Opening up Dementia Citizens

Back in August we launched two Dementia Citizens beta apps. Today we’re happy to announce that the research code we wrote for the Dementia Citizens apps is now publicy available on Github. This project taught us just how much digital tools can empower people living with dementia, so it is a real pleasure to share the work more widely. The code is shared under the MIT license which means that anyone is free to use it.

The Dementia Citizens research code repository contains the code that implemented the research features of the two beta iOS Apps: Playlist for Life and Book of You. It includes the common elements across both apps which focused on the user’s participation in a research study - from onboarding, to data collection, and underlying dementia friendly design guidelines.


Below is an overview of these features:

Onboarding Experience

  • A simple and clear onboarding experience that enables people with dementia and their carers to give their informed consent.
  • Some JSON configurable consent templates for making the onboarding content.
  • Ability to gather consent from both the person with dementia and carer if taking part together, or from a person with dementia if taking part on their own.

Research Questionnaires

  • Dementia research questionnaires optimised for mobile (QOL-AD + SWEMWBS)
  • Introductions for each questionnaire with an explanation around its focus and purpose.
  • The text for each question is designed so that it can be answered without a researcher present, and in any setting.

Task Dashboard and Reminders

  • A task dashboard in which people can view their research tasks.
  • Automated reminders to notify people of upcoming tasks in their study.

Event logging

  • Simple event logging feature for tracking events and research data.
  • The event logger makes no assumptions about the data structures on the back-end.

Dementia friendly UI components and styles

  • Image style includes bright, positive, uplifting colours, with visuals that are not abstract, and that reflect the diversity of ages, genders, and ethnicities of people affected by dementia.
  • Dementia friendly UI includes simple navigation, dual-coded buttons and WCAG AA compliant text and colours.

Language Guidance

  • Bringing together desk-based research around existing dementia-friendly language guidance, along with our research for Dementia Citizens.
  • Outlines best practice in formatting, tone of voice, content and language.

It’s important to note that this code is not a finished framework or library. Instead we hope that other people working in dementia care, design and research can benefit from this work and expand on what we have done. We would love to hear from you if there are any questions about the code, the project, or if you plan to use it. This is an area that we’ll continue to be committed to, so we’d love to talk.

Dementia Citizens is a partnership with the Nesta Health Lab, Glasgow Caledonian University, Playlist for Life, Bangor University and Book of You, and with the dementia community, supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and the Department of Health.