A Comprehensive Wellness Aid for New Parents 

This is a hypothetical proposal

About PLUS ONE

PLUS ONE is a new feature added to the NorthShore Connect mobile app that's available using this network of care facilities.

It has been fully integrated into the existing mobile

platform used by the NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Why Make PLUS ONE?

I was  overwhelmed with information leading up to, and directly after the birth of my first child. Frankly, I'm still swimming in baby rearing advice but I'm a little better at separating the wheat from the chaff.  Since getting connected with other new parents, I kept hearing complaints like "I wish it were easier to correspond with my doctors", or "I just don't know what advice to follow".  PLUS ONE addresses these complaints, and gives users a powerful and intuitive tool to record, share, and attain information from their primary care givers.

High End Goals and Objectives

Consolidate and substantiate medical advice given to patients.
Simplify communication between patients and NSHS care providers.
Help patients know what's expected from them and what's available to them.
Make it easy to orienteer the network of NSHS hospitals and office buildings.

Who Is This Feature For?

I had a short amount of time to build PLUS ONE, so I limited my user interview pool to eight people. Circumstantially,  I'm part of a community of new parents, so finding people to interview was fairly easy and I learned a lot.  The average age of the interviewee was 35 years old and most new moms (7 out of 8) had a career that they planned on returning to.  Everyone I talked to felt overwhelmed by the amount of data that they were expected to keep track of, both before and after the birth of their children.  Staying on top of doctors appointments was another shared concern, and everyone wanted a better way to communicate with their care providers and with other new parents.
PLUS ONE persona.jpg
I combined the most relevant attributes of the people I interviewed to create the user persona shown here.
Click on the image to view larger.

Research and Planning

The Competition

There are lots of apps to track your baby's habits and behaviors, but sharing that data with your care provider can get really tricky.  Here, I've looked at three of the most popular baby tracking apps currently in the google play store and analyzed what works and what doesn't.
Competitive Analysis.jpg

None of the apps that I looked addressed the health and wellbeing of the parent(s).

None of the apps offered guidance or information for the time leading up to the baby's arrival.

Design Challenges

Distinguish and support the needs of the parent as well as the child / children
Offer guidance from early development through to birth and beyond
Give practical 
information to streamline visits to the doctor
Allow patients to connect with hospital staff and classmates

Initial User Flow

Click on Image to view larger
PLUS ONE USER FLOW.png

First Drafts and Wireframes

Getting Started

When thinking about the initial wireframes, I wanted to give parents with more than one child the option to choose which one they wanted to track.   And for the main menu, I wanted To distill the most important categories into interactive elements to minimize the number of pages that the user would have to navigate. Another consideration was to incorporate big, bold buttons that parents would be able to read and use easily in the middle of the night (often with one hand).

Hierarchy and Taskflows

From the top of the screen to the bottom on the main menu page: you go from doctors' profiles, to resources for children (feeding, sleeping, etc.), to resources for parents (photos, connect). I also started thinking about how to build out two task flows - one for logging a feeding session, and another for registering for a class.

Time To Eat!

Sign up For A Class

User Testing and Hi-Fi

Initial Revisions

1

1.  Display the age or developmental stage of the child 

2

2.  Rethink the use of animated sliders on the main menu page

3

3.  Make the  reminder more visible

4

4.  Integrate the buttons more intuitively into the screen

5

5.  Reconsider the size of the fonts and the tone of the copy

Hi-Fi Round One in Sketch

Edits Based On User Feedback

I gave parents a separate profile intro screen and adjusted the sizing to take advantage of the screen real estate.
I made  a clearer separation between parent and child profiles, giving more space at the bottom to accommodate a growing family.
I changed the "play" icon to text, making the button function clearer to users and offset the bottom buttons for more accessibility.
People found the deep red accent color to be jarring and too aggressive, so I switched it to the blue found at the top of the screen.

Finished Hi-Fi

Final Thoughts

Much like life with baby, this was a rewarding and eye-opening project to work on.  My hope would be to finish building out the rest of the components of this added feature.  It was a nice challenge to build something for a preexisting app, which is something I'd like to continue to do in the future.

© 2020 by Kit Rosenberg

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