Renal Information on Phosphorus


During Catherine's internship at Good Health Design, she was tasked to develop information leaflets providing an updated and improved design for renal dieticians to use and give to their patients.

The project brief was to redesign information sheets about phosphorus. The renal dieticians at Waitematā Manukau healthcare, provided all the necessary information and documents. The information sheets included general information about phosphorus and where it is found in food items, as well as visually communicate what food items for the patients to swap for less phosphorus intake. The renal dieticians explained that the patients they encounter have low English literacy, are of an older age bracket and/or have poor vision. The information sheets given were text-heavy and some visuals, but the layout of the pages were not organising the information in a suitable grid system, making them difficult to digest. The goal of this project was to make the information more accessible and visually updated for patients to understand clearer. These were things Catherine had to consider when formatting the information sheets to fit the required audience, such as photographed images of food items instead of illustrations for easy identification, font sizes (12pt for all body text) and weights to be readable, and a considered colour palette. This is to help the patients visually and clearly understand the information presented.

The primary colour used is green because it provides positive connotations symbolising health and wellbeing. Green was also used to indicate which food items are good alternatives for the patients. Red is also used to indicate food items that are not good for the patient's health as they contain phosphorus. The third colour is a teal blue to highlight other general information like ratings and checklists. It also links with the healthcare logo, symbolising calm and wellbeing connotations. Catherine tested and printed the sheets in grayscale to ensure the colours do not affect the readability and still provide the high contrast in the simple swap sheets to how it is when printed in colour.

The documents provided to Catherine were in a publisher/word format. The information was organised in long paragraphs, one after the other, and it was hard to differentiate the various documents and information. The layout for each set of sheets were designed slightly different from each other yet still maintaining consistent design characteristics to create a cohesive family of information sheets. Catherine transferred the information to lay out in Indesign, and then they were transferred to Microsoft PowerPoint so that it is accessible for the renal dieticians to edit.

In addition Catherine also did a quick refresh of the group's logo (ARRD, Auckland Regional Renal Dietitians). She kept the idea the same and made the design simple and modern by updating the font and making it all uppercase. The icon is less curved to look like a kidney compared to previously. She also had the help of interns Kelvin and Julliene, who gathered resources for the simple swap sheets and edited them for Catherine to utilise.

Here's what Catherine had to say about the experience – "Interning at Good Health Design was an extremely helpful introduction to working on a real-world project and within the design industry. At first the project intimidated me because i didn’t know what to expect working for the first time, but I’m grateful for having Cassie as a mentor who was by my side all throughout the project for guidance and when design issues arose. From this project I realised how design is helpful for the health department in translating information to patients and it was lovely to be able to meet the renal dietitian team to communicate my ideas to. I’m very thankful to the team at Good Health Design and Cassie for giving me the opportunity to use my skills, and have creative freedom to help create something that will benefit others."

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