.”
Moments was in many ways the most sensitive prototype we developed in our children’s hospice work so far. Creating a dedicated space for parents, and the people close to them, to help build and hold a safe space for memories of a child is not an easy product to develop. But we felt that with our expansive set of research, insights, themes, concepts and scenarios, we constructed a meaningful and desirable starting point to help ease the transition from care to bereavement and beyond.