Reimagining Student Healthcare: Nurse Charlie
Timeline: 10 weeks
Deliverable: Minimum Delightful Experience Concept, Mid-Fidelity Prototype
My Roles: Visual Designer, Design Researcher
Skills: Design Thinking Process, User Research, Journey Mapping, Card Sorting
Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD, Adobe inDesign
College students are overwhelmed by taking care of themselves without a parent’s help. University Health Services wants to ensure students make use of their information-dense website. How might we increase engagement with UHS and provide comfort to new students?
working with a client
We partnered with the University Health Services (UHS) at the University of Texas and met with UHS representatives over several months. This way, we learned in more detail the problems that UHS has, like how to relay important health information to students who are constantly bombarded with information everyday. Working with a client was a huge learning opportunity in communicating our design process to non-designer clients. We learned the hard way the importance of speaking a common language with your client and presenting information with clarity.
research & process
Our process started with interviews with students who use UHS services and created journey maps for a student’s experience through UHS to identify pain points. We found that many students were frustrated by wait times at the clinics, but the reason clinics were full was because many students make appointments for minor issues because they weren’t sure what needs constituted an appointment.
Based on our research, we decided on a chat bot as our concept. We found that some students are more likely to share health-related information with a chat bot than a person. This could create another point of contact between students and UHS, also addressing our client’s issue of relaying important information to students. A chat bot can provide students with a friendly face to go to for minor health and wellness concerns, with all of the information sourced from the UHS website.
Many students were frustrated by wait times at the clinics, but the reason clinics were full was because many students make appointments for minor issues because they weren’t sure what needs constituted an appointment.
Next came our user testing phase. Our chatbot needed a face and a name, so we used card sorting to gain insights about what styles and colors express certain emotions, like reliability, friendliness, and credibility. We then asked users to walk through a paper prototype of our bot, encouraging participatory design. Since the success of our concept revolved around getting the tone just right for our audience, we were most interested to receive feedback on the language and flow of conversation.
creating a character
One of my roles was to create the character. I started with sketches drawn with a user during a testing session. We wanted to brand the character with UHS (like a burnt orange badge) as well as pick designs that felt inclusive to all students. A challenge arose when the initial designs were too specific to appeal to the entire student body. Based on this feedback, I moved toward a single persona, who was more gender- and race-neutral, and appeared more credible with scrubs rather than a badge.
With a neutral name, gender, and race, Nurse Charlie became the face of our product. We chose teal - a bright color with medical connotations - as the compliment to burnt orange (the university’s official color). Corresponding peach and light blue became our accent colors.
nurse charlie as a part of a system
We considered how Nurse Charlie interacts with the current system diagram of UHS. The information Charlie provides avoids diagnosis, but rather informs students about relevant health and wellness information and allows them to feel more comfortable reaching out for help about their health-related questions and concerns. Nurse Charlie inserts itself into the exchange between students and the UHS, creating a new platform that’s personalized, on-demand, and anonymous.
Read more about our process and decision-making in the final process book that we provided to our client.