How Do I? — Dementia Challenge Prize Finalists

Hello from How Do I?

We are thrilled to have been chosen to take part in the Dementia Challenge Prize and are super excited to make a start.

But first, we’d like to introduce ourselves. We’re How Do I?.

How Do I? is a mobile app and content creation platform that links video to living and working spaces. To put it simply, we link videos from objects in your home to your mobile phone, to be viewed when and where you need them. These videos can help with learning how to complete a task or remembering an activity.

Image show a person holding a smart phone in front of a kettle. The smartphone displays the How Do I? app with a video playing showing what you need to make a cup of tea.

Who are we?

How Do I? has core team of three: Tom Casson, Taryl Law and Alexandra Eavis. We have backgrounds in social work, entrepreneurship and education. We also have personal experience of caring for loved ones with dementia, and caring for carers.

For this project, we teamed up with Mike Burgess, mobile developer, and Humanly, a human-centred design agency. Human-centred design is design work that puts people at the centre of the research and development.

Photo shows Mike Burgess and team members from How Do I? and Humanly in front of a wall full of post it notes. The team worked together to generate ideas to support people with dementia.

Why did we enter the Challenge Prize?

We entered the Challenge Prize shortly after undertaking a 6-month project where we worked with Humanly to apply human-centred design to explore and address the needs of older adults with dementia and their support networks.

This approach took the project team into peoples’ homes and community spaces to better understand their needs. Our design insights were generated via visits to services, in-depth ethnographic interviews carried out in peoples’ homes, desk research, and expert interviews.

We then co-created new and innovative concepts that harnessed the power of assistive technology. All of the concepts were grounded in the personal experiences and preferences of our reseach participants and co-creators.

Image shows a calendar on a wall made up of black squares. Some of these have the How Do I? stickers on them. The stickers enable people to launch video content to remind them what they have done or will be doing.

How does How Do I? work?

Users record videos through our platform, which are vetted before being uploaded. Easily identifiable NFC (Near Field Communication) stickers link step-by-step video to the appropriate location through our app and a mobile device. Alternatively, video content can be linked to a calendar to support routines and social engagement.

Users and their supporters create content related to daily routines — including employment activities, personal care, home maintenance, and social activities — all cornerstones of independent living and social interaction.

Users can then follow along the videos to complete tasks of daily living at their own pace, or use content to help them recall activities they’ve previously engaged in or will be doing in future.

Why do we do it?

We carried out our prototyping activities with users over several weeks, resulting in both co-created video content and content developed independently. The results were promising. Our prototypes were described as ‘confidence building’, ‘reassuring’, ‘calming’, ‘easy to use’, and ‘fitting in with their lifestyle’ by our users.

We want to help build confidence and support those with memory loss to live, work and socialise more independently, using step-by-step videos accessed at the touch of a mobile device.

What do we want over the next few months?

We’d like to trial our solutions with people who are interested so that we can get more feedback to support us going forward.

We’d like individuals and their supporters to create video content related to daily routines, including home maintenance and social activities so that we can test our ideas.

We’re very much looking forward to establishing partnerships with Essex-based community groups, charities and residents with a view to delivering a structured trial from August to November 2018.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in our work please get in touch.

Email us at

Tweet us @wearehowdoi

Alternatively, please go to for more information.