• 2020

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

  • Spark Innovation
  • Digital Purpose

Commissioned By:

Spark Innovation

UnitingCare QLD

Designed In:


Lightkeeper is a virtual companion and a guide through the experience of caregiving. It hopes to stand alongside some of the 2.8m+ Australian’s who provide informal care every week. Specifically, it has been designed for ‘sandwich’ carers; those providing care above (to an ageing parent) and below (to school-aged-children).

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  • Despite an intellectual understanding of the ageing journey, for a variety of complex reasons caregivers often find themselves in a situation where critical decisions need to be made about their parents quickly, with limited information, and under immense pressures. This is often as a result of a ‘trigger’ incident like hospitalisation or a sudden deterioration in condition. It’s difficult to overstate how complex this period of people’s lives is, there is denial, guilt, grief, loss, and a coming-to-terms (or not) with mortality. The economic value of informal care has been estimated at over $1bn per week in Australia.

  • The design methodology was a combination of agile, lean, and human centered design. Specifically, this involved: - Developing problem hypotheses which we took into open-ended qualitative interviews, - Built journey maps and conducted sentiment analysis on the interview results, - We then settled on a specific problem to solve, - We then moved through an iterative design process where we received feedback on three MVPs of increasing fidelity, - After three rounds of feedback we then engaged a local developer to turn our wireframes into reality, - We will continue to refine the solution based on feedback (full process: and here: )

  • Internally, this design heralds UnitingCare’s first brave steps towards a truly customer-first innovation culture. As a small and passionate team within Queensland's second largest employer, we are excited to have been able to share a powerful, end-to-end example of customer-led design. Externally, initial reviews of the design have been favorable: “I’ve only just begun this journey. It was nice to know others have gone before me and that there are places we can turn for help." "I had a look through your Lightkeeper website and, coming from someone this applies to, I think you have done an excellent job!”

  • - Awarded second place in Best Social Impact category of the Deloitte Corporate Entrepreneurs Awards. - The design has been featured in an innovAGEING case study. - As far as we are aware, Lightkeeper has no direct market competition. It has been co-designed with carers and is at this point completely service agnostic (it does not directly link into UnitingCare services). - We will continue to refine and iterate the design based on customer feedback.