Designing an interactive information tool for people affected by cancer
: My Journey

  • Alex Hughes

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


Cancer is characterised by the abnormal development of cells which possess the capability of destroying normal body tissue. Cancer is devastating due to the capacity to progress at a rapid pace. It is estimated to affect a vast range of people, with 1 in 2 people expected to receive a cancer diagnosis throughout their lifetime. Although survival rates are increasing, cancer is still recognised as a fatal diagnosis which requires maximum support for individuals throughout their cancer journey.

Currently, cancer support information is traditionally available as information packs, often in the form of printed documents. This establishes several accessibility issues for persons affected by cancer (PABC) who have difficulty comprehending this type of information format.

The impact of a cancer diagnosis accentuates the need for accessible and relevant information for PABC. This research aims to create an interactive, mobile prototype which conveys relevant cancer support information to PABC and heightens usability and accessibility through the consideration of design principles.

An extensive literature review provided key insights into areas such as user experience elements and explored research concerning usability and accessibility hindrances for PABC. The use of a participatory design approach with PABC informed the development of the user interface promoting consideration of empathy with PABC and accommodating unique and diverse needs when accessing cancer support information.

The research established a design framework which was employed to create a usable and accessible information giving mobile experience for PABC. Gaining user feedback supported validating the framework which intended to contribute to the establishment of guidelines for future cancer information tools. The findings demonstrated that a smartphone can be an appropriate platform for PABC when recognising how to accommodate those facing accessibility obstructions. The findings also recognise that the employment of empathy in healthcare contexts can supply emotional support and achieve personalisation which provides an enhanced user experience.
Date of Award26 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsNorthwood Charitable Trust
SupervisorLynn Love (Supervisor), Andrea Szymkowiak (Supervisor) & Kean Lee Kang (Supervisor)


  • User experience
  • Cancer
  • Design
  • Information
  • Interaction
  • Accessibility
  • Usability
  • Design principles
  • Empathy

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