Emphasis on User Interviews, Empathic Design, and Rapid Prototyping
Kinsa is a smart thermometer and iOS application that empowers moms to better take care of their sick children. Kinsa strives to build intelligence into a once-basic thermometer and turn it into a connected device that helps monitor the progression and spread of illnesses.
Started in over 500 schools nation-wide, the FLUency program distributes free thermometers to parents at participating schools to promote the monitoring of illnesses from start to finish.
As a product designer on the FLUency program coordinator and current users team, I worked with two fellow team members to conduct generative user interviews. I also took part in pain point synthesis, ideating and rapid prototyping.
Without prying or being insensitive.
In addition to 10 new and experienced mothers the other team members interviewed, the FLUency team interviewed 7 mothers and 5 FLUency program coordinators (these are the people who brought the FLUency program to their schools).
"I don't want anyone else to see anything else I put in there."
"My only concern is for what others in the community see - that's the part I'm not comfortable with."
"I don't know how that works. I would just email the nurse."
We structured pain points into buckets based on common themes. One color = one interviewee. One post-it = one pain-point. This gave us broad themes of issues and concerns, but since understanding emotions is crucial in this redesign, we needed something more.
We analysed our interviews and tried to gather four things:
What the user says
What the user thinks
What the user does
What the user feels
It is easy to take answers users give us and try to solve for those pain-points. But we wanted to get one level deeper to understand what they were thinking and feeling when they said certain things. Then, what did they do in response?
Moms didn't post in forums out of concerns over children's privacy and susceptibility to ridicule if singled out. They were also concerned about what Kinsa was doing with the collected information.
Most moms didn't know the health card even existed! Even among the ones who did, most weren't clear on how this information was curated or how it could be beneficial to them.
The underlying causes for these manifestations included insufficient onboarding, timeline, inundative structure of the group forum, and unclear copy and UI surrounding privacy.
Modeled after Google design sprints, our design sprints aimed to give stakeholders context on user pain points and refresh them for team members while ideating on possible solutions.
We began the sprint with lightning talks - cliff note summaries of pain points and personas as fast as lightning.
Finally, we did "Crazy 8's" - successive string of eight one-minute ideation sprints where we sketched all possible solutions to user pain points we could think of.
One surprising takeaway? Lay's = Idea Fuel.
And played around with the type of information displayed on the Health Card. Once tested,
the variations would allow us to gauge what information is most important to moms.
Should it be card format? Thread format?
Should it be filtered? Filtered by what?
We built out full clickable prototypes of the groups forum and health cards and tested them on 10 moms.
"Grade level is helpful. I might not be so reactive if it's a grade my kid doesn't come in contact with."
"[I would post anonymously] because I wouldn't want my kid to be singled out."
“For laypeople, describing contagion level would be helpful so parents know what action to take.”
"The Rate of Contagion Should Be At the Top."
Feature the most relevant information...
then empower them to action.
Structure it in a way that makes posts relevant, scannable, and actionable.
Make the option to post anonymously clear and up-front.
Without losing relevance by tagging grade level and symptoms.
With a fresh set of eyes and a very different perspective, we were able to work along-side the amazing Kinsa team to collaborate on creating these wonderful solutions.
Though this project employed a process emphatic on user research and empathetic design, not all projects will follow the same emphasis. The underlying design process is adjusted, different phases lengthened or shortened depending on the client, the problem, and the users.