Raising consumer health awareness through design sprints in the mobile health space. Creating 2 versions of your health & travel companion.
GV design sprint
Journey and user mapping
User research & testing
The first project I worked on during my tenure at BlueDot was to lead and conduct a design sprint, targeting mobile applications in the infectious disease space. This went hand-in-hand with the travel space, so I narrowed down my audience to travel, health, and travel and health applications. My first sprint was called Pip, and my second iteration was called Pupper.
Before my time at BlueDot, the company had developed a consumer-facing application aimed at targeting the general public about the spread and effect of infectious diseases, especially in regards to travel.
I conducted market research and competitive analysis on similar applications in the market. Research done by a previous intern focused on self-diagnostic tools with a tinge of travel on the side. My main area of focus was travel and health, travel, and health.
From my research, I discovered that a variety of immunization coaches and travel guides exist. While health applications were popular with a very large user base, and travel helpers were also very popular, when combined, travel and health applications tended to fall short. Users seemed to be more comfortable with keeping travel guides separate from their health and immunization history.
I was very idealistic in my sprint, in the sense that I held the belief that I could do something to change societal perception on infectious diseases by instilling reciprocal values and expectations. I felt that if users could see that the company cared about them, it would feel natural for them to care about the topic we were pushing, in return. The way I approached this concept was by looking at chatbots, because I felt that their dynamicism could translate to a more friendly approach. (Spoiler, this ultimately was not a success.)
My long term goal: to make users care about their health when they travel, the way we care about them.
After the unsuccessful run of Pip, I decided to conduct another round of testing. I also had the chance to work on and improve some of my shortcomings during my first round of testing, such as my lack of gathering quantifiable statistics.
I had a week to reflect on what happened in Pip. I reached a few conclusions: the target audience of the application heavily consisted of smartphone users leading to implications of the socio-economic demographic of the audience and thus the healthcare systems available. Health is also often a low priority for people because it is something that is taken for granted. Users having to be conscious and diligent about tracking their habits is not ideal, and unfortunately, given the circumstances, infectious diseases and vaccinations are often not front and centre of users’ thought processes.
Bluntly put, I definitely consider Pip to be a failure and I'm not sure how "successful" Pupper was either. The results from both sprints were lackluster and I was quite idealistic and inexperienced.
However, I definitely learned from both experiences. I especially learned that I can’t go around expecting that “I” will be able to change the general public’s perspective on infectious diseases, so I felt almost foolish for thinking that I could. But it was a lesson learned and I’m glad I had the chance to figure this out via a weeklong sprint (the reasons why these sprints exist in the first place - the leeway and freedom to hypothesize and fail).
After conducting my second sprint, it became clear that the issue that I am failing to directly target is not something I can control, but is embedded within societal thinking. I was already testing a niche market of people who are educated and aware of infectious diseases. However, even they exuded a reluctance to see medical professionals because they felt that they were so detached from the infectious disease scene for it to really matter.