Paper

Designing in Rural Highland Contexts: Exploring the Role of Technology in Facilitating Human Connections

30th September 2020

Designing in Rural Highland Contexts: Exploring the Role of Technology in Facilitating Human Connections

There is a need when introducing new technology in health and social care settings to involve those who will use the technology, or be affected by it, at an early stage of the design process. Experience Labs employ a participatory approach for different stakeholders to share lived experiences, and collaboratively create ideas and solutions for health and social care challenges. The Labs serve the whole of Scotland, including the remote Highland areas, and are designed bespoke to the project goal and context. In this paper, we propose that the participatory approach of the Experience Labs provides a valuable space for collaboration to explore the potential and impact of supportive technology in rural communities. Initial findings suggest that participating in
Experience Labs leads to a better understanding of communities of care as established by individuals and support structures in place, and how these can be mediated by
technology. We conclude that the introduction of technology in these rural Highland communities of care needs to support existing networks, unique to each community, and consider the impact on changing existing structures.