Cervical screening awareness campaign
using a human-centred approach
On hearing cervical screening attendance rates are at a twenty year low and knowing too many lives lost to cervical cancer, I looked into the current marketing materials on cervical screening. Around the same time I received my letter inviting me for my screening appointment with it's accompanying booklet.
In today's fast-paced world, many people 'scan' or 'scroll' through content and I felt that the booklet didn't use visuals to convey how their audience might feel. As a designer, I understand the importance of of visual imagery with studies showing that people retain 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read.
So I immersed myself in the national research as well as conducting my own, focusing on the 25-29 year-old age bracket. One in three women in this age group are skipping cervical screening appointments with 61% were unaware they are in the highest risk group for cervical cancer. It was during this time that I decided to design an awareness campaign targeting this age range with Public Health England also recommending that ‘Posters are a simple way to raise awareness and promote screening’.
I use a human-centred approach to research and design, one that digI spoke to women eligible for cervical screening both in person and on internet forums, such as Mumsnet, as they are safe spaces for women to openly share their thoughts and fears on cervical screening.
My findings correlated with those of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, with women citing fear of the test and body embarrassment issues as the main reasons for not attending their cervical screening appointments. I kept thinking of the booklet wording and imagery that didn't really address these issues.
I created the infographics below to highlight the current situation of cervical screening attendance in the UK.
I had been working on this passion project on and off in-between other design work when I saw a sign in a local beauty salon that read " How's your lady garden? Don't beat around the bush, go Brazilian".
It got me thinking (not about getting a Brazilian!), but that nail and beauty salon customers are generally young females who understand the messaging conveyed in this way.
With a barriers to attend appointments ranging from "not being comfortable with how their genitals look" to women saying they "wouldn't go if they hadn't shaved or waxed their bikini area", a reference to lady gardens seemed like an ideal and relatable way to get the message across. A similar phrase of being 'beach ready' implies you should have work done to your bikini area but I wanted the poster messaging to say that we are all smear ready, however your lady garden looks..
My local health centre has agreed to promote the pink posters during National Cervical Screening Awareness week, 10-16th June 2019 but I am looking to widen the reach!
Thanks for reading and please get in contact if you can support this campaign in any way.
PS. Make an appointment if you have received your letter. Helen x