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TYPE: UX/UI, Product, Redesign

ROLE: Concept, Research, Form

DURATION: Sep 2019 - Dec 2019

The Problem

With the significant demographic increase of the elderly (65+) globally, healthcare and healthcare systems are facing significant increase in demand for (and costs of) care. This means that how we provide care, not just at the bedside, but also through services and support, must always be explored and challenged in order to find better, innovative, cost-effective and implementable solutions.


By conducting observational research at Baycrest's Samuel Lunefeld Mountainview Club — a club for adults with various stages and forms of dementia — as well as informal discussions with Subject Matter Experts working at the facility, our team found an opportunity surrounding the current dining experience. How might we create a bib for adults with dementia that is comfortable, non-stigmatizing, and liberating? 

The Solution

Spotless is an easy to wear alternative to the traditional bib. Spotless helps give adults with dementia independence and confidence during meals by reducing elements of "childishness" seen in traditional bib designs. It's easy to fold and store, making it flexible to use in any setting; and it's easy to clean and wash, reducing the workload for users and/or their caregivers. 

Project Overview

I was part of a group of Industrial Design students that worked with Baycrest Center in Toronto to design assistive products for older adults living with dementia, their caregivers and families that help improve their everyday lives. 


Team Members: Juling Hancock, Rima Al Moman, Ayo Olagbemi, and Anna You

I was the main form developers on Spotless (I drew concept sketches, created prototypes, and sewed the final model), a design researcher, a presentation creator and an editor.

Throughout the project I was constantly asking myself "how can I make my clients' live's easier?", because I really wanted to design a solution that would make a difference in their daily routine and that they'd actually use.


In order to get the outcome I wanted, I knew I had to put myself in my clients' shoes in order to fully understand their struggles. The clients were the patients with dementia, their caregivers, and the hospital staff, and each had their own wants and needs.

Secondary Research

Existing data from articles, and research papers were used to understand the different types of Dementia such as Alzheimer's disease (the most common form).


Looking specifically at Frontotemporal dementia, it is an umbrella term for a group of rare disorders that primarily affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain — the areas of the brain associated with behaviour, personality and language.


  1. It affects men and women

  2. It often begins between the ages of 40-65

  3. It can result in memory loss, dramatic changes in behaviour and personality, difficulty in speech and movement

  4. There is no known cure or effective way to slow progression

Understanding the user

We started by conducting primary and secondary research to better understand the problem and the people affected by it.

Provisional Persona

Data from secondary research was used to create a provisional persona to represent the target user group, adults ages 60 and over with mixed-dementia. Many individual often have more than one form of dementia because it can be difficult to diagnose.


Conducting research

From the observation sessions conducted at the Mountainview Club, it was noticed that a number of individuals required bibs during mealtime. This meant that they needed to wait for assistance from a staff member to come over and help them put it on or take it off, and the clients couldn't start eating with their fellow non-bib wearing members. 


When we observed our classmates in the ageing suits we noticed our classmates’ limited ability to move their hands above their heads, it indicated to us that older people are typically unable to reach behind their head to put on/take off the bib independently.

Overall, these observations gave us a deeper understanding of the everyday challenges that people with dementia face and the needs of our target user group.

Data Synthesis

Data from secondary research and our observations with stakeholders was organized into an empathy map and affinity diagram to generate insights.

Defining the problem

We synthesized the research data to identify themes and connections, and define the core problem.

Concept Sketches

Insights generated from the synthesized data were used to come up with possible solutions to the problem at hand. After ideating a variety of concepts individually, the team came together to share and discuss ideas. Designs were grouped and combined to create three concepts from which one would be selected.

Each design was compared to the design criteria in order to select the one that met the needs of the target user group best.

Ideating solutions

We came up with ideas to solve the needs of the target user group after identifying opportunities from research.

User Journey

The user experience was organized in a journey to visualize how the target user would use the product in a real world senario, and identify potential pain points and opportunities.

Prototyping designs

We looked at the insights gathered from the research, competitive analysis and initial feedback we received from our classmates and professors to explore the form and materials.

Next steps

Next steps were determined: conduct user testing, present findings to peers, mentors, and SMEs for feedback, and identify possible next steps for future development of the Spotless. 

Testing prototypes

We were unable to conduct user testing with our target user group at Baycrest Center.

Design Process


What we learned from ideating solutions

While we ideated solutions, we realized that although “bibs” were a practical way to keep a person’s clothes from getting spoiled, the adult bibs that were currently on the market were degrading, infantilizing, and were hard to put on and take off independently. On one hand this could be because caretakers do not want their clients to take their bibs off while they are eating, but on the other hand clients often find wearing bibs uncomfortable and unfamiliar.

Overall, we reviewed the identified needs of our target user, compared our designs to our design criteria and decided that there was a lot of opportunity in redesigning the adult bib for adults with dementia.


What we learned from defining the problem

By finding insights from the empathy map and affinity diagram, we were able define the problem and the design criteria for our solution.


The criteria we established was that the design must be functional, non-stigmatizing, and provide independence. It should be easy to wash/clean and enhance users dining experience. And could be customizable and have exclusive packaging.

By analyzing the insights we identified, we were also able to determine areas in our target user group's routine where design solutions could make an impact and improve our user persona to reflect the characteristics of the participants we observed from our primary research.  

POV Statement

Insights from synthesized data were used to phrase the problem and define design criteria.

"Adults with dementia need a way to gain back their independence and feel less infantilized in their daily lives because they often have to rely on other people to help them complete tasks due to memory loss, lack of motor function and speech."

Primary Research

Qualitative data was collected from speaking directly with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) as well as from observational research conducted within the Mountainview Club at at Baycrest Center.


Ageing suits were also used to experience what it would be like to have the same ailments as people with dementia first hand.