icare NSW

icare NSW

Streamlining the Care Advise Conversation

How might we help Dust Disease Care clients and their dependents define and communicate their changing needs while enabling icare Planners to record data inputs and to guide them through their journey with the disease?


I was tasked with exploring options to improve the care journey support experience of icare Dust Disease Care clients – workers who have been exposed to airborne toxins whiole being employed in NSW and, as a result, suffer from Asbestosis, Silicosis, or Cancer.

Because the onset of these diseases typically occurs 20-40 years after an individuals exposure only, people in this segment are predominantly elderly clients. They often come from Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern backgrounds and have limited English skills.

These factors can pose obstacles in the communication between those clients and the icare case workers who support them.



As part of the greater digital transformation, icare was looking to streamline and digitise data input during so called MyPlan conversations – regularly recurring needs assessments meetings that planners have their clients.

Previously, these conversations would happen over a paper form that the planner would fill out with clients or their dependents.

I was assigned to validate the concept and content of the DDC My Plan paper form, and to design a seamless and barrier-free way of facilitating the data input for both the planner and the care clients.

Details of the interactions between icare planners and DDC clients around My Plan were not sufficiently understood at this point.



  1. Hypothesis
    • Because the form breaks down something complex into granular pieces, it’s hard for a user to validate it's completeness. It will be difficult for clients to tell what would be missing.
    • Forms aren’t something that people like looking at, so the MyPlan form itself is not the ideal artefact to test the structure and content of MyPlan with clients.
    • Having a conversation about subjects so personal and intimate with a researcher they’ve only just met is an additional challenge.
  2. Plan
    • Conduct client workshops and interviews with participants and dependents of the DDC scheme
    • Test how well My Plan and its structure/ sections align with the themes and topics that are on people’s minds during assessment sessions
    • Omit content order, structure and details from the testing scenario and reduce content to the general topics and themes of My Plan.
    • validate that MY Plan is reflecting people’s needs and interests.
  3. Test
    • Create 'Conversation Cards' an interactive, tactile artefact that allows research participants to take control of the topics, the order and the pace of the conversation.
    • Validation and selection of themes that matter to participants will flow easily and naturally.
  4. Learnings
    • In the workshop, clients were instantly drawn to interacting with the cards and delved into the topics offered. They continued talking without much nudging or probing by the researcher.
    • After the session, many participants commented on how the cards helped them get their thoughts in order.


Inspired by the success of the conversation cards from the research stage, I designed a paper-based tool to help icare Planners to engage in a more human conversation with their clients.

Aligning with the sections in the original paper form, the 'placemat' is designed to guide the Planner to uncover what's important, enabling them (and not the client) to translate these into desired care outcomes.

The tool aims to increase client trust, and the quality of relationships and overall advice while simultaneously enabling the planner to capture data points that can be entered into the system via laptop after a MyPlan session.


  • Topics and themes relating to MyPlan sections act as conversation cues
  • Icons draw the user in and help making abstract concepts more relatable
  • Empty area leaves room for client’s own topics
  • A copy for the client will help remember the conversation, reflect on the plan, show areas not covered yet
  • Planner copy will help keep track of client’s journey


The MyPlan 'placemat' was tested in a pilot rollout by select Planners in the field with several clients.

Upon promising initial feedback, the business considered designing equivalent 'placemat' versions for other parts of the care business.

Gathering of feedback and insights from the pilot phase and implementation into the workflow extended beyond my engagement with icare.



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