An organization with a website portal that streamlines the
entire resource gathering and distribution process for researchers
and provides them with database of resources available.
This project was a part of the IU grand challenge and our Interaction Design Practice curriculum. We decided to choose the topic of Alzheimer’s disease as our design challenge.
UX researcher : Interviews, Observations, Secondary Review, Mapping techniques,
UX designer : Brainstorming, Storyboarding,
Low-Fidelity prototypes, High-Fidelity prototypes.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that is hard to understand and has no cure. “It is a disease that affects around 5.8 million people in the United States. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease usually found in the elderly”. Once diagnosed, a patient brain continues to lose memory to the point of not remembering their children or spouse. There is no treatment or cure and most end up with caregivers or at care facilities because they need assistance with day to day tasks. “This also brings hardship to loved ones who have to either care for the ill family member or move them out and pay for a facility”. We decided to attack this challenging problem by research, observations, and interviewing caregivers, doctors, and family members.
We gathered our findings from the formative research, which helped us move a step ahead towards our solution. In our interviews and observations, we found out the problems which are faced by a caretaker, family members as well as the researchers of Alzheimer's disease. Some secondary research helped us shape our challenge. There was no specific cure for Alzheimer's, but several technologies had already been implemented to help the patients. By gathering this data, we went ahead with the mapping techniques.
Using the Affinity Diagramming method, we classified the findings and problems of their respective user groups. This method helped us segregate the problems that come under patients, family members/caregivers, and researchers. Further, we tried to formulate our problem statement based on the priority of the problems.
After understanding the problem, we started with started with our ideation and exploration phase where we emphasized on different prospective solutions to different problems. Since, we were defining our problem statement, we explored different solutions that can be addressed to each user group and their problems. These solutions were ideated taking into consideration the technical, economic and social feasibility.
An online portal that helps the researchers to get medical information, history, data, and the status of the brain samples of the patients. The researchers have the option to request for a brain sample.
After an ample amount of research, we finalized and decided to focus on a problem statement. How can we provide the researchers with the research samples related to Alzheimer's disease with the ease of access? In the end, we feel that helping the researchers would help to create better cures for the disease. There is no streamlined process for IU Health Neurology researchers to obtain research materials (brain tissue samples).
Our solution is creating an intermediate brain bank repository between the researcher and hospitals. We designed an online website medical portal which would be accessible to the researchers for their research on the brain samples. The portal will give them a searchable database of local brain samples. The data and samples which are shown on the portal is received from the local hospitals. They then have the ability to find and request specific samples. This streamlines the process for researchers to obtain brain samples easily and efficiently.
For our design solution, we started with some low-fidelity prototypes and wireframes. After brainstorming further on these wireframes, we decided to design the high-fidelity prototypes.
After gaining some insights from the skeletons and wireframes, we designed and completed with the high-fidelity prototypes. We iterated our designs twice. These iterations were reformed based on the results of the user testing and evaluation done in the initial prototyping phase. We designed the prototypes on Figma.
After the user testing, we redesigned our dashboard which includes all the requests at one place and the to-dos with the same color.
Creating a request screen with improved color coding as well as more functionality in performing the task.
Frequently Asked Questions
A FAQ screen for any queries, request, sending messages and contact information.
As a team, we conducted the Cognitive Walkthrough, Heuristic evaluation, and the Think-Aloud protocol. All three of the evaluations helped find oversights that we had missed. We conducted evaluations on our low-fidelity prototypes and did several iterations to design our final high-fidelity prototypes.
The cognitive walkthrough helped go into the mind of the user and critique each function. As the button of creating a request wasn’t noticeable, the primary purpose of our website wasn’t explored. This was the result of the cognitive walkthrough exercise, which helped us map the mind of the user and find such usability issues.
For most of the heuristics evaluations, we found some positive aspects of our prototypes. We plan to add some more elements in the profile section, such as a research paper so that the users can see their work in one place. The most important finding was the difficulty of completing the task of creating a request for brain samples.
In the think-aloud exercise, we found out that we did not have any labels under our main menu of buttons. This led to some confusion for the user and needed to be changed. We then felt how better labeling would ease the task of a user to navigate through the website.
As a part of the future scope, we plan to extend the area of the project into various other neurological diseases, as well, depending on the time we have. The business aspect of this design solution is building a brain bank. This UX project helped me develop my UX process and skills. I mainly took part as a UX designer but contributed as a UX researcher as well. Working in a team helped me improve my collaboration, which is what UX is all about.