Page 129 - Experience Based Co-design - a toolkit for Australia
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What was the impact?
The use of personas and narratives enabled the project team to interview and safely engage families and consumers. Consumers and families were able to share their experiences, feelings and needs rather than just a factual review of the process. They could connect to the persona and narrative, highlight comparisons or differences and share their experiences more openly and freely.
This process revealed many unmet consumer and family concerns. These included the need for more information and support in relation to emotional needs. The concerns were summarised into seventeen key themes for the project to focus on together. The experience also initiated ongoing co-design activities between clinicians, consumers and families.
What went well?
The consumer engagement activity unearthed additional needs not identified in the initial diagnostic report. Consumers could share their potentially traumatic experiences safely. In addition to data, this method of consumer engagement encouraged involvement in subsequent co-design workshops and working parties.
What were the challenges?
The key challenges included:
1. Delays in recruitment of and access to consumers and their families. This
resulted in an initial analysis of a more limited set of consumer experiences
than planned
2. Difficulty connecting with consumers. We found that those who had a more
positive experience were more likely to respond. This created a bias towards
positive experiences
Extensive geographical distribution and time constraints resulted in a majority of phone interviews rather than preferred face to face engagement.
If we were to do it again what we would do the same?
The narratives including visual illustrations are a powerful tool to gather experiences through interviews with consumers and families. They were shown to be a safe and gentle way to engage with consumers and families. The narratives enabled the collection of stories, direct quotations and memories. We would use the same process to build, deliver and analyse narratives in other projects requiring consumer engagement.

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