Project Goal: Concept Project
Platform: Native app/iOS
My role: UX Researcher & Designer
Design Team: 4 UX Designers
Duration: 9 days
Challenged to envision a tool to enhance healthcare, our team honed in on the role of family health history in preventative medicine. Fortified with extensive research, our design solution centered around tracking and recording family health history.
Healthoscope is a mobile application that helps you understand your inherited risk for certain conditions and gives personalized health recommendations based on your family health history.
Most of us know that we can reduce our risk of disease by eating well, exercising, and not smoking. But what many of us do not know is that family health history might be one of the strongest influences on your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer.
What do the numbers say?
"96% of Americans believe that family history is important to health. Yet, only about 30% have tried to collect and organize their family history information."
-Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Focussing in on the problem
The earlier you know about your history, the better the chances of successfully treating or even preventing serious conditions. But according to research findings, only a small percentage of people make an effort to obtain a comprehensive record of diseases and conditions that run in their family. How might we motivate Americans to record their family health history and empower them to play a more proactive role in their health?
Getting to know the problem space
To better understand how people were practicing preventative healthcare, we started with a discovery process that included user research and market research.
What tools already exist and how do they address family health history?
Apps and sites living in this problem space are overloaded with features and mostly geared towards a primary caretaker responsible for multiple family members’ healthcare. The tools most specific to gathering a comprehensive health history are websites, such as My Family Health Portrait and My Family Health. Neither of these two sites are responsive; both look and feel very outdated.
Who are we designing for?
To better understand how people view and act around both preventative health and health history collection, we sent out a ten question research survey. Most respondents were interested in preventative care and took measures to lead a healthy lifestyle, yet only a few had any record of their family health history.
Talk to your users
People often intend to keep to better track of their health records, including their family health history, but rarely get around to it. To find out why, we went straight to the users.
From patterns to people
After breaking down and analyzing behavior patterns, and four distinct archetypes emerged.
We were most interested in solving for the Conscientious Caretaker and the Procrastinator because they’ve already shown interest in recording their family history. Give them the right tool at the right time, they are more likely to take action.
Changing behavior is not easy
For insight on how to change behaviors, we looked to the Fogg Behavior Model . This framework holds there are three components that simultaneously affect behavior: motivation (the degree of willingness to do a behavior), ability (the capability to perform the behavior) and a trigger (a call to action). These three components must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing. Our solution would address ability-- simplify the task of recording family history; make it easier for the user to do something they already want to do.
Since women are more likely to take an active role in tracking family health, we gave Tina primary persona status. Tina already understands the value of family health history, and recording it has been on her to-do list for years.
Through the storytelling and visualization (user journeys), we were able to better understand our personas' needs.
Native app or responsive website?
Because the information collected would need to be easily accessed and updated (e.g. at the doctor’s office or at family functions where there is an opportunity to gather health history), we designed for a native mobile app. This also allowed us to make use of photo uploading.
Where will the content come from?
The U.S. government provides a free API (Healthfinder.gov) for disease prevention content evidence-based Clinical Preventive Services Recommendations.
Usability testing was key to guiding the design process. Findings from the first usability test quickly identified features that were not working. Users found the medical dictionary unnecessary and some of the iconography was confusing and ambiguous. But the testing also highlighted successful features, such as the conversational healthbot and stepped onboarding.
From informed wireframes to a validated prototype
Design decisions were validated in the second round of testing. Wireframes were then refined and polished for the final mockup.
Healthoscope was an exciting project to work on-- we found a true need and designed a product to meet that need. Should this project one day move beyond the concept phase, we would need to look into privacy issues surrounding health/medical information and also consult with medical and public health experts.
And a special thank you to my Healthoscope collaborators: Annie Meng, Ellen Li, and Edward Enrique. 🙌 Great work, team!