This was a design consulting project that we were assigned to as part of a year long class at the Iovine and Young Academy.
We were tasked with creating a platform to incentivize continuous patient data collection for CancerBase; a research lab on campus that uses crowd-sourced patient medical data to model the progression of various types of metastatic cancer.
Our team applied the principles of design thinking to design an interface to incentivize patients to return to the CancerBase website and use the remainder of the CancerBase apps.
Team : Landon Brand, Brianna Doyle, Racquel Fygenson, Sonika Patel, Ben Stanfield and Naylee Nagda
We joined lab meetings and conferences to understand the current ecosystem of CancerBase products and areas of research. We also got in touch with cancer patient circles, as well as twitter chats and forums, to understand the cancer journey from a patient's perspective.
My role was Branding, User Research and User Testing
We identified the problem as a lack of user retention on the CancerBase website. The CancerBase website was unappealing and did not have a clear mission statement. As a result, upon first glance, a user would be unaware of what the website was trying to accomplish. This resulted in high bounce rates and patients leaving the website mid-way due to data input being an arduous process. As a result, the data team in CancerBase was greatly affected as they needed to gather long term continuous data for their research.
Problem Statement: Patients lack incentive to return which affects continuous data collection
We set out to conduct interviews with cancer patients and their caretakers. We learnt a lot about patient-doctor relationships, treatments, daily routines and impact of cancer on their everyday activities.
Through our interviews, we found similarities in the pain points experienced by cancer patients, and grouped them in an affinity diagram as shown below:
By doing this, we realized that there was a recurring activity that several patients found important: journaling and storytelling. Patients wanted to be remembered for who they were before their diagnosis of cancer and share stories about their life.
Many of our ideas ranged from finding solutions to preserving patient friendships to improving their everyday quality of life. While we had numerous feasible and interesting ideas, the following quote from our user interview really stood out to us during our ideation process:
" Even to this day, when I read my journal entries about my fears, anxieties, and the other feelings I had about my initial cancer diagnosis, the cancer has less power over me "
- Barbara Tako, MBC survivor and blogger
Barbara's quote coupled with our observation of journaling and storytelling formed the foundation of our idea: offering catharsis
By offering catharsis to patients through the means of daily journaling, researchers would receive continuous user input and gather the data they were looking for. The value for our client was based off of patients' daily logging of symptoms and changes in their medication/treatment, crucial for CancerBase's ongoing research.
We had found a two-way value system that we were ready to test.
We built a web based journaling application. We initially wanted to build a chrome extension, but we found that our target demographic of metastatic breast cancer patients, would most likely use a safari-based website, as opposed to an extension or mobile -based solution.
I worked on the branding, user research and testing team
Branding team: Created mood boards, product image and went through revisions of logo, color, and typeface design research.
User research and user testing team: Interviewed cancer patients, designed journaling prompts that made sense for a patient and develop user tests for the first prototype
Below are some branding sketches:
Below are some initial designs for the application and user research questions:View Compiled Process Book
We managed to test our prototype application with patients at the American Association of Cancer Research's annual conference in Chicago in April 2018.
Overall our application was met with success and approval.
We gained crucial feedback on features that we should add and data input methods to include. For example, some patients prefer to speak rather than type and for some, typing is a better alternative due to 'chemo brain'
These suggestions were included in the documentation guide for prototype 2.0 of our application which we handed off to CancerBase