Coaching Remote Design Teams from Research to Insights
Process and Research Methods
- – Contextual Inquiry
- – Extreme user interviews
- – Mapping the healthcare system and pathways to care
- – Daily research reflections
- – Persona refinement
- – 2x2 comparisons
- – Design principles
I lead and coached the design team through the research and synthesis. Our team relied on daily Skype check-ins, posting notes, ideas and reflections to Google Drive and mapping qualitative data on Mural.
From the research in Mumbai, the team identified two personas, optimizers and survivors.
- – Optimizers are creative problem solvers. They struggle with unexpected life challenges, but often have savings, relationships and stability that helps them through emergencies.
- – Optimizers job stability comes from longevity in their chosen job, relationships and their reputation for reliability. Optimizers work long hours and minimal time off.
- – All optimizers were saving money. They prioritized sending their children to school or saving for a new business opportunity over planning for a medical emergency.
Optimizers are in stark contrast to survivors.
- – Survivors have greater and more immediate needs than optimizers.
- – Survivors do not have bank accounts and their income fluctuates more wildly. Planning ahead financially isn’t a current behavior. When an emergency situation occurs, survivors have fewer resources and relationships to support them.
- – Survivors tend to have a few jobs that are related. Prototypes could leverage multiple professional relationships in behavior change efforts.
The research team in Kampala wanted to confirm whether these personas were relevant and if they saw other possibilities for personas. The Kampala team developed another persona, the hopper, based on their research.
- – The hopper is a young survivor. The hopper likely still lives at home and is trying to make a living and potentially further his/her education.
- – The hopper could end up as a survivor or an optimizer – only time will tell. If they learn business skills and prioritize saving, they will likely become optimizers. However, if they continue to be unattached and don’t learn to scale and control their businesses, they will likely resemble survivors.
The personas were mapped to 2x2 grids to determine where the fit among pain points, including adhered to treatment, delays in seeking care, nature of income, demand for quality care, community landscape and healthcare knowledge.
Pathways to Care
- – Access to health care is not an issue. Hospitals and clinics are available, but cost can be prohibitive.
- – Overall, people have positive perceptions of both public and private options, but would choose a private clinic if they could afford the option.
- – Some survivors have a fear of the doctor, whether it’s an unfamiliar instrument or a reluctance to hear potentially negative news, which complicates pathways to care.
- – Adherence to treatment is a huge need for the survivor persona to thrive.
- – Trusted groups include professional associations, religious leaders and family members.
Saving for Healthcare
- – There is an expectation that family members will contribute to each other’s care. If a relative or friend falls sick, they will be expected to contribute to care. As parents age, their health burden falls to their children.
- – When a family cannot cover costs, those working in markets in Uganda fundraise for medical expenses. There is a book where you write down your name and the amount. You contribute because you want others to contribute to your own care if you need it someday. One the outset, this looks a lot like insurance, but there’s a different quality about it. You see that someone you know is getting care because of you, and you trust the community to provide for you when you need it, which is different than paying to a corporation or a government.
Traditional savings groups are not widely trusted, unlike in Mumbai.
Press + Impact
As a result of the research, Medic Mobile was invited to create a prototype based on research findings. I was not a part of the prototyping, but the research I helped shape was instrumental in the project outcome. Medic Mobile proposed a prototype called Savings4Health, a health savings scheme offered by community health workers to try and combat the instability of income, low demand for healthcare and lack of healthcare information.