Research shows that women over 50 years old are increasing their alcohol consumption in Australia. A group of public researchers join my team at Sheda to create a digital educational experience that through validated information increases the awareness of alcohol-related harms and provides motivation to change, and reduce alcohol consumption among women.
My role in this project was the UX Designer & Researcher. In a team of three designers (two visuals and myself), one developer and one chief technology officer, I was in charge of guiding public health researchers on how to use Human-centred Design techniques and, collaboratively design the digital education intervention experience. I designed and facilitate the workshops and also I lead the design team.
Design an educational digital intervention that helps women over 50 years old to reduce their alcohol consumption.
1.- Understand the motivations and habits of drinking among women
2.- Support women who want to reduce their alcohol consumption
3.- Provide a digital trusted resource of validated information
4.- Increase awareness of alcohol-related harms
5.- Provide motivation to change and reduce alcohol consumption
First things, first. After a kick-off meeting with our partners – public health researchers- we had already clear which were the goals and the purpose of this project. Together we draft the questions that should be addressed in the research stage.
With the objectives mapped out, and all the questions defined, we planned the research.
In order to understand the motivation and behaviours of the people we are designing for, but also to include their perspective during the design process, we decided to conduct focus group using co-design activities for the first stage of this project.
In total, we had
Some of the questions we had:
Framing questions through participatory activities.
My process was to first, internalise the questions we wanted to get answers. Then, research a lot of co-design and design activities, and brainstorm ideas based on my previous learnings and experience for creating engaging but also meaningful experience for both, participants and researchers.
Once a had define some options, I invited researchers to run an internal workshop to test and discuss the different options.
Finding the balance between research outcomes and participants experience
Then, I redefined the activities and, once I was sure to have all the right activities, I created a journey. To visualise the journey of the participants and ensure the had successful participation, I also mapped out the journey they would take during the workshop, to achieve a right balance between more difficult and more engaging tasks.
Once I had defined some options, I invited researchers to run an internal workshop to test and discuss the different options.
Democratic participation and aim for inclusion
I had in account the inclusion of all the participants on the activities, balancing between individual and group participations, written and talked tasks, reflection and discussion and, so importantly, experience and outcomes.
Testing, learning and iterating.
We tested our activities first, with our partner and our team. Then I redefined the activities and assets and our team of researchers tested them also internally. After few iterations, I defined the final Co-Design Worksop Guide and assets and deliver it to run the workshops.
Grasp the science behind behavioural change
To dive deeper into the topic, we read a lot of papers that our partners facilitate us. Then, we had a better understanding of the science behind this intervention. We defined which implication each of those research could have in our project, and which considerations we should take.
Learning from products and services
I also looked at which products and services are currently in the market, to see which interventions and solutions were already designed for behavioural change. Several ways of approach. I downloaded more than 10 apps and was navigating them, to better understand the experience and the value proposition they’re offering.
Since I wanted to understand more about the topic and the psychology behind behavioural changes, I started reading Designing for Behaviour Change, by Stephen Wendel.
We analyse and synthesise all the data collected, from Co-design Focus groups to literature review, and we start defining the design requisites for our intervention.
With the findings from our research, we create 5 personas, trying to achieve a broad spectrum. We started with a collaborative workshop for defining the Personas, and then jumped into more detail, to ensure that we collected everyone’s thoughts.
For the secondary research and insights from the competitive analysis, we lay out all our research findings in an affinity map, to analyse and manage the information in a more accessible way within the team.
In this journey, we identified patterns, underlying themes and even some contradictions, so having the key information mapped out help us in to having insightful conversations.
Reframing the problem.
After the research was synthesised, we joint together – public health researchers and my team – in an ideation workshop.
I was leading the workshop, so I created an agenda and the first thing we did was align into the findings. Once we were aligned, we brainstorm a bunch of different How Might We questions. Then we clustered them and we recognised some patterns or themes.
Great discussions we had here that help us to define more the purpose of this project, as well as design requirements.
From there, we voted and we defined two to address the design phase, and some of the others would be translated into design requirements.
