Infection Control Training Tool

In partnership with EE (Environmental Excellence Ltd) and Innovate UK we investigated how digital technology can assist in upskilling healthcare cleaning staff, standardise training and in-return improve infection control across hospital settings.

Worked partnership with:
BACK TO Projects

The Need

Cleaning services play a vital front-line role in Environmental Infection Prevention and Patient safety, however, traditional methods of staff training are inconsistent and time pressured with critical barriers of literacy, language and poor engagement with the individual trainee. Through successful Innovate UK funding our new approach was to design a method for directed short-burst micro-learning, accessible via a mobile device. This would allow interactive prompts and visual illustration of task and technique, allowing users to work at their own pace to develop knowledge, skills and confidence. Through personalised engagement, learning could be measured and tested achieving assessed practical competency in meeting environmental cleaning and infection prevention standards.

However, this would only work if users were motivated to use the tool, hence our behaviour design approach. A detailed method of our behaviour design approach can be viewed at: (Insert Link)

What we delivered

In-depth review and understanding of user insight and analysis to identify themes, behaviour and motivations. The development of user personas to represent key user requirements and behaviours of users was created through our Discover & Define stages, this ultimately led to a human-centred solution designed within the latter stages of the Design Thinking Method; Develop.

Discover Phase

Perhaps the most essential portion of a discover phase is the collection of accurate, appropriate and revealing information. For Blackbeard, this phase always begins with a desktop review of the current understanding of the topic. This review informs the direction of the design process, particularly when developing the methodology of the remainder fo the discover process. 

It is our intention that this chosen methodology of Discover (with sub-categories of Understand, Experience & Reflect) aims to uncover the thoughts, feelings, meaning and purpose of the end user to uncover motivations and drives within their role, discovered through our behaviour frameworks. 

To do this Blackbeard Delivered the following: a Full literature review of the current training methodologies, resources, processes and other training tools currently available to the market. -  Observation of Training Process delivered by EE with new domestic employees

Research day with Strategic leaders & associate Staff led by Dr Lee Devaney 

• 7 days working across 3 partner hospitals conducting over 15 individual interviews
• Personal observation with over 15 domestic staff exploring;
• How do they carry out their daily duties 
• What obstacle/barriers do they encounter in their role 
• How do they interact with patients, visitors, clinicians
• How is their relationship with co-workers, management, clinicians and how do they communicate 
• What pressures do our users experience

Define Phase

The Define Phase allowed us to use the data gathered from our defined dataset of questions and considerations captured from the user cohort during the Discover Phase and use this to drill down into the core issues and problems we wanted to solve by identifying themes, trends and commonalities between the end users. This data allowed us to identify the overarching core drives that sat within the user group. The core drives were dictated and aligned through our use of the Octalysis Framework;

Blackbeard systematically reviewed the role, purpose & motivations of each interviewed participant and our user profiles with the identified Primary Job Motivators, Training Motivators & Main Identified Barriers, this allowed us to further analyse the persona of the individual and assign a Core Drive(s) ranked from 1 (highest motivator) to 3 (least motivator). 

Our define process followed the following methods to ensure that we reached a conclusive understanding of our users' behaviour and motivations. 

‍Core Drive Outcomes

1. Familiarise ourselves extensively with the data, sit with it and let it percolate 
2. Run through a preliminary analysis of the data to create hypotheses of what is going on through; Thematic Analysis (Trends, commonalities, correlations) & Identify the ordinate and super-ordinate these in the data 
3. Discourse analysis 

We cannot take speech as revealing the truth behind participants cognition, people rarely reveal the 100% vulnerable truth with their talk, speech enables people to do things; create good impressions, gain status, bolster their self-image, gain power. Discourse analysis allows us to look at the content of what people are saying to assess what is really going on for the participant. - Led by Dr Lee Devaney

4. Conversational Analysis 

What does how participants are speaking reveal about them? What topics do they spend more time on, what does their body language reveal about what they feel about what they are saying, do their pauses and hesitations tell us anything? - Led by Dr Lee Devaney

5. Develop codes and theme. Place all data under the corresponding theme
6. Summarise each person on top themes and what the codes reveal about what that theme means for that person

Design Principals

Upon the completion of our Define stage in which we understood the core drives and motivations of our targeted user, we developed a set of design principles which would become the focus of our ideation process, these principals directly connect back to our users core drives.

1. Time 2. Achieve Levels of Recognition 3. Positive Feedback from all users & Social Connection 4. Instil a Sense of Ownership 5. Reducing Cognitive Load; Use Simple, Readable & Visual Language 6. Foster Active Learning 7. Personalised & Staged Transfer of Knowledge 8. Make it inclusive and accessible 9. Empower everyone through Progressive Discoverability 10.Design to common standards 11.Healthy Competition 

Ideate Process

Upon the completion of our design principals we carried out an ideate session with our project partner EE (Environmental Excellence), this session brought together experts in psychology, design, health, infection prevention and hygiene to map concept solutions to our problem base on the Design Principals derived from our Discover & Define phases. these sessions allowed for our partners to have ownership over the direction of the solution, whilst allowing our team to have freedom of ‘blue-sky thinking’, post these sessions the Blackbeard team spent time investigating stakeholder suggestions, design concepts and ideas as they moved towards a final solution. 

Our Ideate Session Principles:
Challenge assumptions
To explore and maximise ideas 
Be provocative with ideas Be led by our data 
Collective - Co-creation

To generate new ideas by assessing our data, re-connecting with our user profiles and centralising ourself with the problem we were trying to solve. Our creative ideation process included:

1. Rapid - Idea stretch (10x)

Our team used the training and motivation insights and themes from the personas to work with our partners to jot down ideas, diagrams, thoughts, doodles, sketches and headlines that could improve training and drive engagement. This allowed Blackbeard Designers to stretch partner ideas into beyond the possible and into the conceptual. It is important to allow our ideas to flow and to avoid restricting or limiting imagination, big impossible ideas can often have hidden nuggets which when brought together with other ideas create possible solutions.

2. Idea Share and Discussion

We allowed for time to explore, read and investigate each Design teams ideas, exploring goals and pathways to how ideas were found. This time allowed our designers and partners to align ideas with each other and discover new pathways to a concept.

3. Narrow Down

Now that a number of ideas had been generated and shared between design teams, we took the time to narrow our thinking down to feasible opportunity, bringing together ‘nuggets’ of thoughts into a more defined concept.

Blackbeards continued reiteration of ideation allowed our designers & stakeholders to combine ideas, reiterated these concepts and match them to core drive outcomes and design principals before generating a requirement list for the base-line of our designed solution. The created Ideate Design Requirements allowed our team to develop a low-fi mock-up prototype of our designed solution.


After a significant amount of time spent researching and understanding our users, ideating concepts and designing potential solutions we landed on our final concept. 

‍Our low-fi mock-up used to test with users

The Results

As final deliverables, Blackbeard provided a full low-fi mock-up with hi-fi visuals, animation to represent how the training tool videos would appear within the application plus a full report outlining the process used during each design phase, all user profiles, data and understanding of user motivation and behaviours.

The collaborative approach to this project allowed us to work closely with the EE (Environmental Excellence) internal team, partner NHS Hospitals and a wider team of stakeholders giving all parties a deeper understanding of the context and insights, and how to apply them to human-centred design. One of the key findings from this research was that the current training processes in place for SOP was too varied in delivery and standardised approaches were not apparent, all collaboration partners believe that our designed concept solves this difficulty.