Selected Projects / Pacific Autism Family Network 2017/18: A Web-platform to Increase Uptake of Research by Families

HDL has been collaborating with the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) since 2015 to better understand the needs of families in the Autism community. Our collaboration over the past three years has undergone three distinct phases, each of which has illustrated different ways in which designers can support and facilitate social innovation.

Phase 1: in 2015/16, exploratory research was conducted to better understand the research needs of families. We led a series of co-design workshops with researchers and families to better understand the current state of communication and knowledge exchange between these groups.

Phase 2: in 2016/17, through co-design workshops with families and researchers, we learned that access to reliable and credible research for families is a significant challenge. Researchers and families identified the need for a curated web-platform with credible research content to improve knowledge exchange through more accessible communication modes.

Phase 3: in 2017/18, we collaborated on the design of a web-platform to facilitate the uptake of credible, evidence-based research by families and individuals with Autism. This work began with a focus on creating a research platform, but through engagement of families in our design process, the concept evolved to into a more substantial platform that would also guide families towards local services and community events; essentially creating an online ‘one-stop-shop’ for families in BC.

Through co-design workshops with the Autism community HDL has created  a family-centered web-platform concept for future development by PAFN.


Project Lead: Caylee Raber

Design + Research Assistant: Stacie Schatz

Workshop Support: Mike Severloh

Project Coordinator: Nadia Beyzaei

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