At GORM Agency, we had the pleasure of contributing to the creation of Aktivi.dk: A community for people living with dementia and their next of kin. On the website, they can find support, exchange experiences and seek information or events.

Aktivi is the result of a strong collaborative effort including The Danish Alzheimer’s Association, KL - Local Government Denmark, Type2Dialog, a number of municipalities and GORM Agency.

We handled UX, user behaviour analysis and surveys, design, development and training in the new backend. And we have to say, this project – and the people we met – really got to us.

Read about this special project on this page.

What’s special about this project

Aktivi.dk came to life thanks to Corona. In the spring of 2020, like everywhere else on the planet, everything closed in Denmark. This was a difficult time for most of us, and digital communities were more important than ever before.

For people living with dementia, however, it was particularly critical, because without regular cognitive training, their decease could rapidly worsen. For their next of kin, a closed down society meant that they were not relieved but left on their own with the responsibilities. Aktivi.dk was an answer to this urgent situation.

The project required a high level of understanding and insight into the challenges for people living with dementia. Knowing this, we did a lot of research and involved many of the future users in a series of user surveys to reach the point where we could accommodate them online. The user studies were essential to tailor the most meaningful and user-friendly experience possible.

User journey maps help us make the right decisions

Through initial workshops, we worked on making the inhomogeneous user group accessible. This posed a challenge in itself, because the course of disease is different from person to person. Some experience a rapid and sudden course of disease, others do not have any awareness of suffering from dementia at all. At the same time, the next of kin want to do what is best for their loved ones – but they are in need of relief and of sharing their experiences with others in the same situation. 

We created several user journey maps for the purpose of showing different courses of disease and needs in the over-all user group. By mapping these, we reached a critical understanding of the foundation of the digital community – which led to the next phase where we presented a clickable prototype as well as a design proposal for the website to the client.

User interviews showed the way to the final solution

We created a digital community, because the user surveys pointed to a shared need: Both the people living with dementia and their next of kin needed to share their experiences, their worries, thoughts and feelings with others. To the next of kin as well as people in phase 1 of dementia, Aktivi is an opportunity to do exactly that.

When you create a profile, you state whether you are living with dementia or if you are next of kin – in this way, we make sure that the two groups meet relevant content and that the dedicated forums are separated. This is to ensure a sense of privacy and safety for all users. Essential to the whole site is that we designed it for people whose focus and purpose are hard to maintain.

The user surveys were in part material from Type2Dialog and The Danish Alzheimer’s Association, in part our own surveys and interviews with the future website users.

A very simple user interface – and a very simple backend

Besides UX and the many user surveys and interviews, we also handled the development of the new website.

With user feedback on the clickable prototype, our specialists built the real website in the Umbraco CMS. Umbraco has many advantages: Umbraco is flexible and easy to understand for developers and editors alike – and seeing as the solution is hosted in Umbraco Cloud, we also make sure that performance is stable and that collaboration between admins is seamless.

Umbraco is our preferred CMS. We are Umbraco Gold Partner and Umbraco Cloud Powerhouse – but that is a whole other story. And actually, we like to think of ourselves as being platform neutral. It is always the project that guides us to the right platform, not the other way around. 

Ease of use is important to the editors

A special focus area was the editor experience. Many editors are located in different municipalities, which means that they do not necessarily use Aktivi on a daily basis – but they need to make sense of it every time they do. We wanted their experience to be one of accomplishment and ease of use. Thanks to how we built the backend, the editors can easily find their way around it.

We created different access levels. The editors in the municipalities have a special kind of access to the backend which means that they can do everything they need – and no more than that. This is a safeguard so that the project owners can be confident that nothing is deleted or edited by mistake. Different access levels are a great way of strengthening website security.

Training and tutorials are a vital part of the ‘good website delivery’

It is important to us that clients understand and feel safe when it comes to their new solution. This was also the case on the Aktivi project where we trained the editors in how Umbraco and Aktivi.dk works. This is a great way of ensuring that key employees feel ownership of the website, paving the way for them being an active part of Aktivi.dk. Training, in that sense, is part of how we created a living community that is relevant to the users.

Besides the training, we offered various materials and video tutorials.

Visit Aktivi.dk and see the result for yourself :-)