EmpathizeDefineIdeateWrap-up

lgbtqidentify

Helping the LGBTQ+ community find inclusive healthcare that is physically accessible and financially affordable.

BACKGROUND & PROBLEM

Addressing the healthcare provider lack of knowledge for the LGBTQ+ patient population.

Choosing our prompt topic of healthcare, I gave the team an example of an experience I’ve seen the LGBTQ+ community face. Friends of mine experienced lack of knowledge at doctor’s appointments when talking about PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis). It was this anecdote that got us thinking. As someone who identifies as a cis gay man, I was excited to take on this challenge. I haven’t experienced much discrimination when visiting a healthcare provider, but I know others, like transgender individuals, often face more oppression. I was eager to dive in and learn more to empathize better with the rest of the community.

Scope: Hackathon
Role: UX Researcher, UX/UI Designer, UX Writer
Project Duration: 36 hours
Tools: Figma, FigJam, Google Forms, Google Slides

How might we create legitimacy among providers to increase situations where the patient feels they are receiving adequate care?

SOLUTION

A vetted and accredited LGBTQ+ friendly healthcare provider directory for patients to search and find a new primary care provider.

HACKATHON FAST FACTS

I signed up for a hackathon organized by TH.0 with a diversity, equity and inclusion theme during Pride Month in June. Across 7 time zones, there were 300 registrations, 100 entries into the server, 60 sign-ups with 4 teams consisting of 24 people made it through to the end.

Each team, consisting of different roles, tackled a challenge prompt of their choosing to ultimately create a digital solution in 36 hours. Piece of cake, right?

The desire to flex my UX design skills and push myself out of my comfort zone prompted me to participate in a hackathon. I wanted to utilize my UX design skills under pressure and collaborate with others while tackling a problem the LGBTQ+ community faces. This allowed me to work on other important soft skills like problem solving, critical thinking, brainstorming, team collaboration and decision making.

MEET TEAM DNA

Bo Bayerl & Linh Le – UX Designers
Ryan Fann – Product & Project Manager
Mahek – Full Stack Developer (left midway through hackathon)

1. EMPATHIZE

RESEARCH APPROACH & QUESTIONS

Understanding the LGBTQ+ patient experience

To better understand the patient experience for these individuals, we needed to hear from them in some way. Due to time constraints, there were some things at this point we couldn’t fully complete.

A few research questions we wanted to learn:

My contributions at this stage:

PIVOTING

Time constraints are tough!

In planning our research, we were a bit ambitious with our efforts and it wasn’t possible to get interviews on such a short notice. We pivoted to a survey for quantitative data. Our team distributed to specific groups and friends, which ultimately yielded 7 responses. Though small, it was helpful to have at least some data for a user perspective and to form a persona.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM SURVEY

Comfortability in disclosing sexual orientation had a range (somewhat to very comfortable).

43% of respondents had providers assume they were heterosexual and/or cisgender.

There is a need for more education on LGBTQ+ sexual health for healthcare providers.

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

How do other directories compare?

Link to Full FigJam File here.

Online directories aren’t necessarily a new, innovative solution. Many exist today online for various services. Taking a look at competitors, we wanted to take note of pros and cons to deliver a better and more credible experience to patients finding a healthcare provider. The direct competitors are organizations and resources looking to connect patients with inclusive providers. We took a look at some indirect competitors to get an idea on design patterns and how we infuse into our solution.

Pros

01. Listing LGBTQ sexual health experience and familiarity

02. Opportunity for courses to be taken for credibility (OutCare)

03. Inviting atmosphere and clean filter design (Lighthouse)
04. Badge/certification icon system (LinkedIn)

Cons

01. Outdated UI (GLMA)
02. Unclear certification badges (GLMA & OutCare)
03. Busy provider detail page (Lighthouse)

2. DEFINE

USER PERSONA

Finding an inclusive provider is a complicated process.

Though our research was limited, it was clear the community found it difficult to find a new healthcare provider that fit their specific needs. For the sake of time, we did put together a brief persona to help guide design decisions and further empathy. I fleshed it out a bit more afterward, expanding upon Isaac’s persona.

