Osteoarthritis Guidebook

Janette Ng, Geena Stanley and Doyeong Nam

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This project challenged how illustration can be used to make mental health information more accessible and engaging for young adults within a New Zealand public health service setting.

This project was in collaboration with Active Living and Rehabilitation: Aotearoa New Zealand, who lead the research underpinning this project. Students Geena, Janette and Doyeong were brought onboard to help envisage how this guidebook could better communicate information in a way that would be easily digestible for patients. Their aim was to create a wellbeing guidebook that steered clear of feeling clinical and sterile. They wanted to avoid overloading the patient with blocks of text and jargon that may overwhelm and confuse the reader. Instead, they aimed for a clutter-free environment while also using illustrations to keep the guidebook engaging and visually exciting.

The students’ work laid the foundations for the guidebook’s early prototypes which were later assessed and evaluated by patients and those living with OA, and improved upon through various iterations. Geena Stanley assigned a colour to represent each chapter in the handbook and integrated a coloured tab wayfinding system for patients to find the information they need. Janette Ng centred on developing a stylised illustration library which could be used throughout the guidebook. Her aim was to create calming, helpful and relatable imagery to a wide audience. Doyeong Nam focused on creating medical illustrations to help patients and caregivers understand the disease. She concentrated on accuracy when drawing body parts to deliver exact information.

​The Aotearoa Osteoarthritis Guidebook is now officially published and is being distributed to local hospitals and services for ongoing evaluation and testing at a larger scale. Further development on a second condensed pamphlet version targeting Māori and Pasifika patients is currently in the works and new students will be brought into the project to design that look and feel of that.