Au revoir, Josh!

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It’s hard to believe it has been nearly two and half years since I first started at the DHW Lab. To begin with, I would like to say that it has been some of the best years of my life. It’s a privilege working alongside the other members of the DHW Lab design team. They are all incredibly talented, passionate and friendly and I can’t thank you enough for their kindness to me over the years. And Steve, let’s not forget, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it!

In conjunction with my masters, my time at the Lab has been a huge learning experience. I have learnt a lot about the complexities of the hospital and challenges of practicing design in a large, well established organisation. Shifting people's mindset is never easy, but now, more than ever, I believe it’s worth it. Each project, actualised or non-actualised, is a step towards helping those involved in healthcare to see the importance and value of human-centred design.

Working with designers of other disciplines has also helped me to develop my design process and the way I work best as a designer. Particular highlights include working with Eden AKA ‘Illustrator & Wayfinding Sensei’ on the Rosella wayfinding project, working with Nick AKA ‘UX/UI & Coffee Sensei’ on the Script app and working alongside Reid AKA ‘Product & Life Sensei’ on the privacy booth.


Probably most importantly, the Lab has made me realise that this is the type of work I want to be doing, at least in the near future. I find it both morally and creatively fulfilling. The decision to leave the Lab was therefore not an easy one. It’s tough saying goodbye to my friends and family here in New Zealand. But, I hope that I can continue to find a similar sense of purpose in Toronto at Healthcare Human Factors, and potentially bring some of my learnings back with me. It will be a new adventure for my wife and I and one that I hope to share with you all when we get back.

To finish I thought it might be nice to list some of my key personal takeaways from the Lab. They are as follows:

  • Workspace is crucial. Make it cool, make it open plan, make it yours. It makes you want to come to work and do great work!
  • Hang out, talk to and ask for advice from your colleagues. If you want a true anti-hierarchical working environment you need to be mates! There is so much to learn from just chatting to one another.
  • Design success is measured completely differently to those in healthcare. Don’t let resistance to an idea get you down. Push-back is part of the job description, so learn to be patient and content with knowing you have tried, and continue to try, your best.

Learn to tell and ‘show’ non-designers what you do, how you do it and why it’s important. A huge part of this is making, even at the very beginning of a project. A shared understanding helps to better connect design problems with design solutions and enables non-designers to contribute more constructively to the design process.

Designing Health.Care _ Interview with Nick Hayes

Nick Hayes our Lead UX designer was recently featured in DesigningHealth.Care blog by James Turner. His blog highlights the work created by designers inside healthcare institutions.


This is a great article on Nick’s journey to where he is today! The article focuses on what the lab is all about, including projects, approaches and challenges that take place being a UX Designer in a hospital context. It also looks at our some of our key achievements and our student cohort.

You can check out the article here.

If you want to know more about Nick and what he’s been up to at the lab drop us a line at

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Local MPs visit the lab

The Auckland DHB had a visit from Simon O’Connor, Chair of Parliament’s Health Select Committee accompanied with Paul Goldsmith –(MP for Epsom) and Melissa Lee (MP for Mount Albert) today.

Part of their visit here was to meet with Dr Lester Levy and Alisa Claire (Chief Executive). They also got the opportunity to come in and check us out!


Justin (Co-Director) gave them a tour of the DHW lab and showed them some of our projects along with the ones that are currently work in progress. This was a great opportunity for the local MPs to learn about what a unique creation the lab is and the collaboration between ADHB and AUT and not to mention being New Zealand’s first in-hospital design team.

Thanks heaps for taking the opportunity to check us out Simon, Melissa and Paul.  We appreciate your support and hopefully will see you again soon! 

and the Best Awards finalists are...


After a lot of anticipation the Best Awards 2016 finalist were announced earlier this week. The lab is stoked to be finalist this year in four categories this including graphic design, product design,  public good and interactive design.

Our resident boss cat, Eden Short’s student project‘ Wayfinding for healthcare seeking’ is a finalist in both communication design and public good. Two of our postgraduate students,  Antonio Wan and Charlotte Dickson were also finalist. Antonio’s design ‘The little ones’ was a finalist in product design.  While Charlotte’s children’s book ‘Lin Breaks her Arm’ is a finalist in the public good category.

‘Small Brand Identity’ done by the lab is also one of the finalist in the graphic design category. This particular work identifies and visually represents the core values of the Auckland DHB.

Lastly our first ever app was a finalist in interactive design! The Script App is an educational app for medical students and junior doctors to learn correct antibiotic guidelines.

Thomas Mical, Head of School – Art + Design said “We did win a number of Best Awards last year, and are looking forward to more acknowledgement of our programs in 2016. Our Design Health and Wellbeing Lab at Auckland Hospital, which won the Supreme Award last year, is proving to be a design powerhouse with a number of nominations in the product, public good, communication and interactive categories this year”

Well done to the team for all their hard work! Also a huge shout out to everyone involved!

Looking forward to the Best Awards in October.

👋 Welcome: Lauren Stewart!

The lab employed a new graphic designer: Say hello to our newest team member, Lauren Stewart


Lauren is a graphic designer who specialises in layout, infographic and publication design. Over the last two years she has primarily been designing for non-profits, which has led to a strong interest in empathy-driven communication design. Her two main focuses at the Lab will be visualising Patient Pathways and supporting the Wayfinding team.

Outside of work she runs a co-working space with two friends which aims to connect underground designers and artists to the wider community. You will find her there most weekends working on pottery, zines and printing on their Risograph.

We're excited to have her onboard and look forward to her contributions to the design team!

Research Assistant (Qualitative) - DHW Lab


Research Assistant - Design for Health and Wellbeing Lab (DHW Lab)

The Design for Health and Wellbeing Lab (DHW Lab) is a new dynamic research collaboration between AUT University and the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB). The aims of the Lab include establishing and developing a community of interdisciplinary design-led research to developing products, services, systems and experiences for improved health and wellbeing of our population.

A fixed term position is available for Research Assistant to undertake design-led research to support the aims and objectives of the lab.

  • Provide support on research projects
  • Contribute to data collection; this will include help with recruitment and management of research participants, conducting fieldwork, interviews, data collection, processing data (field notes, transcriptions) and literature reviews.
  • Contribute to data analysis. 
  • Produce reports of the work conducted in both written and spoken forms, including manuscript preparation.  
  • Develop understanding of how design tools and processes work to create potential for innovation
  • Participate in multi-person, multi-disciplinary research and development projects involving designers, researchers, clinicians, and administration staff from AUT and ADHB.
  • Other research related work as required

The successful applicants will work in partnership with others in the lab to carry out design projects, tasks and activities associated with the DHWLab. Applicants must be able to multi-task, be flexible in their working hours and have excellent interpersonal skills along with being empathetic and compassionate. A postgraduate (masters or higher) qualification in appropriate research is required:

  • A background in one of the following areas: Sociology, Nursing, Health Psychology, Anthropology; Organisation Studies; Science and Technology Studies; Design.
  • A Masters degree is preferred.
  • Understanding of Ethnographic / Design research.
  • Self-motivated but also have ability to provide meaningful contributions and work well in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.

Closing Date: 3 August 2016, 5.00pm

See the job link here