DEFINING THE PROBLEM & DIGITAL SOLUTION

How should LGBTQIdentify function?

When we first started, many ideas were brought forth. We needed to distill our solution down to a manageable MVP. From the responses in the survey and the research conducted, and after brainstorming it to death, Linh and myself landed on a focus problem and potential solution.

PROBLEM

A patient needs a reliable database in order to find a medical provider that understands and is knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ care and their needs.

HMW STATEMENT

How might we create legitimacy among providers to increase situations where the patients feels they are receiving adequate care?

Responses when asked about what they would change about the patient-provider experience:

"Easier access to services and holistic treatment in tandem with sexual practices."
"More inclusion for LGBT patients - less assumptions that partners are of the opposite sex - more ways for a doctor to express they are inclusive/LGBT friendly so people feel more comfortable sharing their sexuality or gender identity."

3. IDEATE

SKETCHES, WIREFRAMES & USER INTERFACE DESIGN

Designing the provider search flow.

For the sake of our MVP and time constraint, the user flow was rather simple. Once we had a better idea of our problem and solution, we focused on quick sketching, simple UI design and our key feature, badges.

Sketches
Mid-fidelity Wireframes

See full Mid-fidelity Wireframes→

We wanted the colors and design to be inviting, pleasant and trustworthy. With time constraints, we ideated on the absolute necessary design elements to go forward with the user interface: typography, colors, icons and buttons.

Style Tile
Hi-fidelity Wireframes

See full Hi-fidelity Wireframes→

OUR BUSINESS APPROACH

How do we make LGBTQIdentify profitable?

As part of the hackathon rules AND guidelines, we were challenged to also think beyond the product design. Profitability from a business standpoint is crucial, especially when launching a new product or service. Product positioning, in terms of the core functions and KBFs were discussed together. The rest was prepared by the Product Manager, Ryan.

Having not touched this part of the product development process before, it was interesting to learn more about this part. I would love to spend more time on this part if we were to develop the website. I was able to envision the product roadmap, as well as learn about how a product is pitched to stakeholders with relevant information for them.

4. WRAP-UP

Reviewing the Solution

VIEW FINAL PROTOTYPEwatch pitch presentation

THE END RESULT

The hackathon was, after all, a competition to which I’m proud to say our team’s grit, dedication, perseverance and work ethic paid off as we took first place! You can view our work on the research, design and product development in our pitch video.

The main feature of our product is the badges that the professionals gain after they complete any LGBTQ care education course. The purpose of this was to establish more trust between professional and patient. This way the patient is confident they will receive adequate care.

What did I learn?

01. Time is of the essence

After meeting my team and getting over the awkward introductions (let’s be real, we didn’t even have time for rapport building and small talk), we immediately had to get to work. With such a short amount of time to develop a concept, we were thrown into a whirlwind of decision-making, brainstorming and trusting our gut to move forward.

02. Nothing goes as planned

It was a mantra that I quickly learned for our team. I can’t tell you how many times we had to pivot or move on so we could stay on track. Early on, our developer dropped off the team. I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with a developer, but we pushed forward. We wanted to interview some people, but time didn’t allow it. Time also didn’t allow for usability testing, which we’d conduct next in order to get it in front of users and iterate upon that feedback.

03. Managing your time

In regard to projects and tasks, I’m usually a bit of an analytical and methodical person. However, a hackathon time frame taught me to trust my gut and keep moving through the process. Spending too much time on one part of the puzzle wouldn’t allow for dedication to other parts. Once we had an idea of the big picture for our product, it was helpful to refocus on this vision. If something didn’t work, you moved on and adapted. This rapid timeframe closely mimics design sprints, but in an even more condensed time. If I can handle this, I’m more than capable of working in regular design sprints over a few weeks.

Final thoughts

Would I do it again? Absolutely! Despite the lack of sleep, it really pushed me out of my comfort zone and it was rewarding to see the end result come so quickly to us in a short amount of time. I’m interested to see where this concept and idea could be taken after the hackathon. There are many things I’d love to explore, like the provider’s experience of earning badges for legitimacy and credibility.