About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Affected by dementia? Help us test Dementia Citizens apps

The first Dementia Citizens apps are ready to be put through their paces! If you’re affected by dementia we’d love you to try using one of our apps and then tell us what you think. We’ll use your feedback to improve the apps, before they launch later this year.  

What is Dementia Citizens?

Dementia Citizens is a new project that aims to help people with dementia and those who care for them, using apps on smartphones and tablets. If you’re affected by dementia, Dementia Citizens will help you to:

  • Find new activities that you can enjoy with family and friends, using your smartphone or tablet.
  • Learn new ways of living with dementia and caring for someone with dementia.
  • Have a voice and play an active part in dementia research.

Who can get involved

To take part and test the first apps, we’re looking for people who:

  • Are living with dementia, or are caring for a family member or friend with dementia.
  • Live at home, (rather than in a supervised care setting such as a care home or hospice).
  • Have access to an iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, or iPod.
  • Are willing to use one of our apps for at least 30 minutes, twice a week for 2 weeks, from 27th May to 10th June. 

What we’ll ask you to do 

Use the apps

We’ve made 2 apps that are designed for people living with dementia and their carers. We’ll ask you to use one of these apps for 2 weeks:

  1. Playlist for Life app: You can use the Playlist for Life app to find and listen to music that means something to you. Everyone has a song that takes them back to another time and place or cheers them up, and listening to this music can have powerful benefits for those living with dementia. 
  2. Book of You app: You can use the Book of You app to make and view a digital life story book. This is a collection of photos, words and other things that reflect important aspects of your life. Book of You is a way to share happy memories with carers, friends and family.

While you’re using the apps you’ll occasionally be prompted to answer some questions about how you’re feeling. 

Follow-up interviews 

We’ll also invite a small number of people to take part in a follow up interview. If you say yes, one of our design researchers will visit you in your own home. They’ll ask you some questions about your experience of using the app over the 2 weeks. An interview will take approximately 2 hours and will take place on the 10th, 13th or 14th June 2016. 

On the week of May 31st we’ll phone a small number of people to ask if you’re willing to take part in an interview. If you are, we’ll set a date and a time to visit you. You don’t have to take part in a follow up interview if you don’t want to. 

Saying thank you 

If you use the apps for 2 weeks, we will:

  • Let you know how your feedback helped us to improve the apps.
  • Thank you on our website, if you’re happy for us to do so.
  • If you take part in a follow up interview we’ll also send you a £20 Tesco or Sainsbury voucher as a thank you for your time.

Sign up to take part

If you’re interested in taking part or finding out more, please contact me - Alli Suddaby, Dementia Citizens Programme Manager, on [email protected] or 07766 242750.

What will happen next

If you contact us to say you’re interested in taking part in this research, we’ll get in touch to:

  • Ask you some questions about yourself.
  • Tell you more about our work and taking part in this user testing.
  • If you’re eligible to take part and want to continue, ​we’ll explain the next steps and answer any questions that you have.

More about the user testing

Why are we carrying out this user testing? 

It’s important to us that people with dementia, their families and carers, are at the heart of the development process. 

We’ll use data about how you have used the apps, and feedback - good and bad - from people who took part in follow up interviews to improve the first two Dementia Citizens apps before they launch in July 2016. 

Who will carry out the follow-up interviews?  

If you agree to take part in an interview a researcher from Ctrl Group, a design research company for healthcare, will visit you. Ctrl Group is working with Nesta to design and build the Dementia Citizens website and smartphone apps. If you agree, the researcher will record the interview conversation so that we can listen again to better understand your feedback. 

What will happen to my information?

All information collected during this user testing will be kept confidential. The only people that will be able to view the data are those involved in designing and building Dementia Citizens. This includes Ctrl Group and our research app partners - Bangor University, Book of You, Glasgow Caledonian University and Playlist for Life.  

When you use the apps we’ll collect information about:

  • How you use the apps, such as how often, what time of day and for how long 
  • Your answers to questions in the surveys, including question on quality of life
  • Your personal information, such as your name, age, gender and whether you have dementia or are a carer for someone with dementia  

We won’t collect the actual materials that you add to the app. This means that if you’re testing the Book of You project we won’t see any of the photos, text or audio that you add to your book. 

Information about how you used the app will be shared with the design team on this project to improve the apps. We won’t share your information with anyone else.    

What’s next after the user testing?

After the user testing, we’ll spend some time improving the apps based on your feedback. Then, in July 2016, we’ll launch updated versions of these apps to use. If you use the apps at that time, you’ll also have the opportunity to take part in a research study that will help us learn more about caring for dementia.

We hope that you’ll have enjoyed using the apps during the user testing and will be back to use them again in July!  


Alli Suddaby

Alli Suddaby

Alli Suddaby

Programme Manager

Alli was the Programme Manager for Dementia Citizens.

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