Brain Train

A brief set by hedgehog lab and completed during a three week work placement in their studio. The placement was organised by the IxD staff at Northumbria University and completed with classmates, Beth Clayton and Olly Stanley.

The Brief

Brain Health:

Shine a light on the problem of poor brain fitness using a variety of tools and media. And through this, encourage behaviour change which reduces the number of people who suffer from poor brain fitness.


One of the purposes of this placement was to gain experience of working on a project in professional a studio.

The team at hedgehog lab showed us some of their research and ideation techniques.
A lot of it involved post-it notes (scenario mapping) and whiteboard markers. Thanks to the techniques we used we were able to get a fairly indepth knowledge of brain health within a short space of time.

Research Conclusion

Common causes of poor brain fitness in older people:

Lack of social stimulation


Little social support


Lower energy levels

Soultions to the causes of poor brain fitness in older people:

Motivate users to engage in social opportunities relevant to them


Encourage journaling to track feelings and emotions


Direct users to tried and tested methods to boost daily activities

Brain Train

A community hub for the retired generation

Home Screens

Design and development led by Jo

When users log into Brain Train, they are met by the splash screen giving them quick options: add to journal, add an activity and see new events.
From the home screen, users can see their overall brain health, articles and activites to improve their brain fitness and their next two events.


Design and development led by Jo

Local clubs, businesses and event holders add new activities to the app for users to participate in. Users can also create their own public or private events. Based on completed activites, Brain Train gets better at recommending events to try.


Design and development led by Olly

In the chats part of Brain Train users can communicate with friends, family and social groups. This part of the app was designed to combat feelings of loneliness .


Design and development led by Beth

To encourage tracking emotional health, users can keep a diary. Using a text scanning API the app would make suggestions of activites to improve any low mood logged.

Her passion for creating great user experiences was outstanding; even under time-pressures she demonstrated design thinking, visual design and interaction design skills far more advanced than Iā€™d have expected from a second year university student.!

- Harry Ronchetti
(mentor during placement)