–  Art Direction / Branding / UI & UX / iOS Design –

My Life Story is an iPad app that helps those suffering from dementia, and their care givers, through the creation of “life stories” using photos, text, music and voice. It is user friendly for those people who are not familiar or comfortable with technology. It augments the benefits of a traditional photo album by adding sound, while not letting it distract the user.

Nurses will have a single iPad for multiple patients. Patients range from mild memory loss, to level 6 maybe level 7 Alzheimer’s.

At home, the content creator will be a family member, probably a son or daughter. They are expected to be middle-aged, with a moderate understanding of technology.





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Content Creation

When building any user interface we always consider how much control the user needs. This seems condescending at first but too much control and a user might find the app too complex, too little and the user might become frustrated with unnecessary processes.

Take / upload photos
Help care staff get to know your loved one. Consolidate photos from multiple places and save them all on your iPad.   

Add Music
Bring your loved one’s album to life, with their favourite song. Music enlivens and connects people to their past.

Add Your Voice
Your loved one can hear your voice, even when you are not  there. Record in the language they can best understand.

Add Text
Written words can add meaning and preserve independence for those who can still read.

The user is only ever presented with one choice at a time. This sequence of choices is then repeated over and over for each slide. The sequence is accompanied by tool tips (also clickable), and desaturation upon completion.


Advanced controls were somewhat hidden behind the depiction of the album. These are global settings for the album including destructive processes like, “delete slide” “add & remove song” and “delete album.” Each of these processes have safeguards in place as well.

Tap to reveal pause in play-mode prevents accidental stops


Playback is the one screen that had to account for both the content creator and the user. In both user cases we expected the content creator to play the album and hand it to the user.

While being of advanced age, and potentially reduced motor control, we were worried that the user may accidentally exit playback and not be able to find their way back. For this reason, we added a series of complex gestures to exit the app.


It was very clear what functionality we needed to achieve our goals, but it came down to the importance of each element. Apple’s default photo app performs many of the same functions but My Life Story’s strength is in its understanding of its users. We tailored the User Interface to meet their needs specifically while at the same time creating an engaging experience.

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