User experience and interface audit and development for the startup Intus Care.
Changing federal regulations required that, by the start of 2020, home healthcare providers must have digital verification and record of caregivers' appointments in patients' homes.
A group of students at Brown University decided to take this opportunity and created the startup Intus Care, a business which fulfills these new needs of home healthcare providers through a simple organizational app.
After establishing the core structure of what the app should look like, Intus Care was in search of a UIUX designer to help develop the design into its next stage. In October 2019, I was recommended to the CEO and CFO of Intus Care to lead the next iteration of the app's design.
Establishing the Scope
One of the most valuable things about this experience was working with the founders and developers to integrate the vision, the business, and the available technology into the scope of the product. I was - and still am - taking computer science and business classes in order to speak the languages and intergrate the sensibilities of this kind of mixed environment and this was the first opportunity I had to put it into practice.
When I first started on the project, I met with the CTO, Alex, to discuss the scope of developments that would come with the next stage of the app. As one of the founders, he gave me very in depth background on the origins of the app, the research that they had conducted since, and their current limitations.
This helped gain more insight into the current system of home healthcare helped me establish what the mental models of the caregivers and managers - the users of the app - were. As the current system for assigning and recording appointments used clipboards which caregivers picked up and dropped off from the main office, we would aim to ease users into this physical to digital transition by implementing the same logic on the digital interface.
However, Intus Care also wanted to effectively utilize the backend capabilities available to the digital interface. However, how and how much the app's functions were to be expanded was something that needed to be refined.
Approaching this from a UX design perspective, Alex and I walked through the processes and desired functions they gathered from their research from a caregiver's persepective then a manager's perspective, using talking sketches that probably only the two of us will ever understand.
We established that the areas that had most potential for development were a management calendar and a patient profile.
Not only were these helpful tools for reference, but they also filled holes in the currently proposed dataflow. The management calendar helped connect the manager-facing and caregiver-facing portals and created an access point for adding and editing appointments which was previously disregarded. Meanwhile, patient profiles provided a container for reported information from appointments to be stored into and accessed by management and other caregivers upon reassignment.
We established the basic structure of patient profiles based on the variables currently attached to the "patient" object and set out the limitations of the backend capabilities around scheduling which formed the basis of how we would later compose the calendar interface. Although I had little experience with with languages used for the backend of Intus Care, having an intuition for the logic of programming helped me understand how the technological restraints related to the design decisions we had to make.
Intus Care was also facing a problem where designers had been asked for designs on a screen-by-screen basis. This resulted in a lack of visual coherency and compromised the hierachy, learnability and memorability of the interface. Hence, we also came to the conclusion that the app also needed a holistic visual audit and adjustment.
The Design Team
To accomplish these goals, I formed a team with two of my classmates, both of whom are experienced and sensitive designers from the Masters of Industrial Design program at RISD.
From here on, we worked together to refine the details from the scope and decide on the workflow as well as interface and visual elements before collaborating on making the components and screens from our design decisions.
To work out the screens we were going to add, we looked at the existing workflow structure (white) and introduced the new flows (blue) into the system through categorically intuitive connection points. As part of this process, we also made runs through the whole system and discovered missing links (also blue) in the logic of the current flows which we added in accordance with the data objects now available to the new scope.
Carrying on from my previous conversation with Alex, we also realized that two access points were necessary on the caregiver side one from the QR check in at the patient's home and one from offsite so that caregivers can both gain direct access from the scan and can check on upcoming appointments and patient information offsite.
We started the visual adjustments with refining the logo. We simplified the color palette and chose a typeface that we could extend to use in the rest of the app.
We noticed that color and font inconsistency were driving some of the main issues with the interface. Hence, we established the main functional hierachy of font and color styles and condensed the existing ones into those on the style guide below.
We then took the existing visuals as a wireframe
Refined the visuals according to our style guide
Designed new interfaces for the additional functions
And created a cohesive product with complete workflows and visual refinement across both caregiver and manager portals.
Special thanks to Vidur, Vivien, Robbie, Alex, Evan, and Sam.
Programs used for this project include: