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Using technology to create experiences for aged care residents


Bolton Clarke is a not-for-profit provider of independent living services through at-home care, retirement living and residential aged care. They have invested in building an in-house capability providing digital services to their clients. The challenge was to scan the market for a potential app solution that would allow Bolton Clarke’s residents go about their daily lives and interact with the variety of services Bolton Clarke offers through the use of technology, as well as validating the desirability of features with residents through prototyping and testing.

“The Strategy Group was instrumental in supporting us to build out a framework to achieve this desire, ensuring that we involved our client throughout the entire innovation journey.  They helped us understand that by undertaking rapid low-cost experiments with prototypes we were able to quickly assess the desirability, feasibility, and viability of solutions before investing and by working directly with the people we are innovating for, we’ve been able to validate whether they solve problems, allowing us to bring solutions to market more quickly than if we had followed traditional approaches.

By working together with the Strategy Group, we have been more focussed on what is important, and this has contributed greatly to achieving better results, quicker and with less effort.”

– Sharon McKinnon, Innovation Manager, Bolton Clarke


Understand the needs and wants of Bolton Clarke residents to develop a delightful experience for a potential Bolton Clarke app

The Strategy Group undertook a customer-driven approach to understand what features Bolton Clarke’s residents would utilise in a potential app, through prototyping and testing, in order to increase the certainty of a successful rollout. Our approach consisted of the following steps:

  • Evaluate existing start-ups, apps and platforms that address problems within the aged care sector
  • Assess the current experience of how customers go about their daily lives and interact with the variety of services Bolton Clarke offers
  • Map the Bolton Clarke App customer journey utilising the deep insights uncovered from the research to help us identify the key focus areas and touch points in the journey
  • Utilise high-fidelity prototypes that represent selected features prioritised in the journey maps
  • Design experiments with testable hypotheses
  • Conduct a series of experiments, using the prototypes developed, with a select group of Bolton Clarke residents to validate/invalidate selected features
  • Document residents’ actions and feedback from the experiments
  • Evaluate the findings from the experiments to determine the key features that should be implemented first for a Bolton Clarke App with a good chance of uptake and usability

Design-thinking tools and frameworks were utilised to support each step of the process to identify, evaluate and test a solution for the Bolton Clarke App.


An app solution was identified with the desirability of features validated through prototyping and testing. A trial was then conducted for a 6-month period at one of Bolton Clarke’s retirement village to assess the app’s feasibility and viability for full-scale rollout.

The outcomes of the project included the following:

  • Best-fit app solution selected
  • User experience and customer journey maps developed that clearly define the features and experience for residents and staff interacting with the app
  • Process for testing & learning technological solutions with Bolton Clarke’s client base established
  • Desirability of features validated for the Bolton Clarke app
  • 6-month trial commenced at a Bolton Clarke retirement village to further validate the app’s feasibility and viability for long-term success
Design solutions that shatter assumptions, delight customers, and define growth possibilities sustainably

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