Redesigning cancer support services to create positive change for people affected by cancer


Creating connection

CanTeen Connect is an online community designed to connect people affected by cancer and provide tailored support and resources to assist with their family’s cancer journey.


Discovering parents

Before we jumped in, we underwent a thorough research phase where we ran various user mapping exercises with the internal CanTeen teams to identify their core users, the goals they. want to achieve, and the tasks needed to achieve them. These exercises ran in parallel with a series of focus groups comprising of parents who have been affected by cancer.

The findings

After consolidating the data from the focus groups and internal client exercises, it was clear that there was a need to design a platform that easily allowed parents affected by cancer to connect with others in the same situation as theirs.


Initial ideation and prototyping

We used these findings to design a solution that was validated directly by the parents who would be using this platform. This ensured the platform was designed to meet parents where they were at, while providing natural and easy opportunities for them to connect with others in the same situation as them - ultimately gaining them the valuable support and community they asked for.

Facilitating connection

Helping parents quickly and easily build a support network with others who were going through the same cancer journey was imperitive. We introduced a ‘People like Me’ area where users could quickly find others to connect with and then reach out through direct messages.

Engaging & helpful discussions, blogs & resources

Encouraging parents to explore and contribute to the active discussion threads and get invaluable advice and support from others in a similar situation to theirs was also a key goal for the platform. Parents could also read the inspiring words of other parents who are sharing their family’s cancer journey.

Community on-the-go

We completely optimised the mobile experience so parents could easily engage and receive support wherever they found themselves.


A new experience for young people

After the successful build and national launch of CanTeen Connect for Parents, we regrouped with CanTeen and planned our scaling of the new platform to roll-out CanTeen Connect for young people.


Crafting a new visual aesthetic

As well as introducing new features and functionality, we wanted to add an element of playfulness to the platform design that would connect with the younger audience. We engaged Illustrator Niki Fisher to create a series of illustrations that were used to guide users through the onboarding process.

Refined palette and user interface

This new visual direction for CanTeen Connect, while originally targeted for a younger audience, ironically, gave the product a new sense of maturity.

CanTeen events

CanTeen run a number of events for young people throughout the year, so surfacing and promoting these events formed a new requirement for this iteration. Along with providing the expected event-specific details, a business requirement was to get users to register their interest through the platform.

Extra support for those who need it

An important aspect of the design phase was to design the means of ensuring counsellors could easily and effectively counsel people online. Naturally, a chat service was identified as the appropriate solution.

The impact

Our greatest satisfaction across this whole project was found in hearing from users directly how CanTeen Connect has impacted them. Nice when we get to create something that truly transforms lives!