The Digital Support Network
People in need of support, be it occasional help in everyday things or support by nursing professionals, in most cases have a whole network of supporters around them. Close relatives, caring neighbors, doctors, professional day care or nursing and professionals that guide the way such as case managers or non-profit enterprises and institutions. All those stakeholders communicate and coordinate to some degree and judging from 4 month of deep research it`s the most time consuming and unorganized thing to it.
Everything revolves around the "focus-person" and often they themselves are the most active in that network trying to uphold the maximum degree of autonomy possible.
Developing the Concept
We spent hours and hours for weeks researching the market, the possible users, the needs etc.
by reading publications, stats & studies, talking to professionals in the market and in academia, to non-profit organizations and many many target users and people affected by any kind of support situation. Walls were plastered with adhesive foil and whiteboards holding all kinds of information, frameworks and brain dumps. After lots of ideation sessions and respective validation/exclusion cycles, many pivots and prototypes, we over and over came back to the concept of digitalizing the support network and through many iterations we felt we are very close to the Problem-Solution-Fit.
Validating the Value Proposition
Similar approaches to our concept were already studied and tested in length through government funded institutions and non-profits. Only it was never refined and actually sponsored, so we had a treasure trove of insights and many very engaged professionals in the field of "elderly care" to help us find the most pressing issues and tested insights in probable user acceptance. Due to our previous research none of them were a surprise so we tried to find the leanest way to test our value proposition.
The solution was quick and not uncommon: Advertising the mock-up as actual product.
The response to the concept and mock-up was overwhelmingly positive. We created a website,
advertised on social media, engaged in multiple in focus groups and interviews and even created some real value by setting up a hotline service in conjunction with professional case managers on parallel.
Many people that lived through the most challenging support situations said things like
"If I only had that tool back then!"
Building the business case