Karen McGrane's Design Management course at SVA IxD presented an interesting challenge for its final project: it asked students to form teams and compete for work from a fictional client, WellLife. Thrive was our response: a digital healthcare service founded on intimacy & trust, embeddedness, and clarity—and it ultimately won our team the "job."
WellLife, an imagined healthcare services provider, put out an RFP with the following goals: empower participants to maintain their own health, help employers save on healthcare costs, support participants via multiple communication channels, and connect participants with their peers.
My team's solution was WellLife Thrive. It focused on three core concepts: trust, embeddedness, and clarity.
To build trust between participants in the service and healthcare providers, Thrive organizes groups of users with similar health concerns into tight-knit virtual communities. These groups are each moderated by a health coach, and form a nexus of support and accountability to one another. Participants can reach out to one another and to their group moderator via the website, mobile app, or telephone any time of the day. They can ask questions, share symptoms or concerns, and even remind one another to report on how they're feeling/progressing.
Embeddedness means the health service works within your life, not the other way around. We wanted to re-imagine "health devices" as "life devices" by weaving digital interventions into people's everyday lives. The image above shows a small wearable device that helps the participant keep in touch with her personal health community, but it also doubles as an activity tracker that wirelessly sends health data to their Thrive account.
Another aspect of this embeddedness is a personalized feed of health content, presented in a beautiful magazine-like reading experience. This feature helps people maintain awareness of their health in between doctor's visits.
Lastly, WellLife helps the participant gain clarity about her own health through custom analytics of the gathered health data. This is supplemented by qualitative self-reports to form a complete health picture. This information can be used by the system to predict upcoming major life events, and even proactively schedule healthcare activities such as doctor's visits and exercise sessions. The information can also be shared with a physician.
Because the project required us to "compete" against other teams for a client project, some self-branding was in order. We created an identity for our fictional design studio: Thread.
We then started with a mini discovery phase, in which we tried to learn as much about the audience, similar products, and the client as possible. We put ideas up on the wall, focusing on quantity while holding criticism in check.
After winnowing our ideas down to one, we focused in on dissecting its strengths and flaws, creating concept diagrams to understand the big picture.
To better illustrate what an actual working product might look like, we went the extra mile and created some key screens, starting with the usual loose sketching.
These sketches eventually evolved into wireframes and higher-fidelity renderings, which we featured in the concept photo shoots shown above.
The biggest challenge by far was working within the constraints of time and project scope. Because the project by its nature asked us to "dream big," it was easy to get carried away, as if we had already gotten the "contract." We had to bring our team back to earth multiple times by refocusing on the brief and limiting the amount of detail we included.
Another big challenge was doing all the things that an RFP, though fictional, nevertheless required—that meant creating proposed budgets and timetables.
We learned more than we ever wanted to know about Gantt charts and true the cost of an "all-hands" meeting. It gave me quite a healthy appreciation for not just the creative aspect of design, but also the practical dollars-and-minutes side.
In collaboration with
Sera Koo, Michael Yap
Design Management, SVA MFA in Interaction Design
I worked on
concept development, research, high-fidelity comp design, photoediting, proposal writing