Osteoarthritis Guidebook Prototype


Geena Stanley, Janette Ng and Doyeong Nam interned with us in 2020, working on an Osteoarthritis Guidebook to help people living with osteoarthritis. The challenge was to create a guidebook to educate patients about their condition while providing reassurance and advice on managing osteoarthritis in a positive and engaging manner.

After reviewing the skeleton of the guidebook content, they began by generating ways that they could approach communicating the information in a manner which would be easily digestible for the patients. The structure included five chapters of text which covered general information about osteoarthritis, symptoms, treatment options and tips for further action. 

The aims were to communicate this information simply and with clarity while relating to the reader in a friendly tone. Studying other examples of osteoarthritis publications and resources provided a good starting point for a discussion around how to elevate the handbook’s visual engagement.

Another challenging consideration was to take inspiration from Kiwi culture and integrate this into the look and feel of the publication.

Geena’s role with creating the Osteoarthritis Guidebook centered around publication design and bringing the handbook to life. The goal was to create a wellbeing guidebook that steered clear of feeling clinical and sterile. Alongside this, she wanted to move away from overloading the patient with blocks of text and medical jargon that may overwhelm and confuse the reader. The solution was to design a guidebook that looked and felt calming while being easily understandable. She achieved this by only adding essential information to a clutter-free environment while also using illustrations created by Janette and Doyeong as substitutes for lengthy text to keep the guidebook engaging and visually exciting.

An important aspect to consider was integrating a wayfinding system into the guidebook so patients could easily navigate through the chapters and find the information they desired. Using Janette’s colour palette inspired by New Zealand landscapes, Geena 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 by simply doing a quick flick through the guidebook.

Janette’s focus was on developing a stylised illustration library which could be used throughout the guidebook. She found inspiration from the colour palette of the New Zealand landscape as well as anatomical shapes and forms. Her aim was to create calming, helpful and relatable imagery to a wide audience. Diverse representation in the illustrated characters not only contributes to the kiwi theme, but also opposes generalised stereotypes about the demographic which OA affects.

Alongside Geena, Janette also worked on ways to integrate and mesh the same organic stylistic components into the guidebook layout. An example of this can be seen in the chapter divisions where an illustrated pattern not only serves as a summarised foreshadowing of the content to come, but also as a visual reference for wayfinding.

Doyeong focused on creating medical illustrations to help patients and caregivers' understanding of OA. These illustrations showed osteoarthritis in the joint to help explain the patient's condition. She focused on accuracy when drawing body parts to deliver exact information, which was appropriately simplified but correctly drawn for easy access by patients. Alongside this, she tried a couple of different styles for medical illustration to compliment Janette's stylised illustrations and the overall guidebook's look and feel.

No items found.

We really enjoyed working with Geena, Janette, and Doyeong on this project. Here's what they each had to say of their experience interning at Good Health Design:

Geena — "Interning with the Good Heath Design team introduced me to my first real-world design brief and a glimpse into working as a designer in the design industry. The whole team was extremely friendly and welcoming from the get-go and encouraged us, interns, to approach them with any questions, queries, or critiques that we may need. Through them, I also experienced my first client meeting which ended up being a great collaborative space and an invaluable learning experience.

Working on the Osteoarthritis Guidebook showed me how rewarding it can be designing for the health sector and knowing the work we have been producing will help patients dealing with their condition. We were given full creative freedom with the guidebook and I am grateful to have both Cassie and Ivana encouraging us to explore ideas outside the ordinary, and in the end, we created a guidebook that pushes the boundaries of what a medical publication should look and feel like."

Janette — "Working with the team at Good Health Design was truly an enjoyable opportunity. Having been welcomed into the cosy yet productive atmosphere and offered an exciting chance to design for social good, I am sad to see it end. Cassie was an excellent mentor who along with Ivana, gave me some great insight into how creative practitioners can contribute to the health sector. I was challenged and given the freedom to bring my ideas to the table. I am grateful to have also had Geena and Doyeong working with me as a team and would do it again in a heartbeat."

Doyeong — "My first-time intern experience at Good Health Design was an exciting and valuable time, as I was able to work in a professional environment with a real-world project. It was also an invaluable opportunity for me to have a chance to work in design for wellbeing and social good. I am really thankful for both Cassie and Ivana for giving us a lot of support and also being a great mentor for our team, and also Geena and Janette who've done a great job for this project as a team."

No items found.

Collaborate with us

If you have a healthcare project in mind we’d like to hear from you. Get in touch with us at goodhealthdesign@gmail.com

Study with us

Come study with us at AUT.