Caregiver

Caregiver is a communication and care-management application that connects users to their loved one’s assisted living nursing staff. Easily access updates, reports, and connect with assisted living nursing staff for peace of mind.

Date & Duration: 2 Week Sprint, December 2020

Role: UX Researcher, UX Designer

Tools Used: AdobeXD

Deliverables: Lo-Fi & Hi- Fi Wireframe for Mobile

Methods Used: Paper Prototype, Usability Testing & Interviews

(This is a user flow of my eventual final Hi-fidelity wireframe)


Overview


Context

This app was designed during a one week course sprint, inspired by a family member who was frustrated when trying to get information from the nursing staff of her mother's assisted living facility. The main problem was the lack of easily accessible information between nurses caring for the residents and the concerned outside family members.

Result

To design a solution for this problem, I focused on the interface the family member would interact with when retrieving resident information. This involved interviewing those with family members in assisted living, comparing competitor application features, and learning about the nature of caregiver-elder relationships.


Scenario

When visiting her mother, the client always observed nurses glued to their computers, typing in notes as they distibuted meds to residents. However, she was never able to access any of that information in a timely fashion. To get a simple update on how her mother was doing required a series of phone calls, voicemails and hoping to connect with the correct person eventually.

The Ask

The client wanted something that provided outside family members with updates throughout the day on how her parents in assisted living were doing



Research & Prep


To prepare for the sprint, I put together several artifacts to solidify the demographic and empathize with the journey the customer experiences.



Customer Journey Map


Here I show the process my client went through when trying to communicate or see in person their family member in assisted living

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Story Board & Affinity Map

Based off of my initial discussions with the client, I sketched a story board depicting how the user might encounter the application.


After the outside family member has grown frustrated trying to get information on their parent, they ask the front desk for help, and then are directed to an application that can be downloaded at home.

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*A Note on Scope

It quickly became clear that the problem of elder care is a much larger institutional problem. There are issues with nursing staff being demotivated, the US as a whole not having sufficient infrastructure to deal with aging populations, and much of the application that was starting to form would rely on nursing staff taking an active role informing family members more frequently. So, even before I had done much research, I realized that this was a complex problem, and I would not necessarily be able to solve the root of the issue.


But, I could focus on an aspect – the interface from the outside family member’s perspective – of what would need to be a much larger effort that is beyond a design problem.


Even before I had done much research, I realized that this was a complex problem, and I would not necessarily be able to solve the root of the issue.


But I could focus on an aspect – the interface from the outside family member’s perspective – of what would need to be a much larger effort that is beyond a design problem.

Desired Features


The client proposed several features they wished the app to include, and then we decided on the ones that were feasible to pursue within the scope of the sprint.

Client-Desired Features


  • A way to relay the information to other family members

  • Easier access to medical information

  • More frequent updates throughout the day on activities the parent is participating in and clearer line of communication

  • Ability to interact with client including uploading movies, music and entertainment to the app

Focused Features


  • Family Message Center

  • Send a Message to a Nurse

  • Access Daily Reports

  • Facility Profile

  • Resident Profile


The Sprint Sketching & Decide


Leading up to the sprint with a fully-formed user persona developed, and a thorough concept of the problems they encounter, I could begin sketching initial application design ideas. I achieved this through comparing competitor software, and examining design choices for later on.


Site Map & User Flow


When designing the initial site map, I looked to keep the structure relatively flat. There were the practical constraints, like the limited time for the sprint, as well as the design choice of keeping the most important features no more than one tap away from the home screen.


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SWOT


I identified some of the competitor applications and their particular features. I sketched their layouts to start generating ideas for an application.


Sketch & Decide


Here are some additional sketches I made to help generate ideas for the home screen. At this stage they weren’t too calculated; just playing with the layout for a resident profile, and what information should be really big and accessible on the home screen.