The two questions that the team felt more aligned were:
HMW Help them to know how alcohol consumption impacts their social, work and family life?
HMW encourage them towards a healthy lifestyle?
So, I synthesised both questions in:
How might we encourage women to have a more conscious and healthy habit of drinking?
From here, and knowing which was the opportunity space we wanted to get deeper we started our ideation exploration. In order to generate as many ideas as possible we had a brainstorming session, this time, addressing the HMW.
Again, after some excitation, some teas, crazy ideas and other more realistic, we clustered them and we find themes. This allowed us to identify which patterns we were unconscious following, and iterate in the solution.
Later on, and already by my self, I kept looking at the ideas we come up trying to synthesise them. Trying to build an idea to work from them and start exploring. We had them already grouped, but I was able to still see some more patterns within it, so I keep breaking it down to extract as many information and insights as possible from our ideation session. In that way, I was able to delve into those ideas further and to identify the underlying value.
Aligning the design vision and values.
After some in-depth individual exploration about the ideas, some evaluation and some more research – and keep reading my book- I started to define the idea.
First, I defined the design vision and requirements.
I’m really passionate about defining the value proposition, the design vision and the values that should drive a project. So it is not needed to say that giving shape and defining purpose and value is one my favourites part of the process.
About the design requirements, some of them were more informational (about the content), other functionalities of the app, and other non-functionals such as the tone of the messaging, the character of the intervention, and so on. The list of design requirement kept growing with the development of the project.
But at first, was something like this:
Making content accessible to women.
After identifying the design requirements, I mapped out the information architecture and the content structure.
The content is key for this project. We want to provide women with the right information, allow them to create their own experience and interact with the content in a way that best suits them. Also, for the nature of this topic, content can be sensitive. So being aware of that, we needed to create strategies to don’t expose them to the content they didn’t want to get exposed.
The information architecture has being also re-defined with each design iteration.
Provide the right information in the right way. Being kind.
As I mentioned before, we don’t want to saturate our people – (said that I don’t like the word ‘user’ too much, even I know it is clear to explain some things, let’s said people for at least, this time), so we have been carefully thinking how do we expose them to the content.
We had used different interaction and navigation styles to address this, and we are looking forward to prototyping it and get the feedback and learnings.
Also, the tone of the communication was defined with the values and vision, and this would be revised in every piece of content.
Our partner is in charge on developing the content, and I and my team provide support on this process, as the content is no a side of the product, it must be one coherent and consistent product.
Making ideas tangible.
After the information architecture was initially defined, I started to sketch some wireframes, user flow, and having conversations with our partners to iterate the design.
This was an interesting moment in the project, because I was back in Canary Island – my home, for a few months. In this context, we had to move our collaboration and conversations to the online environment. We had a meeting at my 6.00 am but 4.00 pm in Australia. Our energy level was quite different, but it wasn’t an obstacle.
I could draw and sketch with a warm sun and my dog Pongo around, and this probably had a good impact on the outputs.
I did some wireframes, play with different screens, using a lot of mini post-it notes and started defining the experience.
Crafting the prototype and testing the experience.
At this stage, we were discussing and testing it internally, to ensure the alignment on the process.
Here also, the content was developed further, and we are still iterating in them. As I mentioned before, this is on our partners, but to make sure that the experience is seamless we have to be completely coordinated.
Here is where I’m at the moment!
Redefining the prototype and iterating.
Testing with users and helping with the content strategy.
You can play with the prototype that I designed and built here!
If you are watching this on mobile, best to click here.
⊙ Guiding public health researchers on how to use Human-centred Design techniques to design an engaging and educational intervention system experience.
⊙ Using co-design methods and techniques to gather qualitative and quantitative information from women, to inform the design of the intervention, as well as the requirement for the design of the digital platform.
⊙ Design the collaborative and dynamic sessions, the guides and the worksheets.
⊙ Use the real data and user stories to define the design requirements.
⊙ Design the Information Architecture, Site map and User Flow.
⊙ Design the UX across the whole intervention.
⊙ Design the wireframes for the digital platform.
Sketch, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Cloud, Miro, Zoom.