Careteam: User Experience Research for Patient Care

Guiding Careteam's platform to encourage emotional support and better communication between support groups.

September 2017 — March 2018

Client

Careteam

Roles

Interaction Designer
Visual Designer

Tools

InDesign

Outcomes

Cultural probes & future direction in research

Context

Health technology company, MyBestHelper developed a platform called Careteam to coordinate patient care at home. It enables healthcare providers, family members, and patients to access their self-directed health plan from a single web/mobile device location.

This lets users view updated information regarding their health plan and message other Careteam members, who have been pre-approved as contacts, in particular roles.

Problem space

Navigating care responsibilities, commitments, career, one's own well being, etc. can physically, mentally, and emotionally affect everybody in the family when a loved one needs to be looked after more often.

This often adds an additional layer of stress due to miscommunication, sense of urgency, coordination of care, and other problems.

Figuring it out

Going through each stage of Dementia, we utilized human-centered design methodologies to empathize with family member care responsibilities and how they may view changes within their parents over time.

Through secondary research, we identified certain language sensitivities, naming conventions, roles, and titles. Since our research was focused on family members caring for their elderly parent having Dementia, we will refer to ‘the patient’ as the ‘elderly parent’.

We did a competitors analysis on Dementia related products and looked at common features and what was good about them and what wasn't. Through that exploration, we put these products into a matrix map and looked into what area this product could fit into.

Through doing this, we found an opportunity space to move towards creating a product that encourages providing emotional support and helps with reminders & better communication between families, caregivers, and patients.

This also revealed that this product has potential to be work on a variety of health cases outside of Dementia to keep track of data and reminders.

Outcomes

We created diary studies for our client to utilize with their research participants. This diary study would question and confirm how participants were going to respond to research insights based on these secondary research insights:

🔲 There is often a communication gap between family member(s) and their elderly parent.
🔲 Family member(s) often don’t know who to ask for help, and in what capacity.
🔲 Note taking should be important for the family member(s) when in meetings with doctors.
🔲Setting a routine for the elderly parent is essential.
🔲It is important to help build the support network of the elderly parent.

Being the most confident in visual design skills, I took initiative on leading the visual design aspects of these research tools. I lead my team into planning and coordinating two sets of research tools as our empathy toolkit (diary study).

Daily Activity

The journal activities would bring to light the tacit knowledge or desires and challenges which family member(s) experience, but may not necessary be aware of. We took into consideration a friendly tone of voice, as opposed to serious, blunt questions. Altogether, we wanted this probe to be something that could be incorporated into the everyday routine of the family member(s), and completed within 10 consecutive days.

We looked at implementing visual design into the cultural probes which could encourage honest and open answers, as opposed to reading text without any pictures or visuals. We chose colors that exuded a sense of warmth, optimism, and a sense of energy, with a touch of mystery, The cards, when laid out together, create a sense of unity.

Mystery Cards

The daily activity consists of one straightforward question a day that the user would have to answer, while the mystery card asks a unique question. The point of the mystery card would be to act as a motivator for the interviewees to look forward to completing a new activity per day.

Next steps

The next step would be for Careteam to hand out  the probe activities to family members who are caring for an elderly parent with Dementia. The next step would be to follow-up via an in-person interview to discuss collaboratively what  gaps exist in their current care setting, and any   information that wasn’t obtained through the probe. The recommendations provided could be used as future grounds for exploration, for Careteam.

The research can be expanded to involving the elderly parent along with their family member. This would provide a holistic scenario of the caring process for both the family member and the elderly parent. e were able to question and look into the daily lives of the user and the gains and pains within their daily lives. We were able to identify the emotional needs of the user as well as communication problems between the family member and their elderly parent.



Sandra is a UX designer and researcher currently based in Vancouver, Canada.