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Guiding Design Ideas


Throughout the process I wasn’t really worried with making the app look super sleek, I was more concerned with just getting all of the information out in front of the user as much as possible. I did not want items tucked into side menus or buried within another site feature.so I was okay with a seemingly “busy” home page.




The Sprint - Prototyping


Now that I had generated some sketches and had an idea of the attributes I wanted in my design, I started prototyping a low fidelity wireframe.


(This is a user flow of my eventual final Hi-fidelity wireframe)








I wanted the following attributes to govern my wireframes:


1) Simplicity – it is stressful enough dealing with sick and elderly parents so I wanted only the essentails to be on the application & on the application & on the home page


2) Avoidance of any hidden features – hiding things in a side menu in my experience is not always the easiest thing for people to find


3) Accessibility – Large touch points & simple language


4) Stylistic choice – that some may disagree with – but designing something more reminiscent of forms and boring text fields so the app would feel less intimidating to the generation was something I was keeping in mind throughout.


Caregiver: Lo- Fi Wireframe


User Testing


After rapidly prototyping a lo-fi wireframe, I completed several user tests via zoom. There were five tasks associated with five scenarios for users to complete, and the interview questions asked participants to outline their experience with elder care.



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Outcomes of User Testing


Overall, users were able to complete the tasks without much error or much hesitation. It took around 10 minutes for users to complete the scenarios that I dictated, even with speaking aloud as they went.

User Suggestions

  • The message preview of the reports seemed confusing to the user

  • Make larger area for tapping certain elements on home page

  • Some concern over how information would be kept confidential

Quotes from Interview

  • Poor Communication with care staff

  • Distrust of the nursing staff

  • Poor communication with resident

  • I have legal access to information yet facilities do such a poor job of making it readily available


Redesign of Wireframes


Using the observations gathered, information from the interviews, and suggestions from the users, I went through and changed several attributes and added a user flow for onboarding to make the prototype a hi-fidelity wireframe.



(Onboarding User Flow)

Feature Overview

Feature Overview


This user flow of the main feature shows the access to daily reports. When designing I was thinking primarily about accessibility for this demographic.

Large Touch Points

I wanted the fields to be clickable to reduce error, and to instill confidence in the user when navigating around


Home Screen

I wanted as much of the home screen to be clickable and devoted to actual features as opposed to using a large graphic or anything that could distract from the primary functionality


Simple UI Writing

I didn’t want intimidating medical terms, or any excuse to slow down use of the application

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Home Screen


  • I took away the "View" buttons and make the entire field clickable.

  • I adjusted the writing in several fields to clarify meaning


Daily Reports


  • I deleted the separation between the most recent report and the rest of the reports.

  • I also took away the filter option because that would require an additional user flow that was not essential for this sprint

Messages


  • Built out the message flows

  • Switched to tabs at the top to switch between messages that were still garnering new responses.


Writing


  • I also removed to "View Thread" and made the entire area clickable


Later Sprint


  • The resolve button would be associated with the thread once you click into the message, but was beyond the scope of the initial spring

Results & Reception

The design sprint was effective at producing a user-centered design to fill a market need.


This prototype and research, focused on one aspect of this multi-dimensional problem, could be the foundational design to a much larger application system.

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Users agreed that this app would fill a need- repeatedly wished they had something like this to help manage their parents' elder care.


User found the app to be straightforward and easy to navigate.


There was skepticism over whether the nursing staff would actually use the program to distribute accurate information.

Beyond a Design Solution


Implementation of a solution like this would require a much more robust set of software. It would have to be a suite of software to get the nurses' interface, the family member's interface, and the various levels of access permitted.


Most nursing facilities are already so understaffed that they have little to no channles for regularly updating family member of their residents. Some don't even regularly use email or technology aside from phone calls to interact with external family members. This would be a company culture issue to get nursing staff to use the application.


There also could be privacy concers, and would require further resarch and close development with doctors and HIPPA professional who would help with permissions, settings, and gaining access.