Kindling is a card and digital journal set, designed to help families communicate with loved ones facing mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease. The cards use a series of questions to spark conversation and create an environment in which your loved one feels confident and supported. While spending quality time together and enjoying a conversation, you can document the experience through audio and video recordings in the Kindling app.
Art Direction: Abby Guido
I chose to use icons instead of photographs because icons let me control the personality of the cards
while keeping them general enough for a wide audience. I designed each icon as a single line illustration
to incorporate the string concept from the logo.
For my prototype I designed a general card set and the accompanying app. However, when ordering online, families will have the opportunity to customize topics and make them specific to the interests and life journey of their loved one. The card set will provide each family with a unique family code they can scan into their apps. This code allows multiple family members to connect with one another through the app while recording sessions with the cards.
When it came to creating a name for this project I thought about what my main purpose was. I knew I wanted this to be something that focused on creating new memories while promoting togetherness, confidence, open dialogue, and storytelling. The name Kindling represents all of these things. Kindling can be an awakening, it can mean excitement, or the spark of a fire.
I wove a string through the letters of the word based on the old adage of tying a string to your finger to help you remember something. While the game is focused on sparking conversation, over the course of those conversations memories are strung together.
Kindling’s colors are red, green, and blue because studies have found that they are good colors for Alzheimer’s patients due to their strong contrasts. Additionally red, blue, and green have other beneficial properties. Red is great for grabbing attention, blue is a calming color, and green represents new life.
Research and Wireframing
The research process for this project began at home. With my grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s, I wanted to design something our family could use to interact with her. I decided to look into Alzheimer’s studies to gain a better understanding of which practices work and which don't. In doing this I discovered that reminiscence therapy is becoming a popular practice and has shown positive results. Many patients experience boosts in confidence and the ability to communicate. The goal is to keep the individual engaged in conversation, which enables them to exercise their brain. I also learned that most conversation cards are either extremely generic or made for nursing homes and therapists, neither of which were my target audience. After researching the topic extensively I decided that I wanted to create something various families could connect with. In order to get a more precise idea of my audience I created a few user personas.