Parents of developmentally-disabled children are often short on time and attention, because their energy is dedicated to caring for their child. Therefore, the app needed to make behavior-tracking quick, simple and rewarding for users, while also capturing the level of accuracy and detail required for researchers. The client’s team was large and geographically-distributed, with many stakeholders. Alignment was key. The client had many innovative ideas, but only a small subset could be incorporated into the product within the release timeframe.
Empathy for the users and achieving the project’s clinical goals drove our approach to this project. We conducted usability testing and research to help the team understand user perspectives, and called upon a game design expert to help us incorporate engagement and motivation into the design. With the client, we facilitated several onsite workshops to describe, refine and prioritize functionality.
Conceptual diagrams, mockups and clickable prototypes were used to engage the team in the design process, and clarify with the development team what we envisioned the experience to be like. An agile process and collaborative dynamic helped the large team to prioritize efforts and maintain visibility of dependencies across sub-teams.
Our design was driven by the need to create a welcoming and easy-to-use experience for parents. We challenged the conventional clinical study model of standardized forms, instead creating interactive rating scales that give the user immediate feedback on the data they enter. A friendly “voice” was used throughout the app, instead of dry, clinical language, to help to soften the user experience and relieve the burden of daily data entry.
A friendly “voice” was used throughout the app, instead of dry, clinical language