OVERVIEW: The aim of this project was to use data to create an information graphic/visualisation that compares or instructs; taking into consideration user group, context, delivery system, composition, colour and texture when designing. The client for this project was the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet organisation. They aim to tell the story about the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, avoid deficit thinking and use strength based approaches such as holistic health. My mission as a designer was to present a set of statistics to a new health worker entering this field and to engage with them as effectively as possible in order to convey the complexity of the issue of chronic health conditions in Indigenous populations and emphasise the importance of strength based approaches.
TARGET AUDIENCE: The target audience for this project is the health worker, therefore it is essential to understand who they are in order to target them effectively. Health workers are important to creating connections between vulnerable populations and the healthcare system, provide culturally appropriate health education, encourage physical activity, nutrition and education as well as being compassionate, resilient, flexible and respectful. So delivering information to them would be a challenge because most would be travelling to rural areas with limited technology and require quick bites of information in order to remind or inform the worker of the specific chronic disease they are managing.
TOPIC: The topic I decided to focus my research on was diabetes, type 1 and gestational but most importantly Type 2 which is the main issue for indigenous people and can be prevented for most. Information wise I wanted to keep content brief yet condensed; outlining the definition of the type of diabetes, symptoms, management as well as risk factors for type 2. Furthermore outlining how diabetes affects certain parts of the body if left unmanaged, detailing important statistics in creative and memorable ways and outlining holistic health schemes the health worker can perform on duty.
FORMAT: The format I placed my research was in a business card sized booklet that could be placed in a wallet or pocket.
This would be easily accessible, small, compact and portable, especially for health workers working in remote areas
of interest. Plus it would be easy to carry more than one if more were made for other chronic diseases. The format is
constructed from a single slightly wider sheet of A4 concertina-folded into a business card sized booklet that had
flippable pages due to the four slits cut into the paper. The pages are a useful way to put flashcards of type 1, gestational and type 2 diabetes information on the smaller sections upon opening it, and when fully unfolded an overview of a larger more comprehensive piece information like holistic health schemes on one side and a smaller anatomy chart on the other.
When styling my business card sized booklet, I stuck strictly to the colours and style of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet 2011 style guide. I utilised the Myriad family for headings and body copy, used their three colours of black, burnt red and yellow, abided by their co-branding regulations and used their existing lizard, pathway and diabetes art where appropriate. I mainly used the cover of the style guide to help me maintain their brand image. The font is soft and inviting, yet modern as is a sans serif font. Also the colours used not only represent the aboriginal flag but also represent in this context the sun, land and Aboriginal people which reinforce the communities’ connections to the land and need for holistic health tactics. Additionally, I added the diabetes colour (gold), the colour white and decided to deviate slightly from the simplistic images HealthInfoNet used for their website icons into more ornate, dot painting inspired ones. In order to pay respect to the aboriginal culture through art yet maintain the existing style of the brand, I took into consideration repeating patterns made of dots and lines to make myartwork emulate the style of Aboriginal art, not to recreate it as their art contains deeper meanings and a story behind the image.
When creating graphic representations of numbers and statistics, I aimed to reflect the information in a visual manner for easy recollection and verbal recall. So I used easily recognisable shapes that a health worker would recognise like the silhouette of the human body, sugar cubes, an aboriginal burial pole and IV drip bags; differentiating between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal through the presence and lack of dot art on the object. Other images evident throughout the business card sized booklet are not statistics, yet help visually inform the worker what the section is about, like the insulin pen for the management section, a cup of water to express the prominent excessive thirst and urination symptom of diabetes and a couch to represent a lack of physical activity in the risk factors section.
Overall I believe I have created an informative booklet that health care workers can take with them to remote and rural parts of Australia to facilitate the care, management and education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the area of diabetes.