The Design Process
Care Link is a process-heavy project as it deals with a niche subject matter that we as students were not familiar with. As such, the design process is pretty extensive.
Beth’s User Journey
Follow Beth in her first week as a new caregiver at an assisted living facility. This scenario is designed around our ethnographic research, and demonstrates how Care Link can assist our user in their day-to-day responsibilities.
Identifying a viable Opportunity Space
The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060.
The 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent.
Long-term care is experiencing a substantial annual growth rate. By 2020, 12 million older Americans will require long-term care services. By 2040, the long-term care market is projected to grow by 250%.
Sources: Population Reference Bureau, Pennsylvania Care Association
From our market research, we know that long-term care services is an area of opportunity. Which was why we decided to focus on providing our service to facilities, bypassing the individual directly, thereby reaching a potentially greater audience.
Competitive Feature Analysis Diagram: This allows us to better understand what features and attributes are currently lacking in the industry.
Positioning Matrix: Current solutions heavily focus on the logistics and scheduling of staff in facilities. Care Link aims to tackle telemedicine enterprise software solutions from a human-centered approach; focusing on our users.
How would Care Link sustain as a business?
After we understood our competition in the industry, we drew up a lean canvas to better position Care Link as a business entity that could ultimately make profit a a startup company. Some of the factors we considered include operating costs, fixed, variable costs, and infrastructure costs.
We understood that as an enterprise software solution, Care Link would need to consider another user: the "chooser", directors in these long-term care facilities. Consequently, with the new user in mind, we had to find a revenue stream that would benefit both our business and the facility that we would be working with.
Conclusively, Care Link would adopt a Price Per Seat solution, which would allow for us to retain flexibility of our pricing rates in reflecting the number of people using the software.
Lean Canvas: Care Link as a business entity and what that entails.
Finding the Right User: Why Facility Caregivers?
Before going into the field, we decided to flesh out our assumed roles with an affinity diagram. This is so that we can come up with better research guides for our interviewees. Our affinity diagram consolidated our interpretations of the secondary research we conducted on our assumed roles thus far.
Affinity Diagram: Consolidating interpretations of secondary research of our assumed roles; Formal Caregiver Resident Aide, Assisted Living Facility Director, Residents with Alzheimer's
Bringing our Assumptions to the Field
Once we had a better understanding of caregivers from our secondary research, we went out to interview and observe caregivers working in the field. We use our assumptions to guide us in creating research questions and success metrics.
Our Key Insight
After our foray into the field, we came out with our key insight which led us to focus on facility caregivers. More specifically, on caregivers who are working in assisted living facilities. Caregivers working in assisted living facilities have twice the workload of those working in memory care facilities, who are often more trained as well.
Assisted Living Facilities
Structured more for general needs and activities of elderly residents.
Has less regulations and typically cheaper in fees.
Caregivers are not required to have basic nursing training.
Memory Care Facilities
Accepts less residents
Provides more specific clinical services to upper stage Alzheimer's recipients
Caregivers are required to have basic nursing training.
What is Integral to their Occupation?
From the data that we had gathered, we came up with patterns that we found to be relevant to the subject matter. The behavioral continuum helped us in consolidating qualitative data and giving us the means to quantify them.
After spotting distinct behavioral clusters of our interviewees, we had the characteristics we needed to outline two personas that have now been validated by both primary and secondary research.
Meet Beth, our primary persona.
Beth is a 45 year old caregiver at an assisted living facility. She has studied up till high school, and has no further nurse training. She currently earns CA minimum wage.
High-stress nature of her occupation.
Fear of unintentionally hurting residents she's grown to care for.
Becoming on par with Certified Nursing Assistants.
Lack of formal education on nursing.
Cumbersome reporting process.
Handling difficult residents.
Stress-free management of residents under her care.
Meet the specific needs of both residents and their families.
Cover more residents without compromising quality of care.
Alternating between residents and their needs, prioritizing and quickly assessing which needs her attention first.
Carrying out Activities of Daily Living
Following resident routines
Communicating with other caregivers about residents' information in-between shifts.
Engaging with residents to keep them active.
Iterative Design: Testing and refining while user testing
With our primary user being identified, we fleshed out the ideal flow we envision for her as a caregiver working in an assisted living facility. Ideally, we would want Care Link to decrease the stress-induced by the nature of her work.
Ideal Flow for Beth
Field Research Tools
Before going out into testing with our users, we created cue cards as a form of tool in accordance to Steve Krug's rules on, making sure we do not lead them into an answer. Instead, we prompted them with questions, and scenarios.
Iterative Design Process
Key Paths Targeted:
2. Access Resident Profiles
3. Viewing Timeline of all Tasks
4. Setting up Live Video Call with Nurse
5. Receiving Management Notifications
6. Taking an Audio Note
7. Viewing Post-Shift Lesson Plans
iPad Mini Wireframes
Tablet too large, not practical for active caregivers. High chance of breaking.
Time stamps to indicate when note was taken.
Audio notes low discoverability.
Adding dietary restrictions and health status
Make schedule more specific to resident
Lesson plan should be limited to 5 minutes for it to work.
Amazon Fire Wireframes
Hardware, tablet still too large.
Task listing too overwhelming.
Live streaming not practical.
Unreasonable expectations for lesson plan
–– Neil (Director of Facilities/IT)
Key Paths Targeted: REVISED
2. Access Current Resident Profiles
3. View timeline of current tasks
4. Request Help from Caregiver
5. Take an audio note
Implement ability to swap tasks
Make schedule more specific to resident
Expand on HIPAA Regulation
–– Susan (Residential Aide)
From the contextual concerns raised, we addressed how Care Link would be able to achieve HIPAA Compliancy by outsourcing our cloud server to ClearData.
Key Paths Targeted:
2. HIPAA Terms and Conditions
3. Access current resident profile
4. View timeline of current task
5. Request help from caregiver
6. Swap Task
7. Take an audio note
I’m very grateful to have worked on this project as it has led me to the kind of designer I am today. I realized the importance and the skill it requires to gather insights from the field and how meaningful design can be in changing the lives of our users, when it’s done right.