While working with Handsome in 2014 I worked on a tablet application called PersonalRN, a content delivery system for the caregivers of stroke victims.
One of the biggest challenges facing victims of stroke is not the initial stroke itself, but rather the possibility of readmission after leaving the hospital. Most of the time these victims are not completely able to take care of themselves and the responsibility post-hospital stay usually defers to mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters.
Unfortunately, these people do not have all of the information available and the resources accessible to mitigate the risk of readmission. PersonalRN aims to educate the caregiver while they are in the hospital in order to understand how to treat their family member upon release. Essentially the product would be kept on a number of licensed iPads at a hospital, the doctor would enter in the diagnosis, and the educational content would be formed around the doctor's initial diagnosis.
My role on the project was multi-faceted in that I was the design lead on the project, but also heavily involved in the product strategy and creative direction of the application alongside other members of Handsome.
When we first began the project Jonathan Lewis of Handsome was responsible for interviewing different patients and caregivers for the purpose of getting into the mindset of the users of the application. What we learned is that people have absolutely no idea what is going on other than that a tramautic event has taken place with their significant other. There is just so much going on, that making the app easier than usual to use would be incredibly important.
After learning that fact, it seemed necessary to be extra-sensitive to the environment, and that they will eventually be handed the tablet in a busy hospital. One of the ways in which it is so useful too, is that the application routinely checks in to see where the patient is, and if they've moved to a new location changing the content being delivered. We also took into consideration that the audience could skew a little older so the UI needed a lot of affordances in how things appear.
Originally when we entered the design direction phase, we attempted to create an experience that was exclusively portrait, and was more conducive to a scrolling readable experience.
Evolving the Design
However, we discussed that scrolling might not be totally intuitive to some people in a hospital, and that it may be more advantageous to create a tap-through kind of experience where you're delivered bytes of information at a time. This lead to a landscape orientation primarily with less focus on stock photos, and more emphasis on the content being delivered, tracked, and completed.
After we started to lock down the user needs during the direction phase, we also were were diligently on narrowing down an aesthetic that was in line with the business objectives of personalRN. After some deliberation with the client we decided that personalRN was blue since that's a soothing, comforting, and familiar color to many people.
After a couple more iterations on the location of the progress bar, this was the final design direction that we decided to apply to all of the wireframes in our screen inventory.
Sprint Production Design
Once we've completed the design direction phase, we segmented the inventory and each week delivered a new group of screens, and iterated on the previous week's deliverable. This allowed for us to make continual progress while still iterating on the product. Checking in with Jonathan Lewis was really important in being able to re-orient the product based off of any insights we may have overlooked or ones that were more recently discovered.
Once we had the approval of the client on all of the production screens, we then created the Style Guide which would serve as the basis for the application as it continued to be iterated upon.
After completing the project personalRN was then developed by Handsome's development team. Additionally, personalRN was able to secure licenses with a number of hospitals in California in order to test the product with real patients and caregivers. Being able to take their idea to the next level was a really great moment. To boot personalRN generated some strong interest in the tech community through their outreach initiatives, and currently the product continues to be tested/iterated on today.