Led by A/Professor Sonja Pedell and completed in collaboration with ACCESS Health and Community in Hawthorn, this project saw the Future Self and Design Living Lab (FSDLL) refashion the common health provider’s waiting room to address important barriers and concerns that patients have with the waiting area.

A screen from the Waiting Room 2.0 animation depicts a client interacting with the receptionist.

Using co-design to uncover waiting room barriers 

Comprehensive research has shown that long amounts of time spent in waiting rooms have become a social barrier to healthcare. The Living Lab seeks to address these barriers through several design-influenced approaches.  

In this project we used a traditional Living Lab methodology of co-design to engage key stakeholders in an environment, allowing them to communicate their emotions.  

This focused on connecting spatial, social and technological factors to improve the user experience of the waiting room.  

Our design process was informed by user-centred research to ideate a waiting room that would cater to a wide range of potential users. 

Parking, especially disability parking, is often the first access-related issues for clients.

The outcome: a new communication strategy to healthcare stakeholders 

To communicate the richness and complexity of the data and ideas, as well as the variety of solutions to the client, the FSDLL produced three complementing outcomes:  

  • a report outlining the key findings 
  • a prototype for health self-management  
  • an animation titled “ACCESS ME NOT” to display the main barriers for clients.  

It was the animation that enabled important stakeholders to understand the emotions of the clients and be used as a tool to communicate some of the service barriers to staff and decision-makers in a humorous way. In doing so, the Future Self and Design Living Lab not only informed the modern waiting room, but also took the first step to innovating the local health care sector via health media.  

It was the animation in particular that enabled the CEO to understand the emotions of the clients and be used as a tool to communicate some of the service barriers to ACCESS staff and decision makers (the Board) in a humorous way.  

The CEO of ACCESS, Health and Community reported on the use of the animation as a panel member at the SUT Institute strategic planning day. 

Project team and partners

A screen from the Waiting Room 2.0 animation depicts a client interacting with the receptionist.
  • “The information simplicity is now being used across AccessHC through YouTube, and in a few weeks the hits are rising particularly for the NDIS version. The theme is now expanding into other formal information animation funded by the DHHS as a general service for parents accessing child and family information.”

    CEO , Access Health and Community

AH&C – Problem Scenario #1: Access Me Not

AH&C – Problem Scenario #1: Access Me Not

This animation was presented to the key stakeholders at ACCESS Health to highlight common issues and emotions associated with the waiting room experience.

Project publications

Murphy, A, Keirnan, A & Pedell, S 2018, ‘ACCESS ME NOT – an animation to communicate research results to a health care provider’, Proceedings of the 5th European International Conference on Design4Health, Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.

See more projects from Future Self Living Lab

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