Service design. User experience. User research.
Tools: Research methods such as co-design sessions, interviews and observations.
Role: User researcher.
A project made at Malmö University in collaboration with Region Skåne (Skåne's County Council) with the goal to develop feasible suggestions or solutions for personalized prenatal care service in Sweden. Throughout the project, the end-to-end care system for expectant mothers were investigated at maternity care givers in the region of Skåne, Sweden. The project explores how technology could be implemented in the maternity care to ensure the expectant mothers receive equal care.
Through thorough user research, a final design suggestion was presented called Ineo. Ineo is an application that provides the expectant mothers with a personalized overview of their pregnancy process while helping them and their care providers prepare
in advance for upcoming meetings. Ineo interactively visualizes the journey of the expectant mothers’ where preparations can be made simultaneously. Mothers can, for example, answer questions prior to meetings with the midwife which also would
make the midwife more prepared prior the meetings enabling a more personalized care.
The service has two different interfaces, one for the expectant mothers and one for the midwifes where it’s also available to be used on a computer but also as an application on the phone to be as accessible and available to each user’s needs. Ineo’s main goal is to give an easy accessed overview and to inform the mothers and midwifes, especially aimed for women that are pregnant for the first time and new to the pregnancy care system. But as a communication and planning platform, Ineo could also be valuable for women with previous experience of the pregnancy process. But as Ineo also works as a communication and planning platform, it is also valuable for women with previous experience of the pregnancy process.
The project was heavily user research oriented to make sure the actual needs of the users, especially the expectant mothers, would be met. An initial background research was started off with to explore what’s already available and to get an overview of the whole pregnancy process. Following, many semi-structured interviews were conducted both with expectant mothers, mothers that had experienced 1-5 pregnancies earlier and with midwifes. Additional to this, we also got the opportunity to do observation studies on spot in the midwife unit.
The user research gave us a good and thorough understanding of the flow and rhythm of the pregnancy healthcare in Sweden. But as said, for this project we put close attention to the personalized needs of the expectant mothers and how the maternity care providers adjust their treatment and information for each individual’s situation and needs. What was noticed was that today there is very little personalization to the pregnancy process. Midwives are obliged to follow standard procedures which leaves little time to adjust the process and procedures to each individual mother. But as our interviews and observations showed, midwives would like more time and better tools to adjust the process according to individual needs of their patients.
Design process - INEO
During the design and ideation process we focused on the recurring themes from the user research from which we formed three questions to as a base to the ideation.
- How might we make the communication between different pregnancy care providers more unified and transparent?
- How might we help expectant mothers define and communicate their personal needs to the pregnancy care providers?
- How might we help pregnancy care providers account for personal needs without compromising the standard procedure?
Through a process with a lot of brainstorming, 6-3-5 brainwriting, brain dumping, card sorting and co-design sessions, we came up with the final design suggestion called Ineo.
Throughout this project I learnt a lot about the importance of understanding the users and their needs. Especially when it comes to a project like this that concerns such an important part of a person’s life as a pregnancy. I recently read a quote from Dana Chisnell which said “Want your users to fall in love with your designs? Fall in love with your users.”. I think that quote highlights the importance of UX design and that you need to understand their needs. It is not about what I like, I’m not designing for myself but I’m designing for the users.
When it comes to design principles and visual design in the project, I learnt a lot of the importance of what feeling you give. What feeling does the users get when we use a certain color in the design. In an early prototype we used colors like blue and grey that is more serious and closely more related to a “hospital feeling”. We changed this to the current colors to get away from that and give it a warmer and more welcoming feeling to the design.
Our project was noticed and covered both by the Swedish national radio station P3 and Malmö University. Me and one other group member was interviewed in the morning program at the radio station P3 and Malmö University covered the project in an article posted at their website.
The article can be found HERE (written in Swedish).