Homebridge provides home care and support services in San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Working with Futuredraft, Capital One and other designers, I helped Homebridge improve access to caregivers through their website by identifying key problems with the site and making it more accessible to their users.
Role: UX and UI designer
Team: Ankita, Hannah, Rebecca, Beth, Diane, Anna, Maya, Beate
Process: understand the problem and client needs, design research, developing personas, concept generation, define key ideas, design flow of site, design screens, present pitch
Time Taken: 2 Days
My role was helping Homebridge define their problems, generate potential features and design wireflows for features we wanted to implement on the website. Other team mates prepared the presentation and the specific structure of the new site.
- I came up with the customer support wireflows and an online organization platform available for the admins on the site.
- I created storyboards and wire frames of potential website interface for the profile pages to have an understanding of how care seekers were to interact and view the site.
Homebrige online is a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality home care and supportive services that assist the elderly and people with disabilities to live safely and independently in their homes. Currently, the website is very flat and not intuitive in terms of finding information on care seeks and care givers.
Homebridge matches caregivers who have trained in their program with clients who need their services but don't qualify for Medi-Cal. It is difficult for this population to afford in-home care, and Homebridge would like to more effectively match them up with their caregivers.
- Trust and continuity of care are very important for this population- what can we do to reinforce those online?
- It is difficult for people to find information about Homebridge. How can we better guide people to the site?
- There is only one person (Sarah), who manages the site and listens to customers through phone calls, but this is because the website is not the most intuitive in terms of navigation so Sarah has to personally help each customer.
Before coming up with ideas for the website design, we needed to keep these objectives in mind:
- Determine what services to offer online
- Define new features which would improve their offerings
- Improve the user experience (UX) of the website
While coming up with ideas, we were aware of two things:
- Homebridge is a non-profit. We needed to come up with a lightweight solution that won't need a lot of maintenance.
- Scalability of the website and of staff and resources.
In order to start re-designing the website, we needed to understand how the current website worked and its features.
We listed the steps/features users used based on on whether they were a care seeker or a care giver. We also listed roles of our stakeholder, Sarah, as well as care seekers and care givers so we could have a better understanding of the problems they were facing and how the new website design could mediate that.
Problems care seekers had was that most of them did not know how to navigate through the site due to their old age and/or disability and often needed assistance from their friends and family. This led to people contacting Sarah, the head of the site, to help them get a caregiver as soon as possible. On Sarah's side this was challenging in that she wasn't always available to answer all the calls and messages that would accumulate.
The website is supposed to mediate the issue of finding a caregiver but due to the appearance of the website, it is hard to access and navigate.
Establishing goal of site and brand
Once we had an idea of the current website and goal, we created a new goal to improve the flow of the site for care seekers and care givers as that was a major problem stated by our stakeholders and mapping out the overall problem in relation to their goals.
We also came up with brand words we wanted to be able to convey through through the UI of website design.
How might we improve access to caregivers through the Homebridge website?
As a team, we defined the jobs and pain points of care givers and care seekers by listening to what our stakeholders in Homebridge had to say regarding their experiences with customers.
We then came up with features together. We also defined the present state of the website to use as a reference for re-designing the new website and created personas to help guide us in designing the site for its different users.
We created personas to gain a better idea of who we were designing for, as well as to never leave the user out of the design process. This is so we do not forget our main users when creating the final product.
Care givers and care seekers have very different needs so it was important to be aware of them when designing the different portals on the website.
With our stakeholders from Homebridge, we split into groups to talk to one of the stakeholders on generating a wireflow for different parts of the website.
One of the main problems was that the admin of the site was constantly taking phone calls, so I designed a calling system where the user calling the admin of the site would be taken through a flow of autocalls based on the problem they had, and if they were still stuck, the call would be rerouted to the admin. This is so that the cost of calls would be reduced as well as give the admin time to do other tasks.
After generating basic ideas of what the website were to look like, we started defining and re positioning features based on previous feedback from customers. We focused mainly on the hierarchy of features because there was a lack of it in the old website.
The features that customers liked in the old site was the video feature, where care receivers could watch videos about their potential care givers. Other features that didn't exist in the old website is a chat bot to help guide users through the site and a self assessment page where care givers could assess care takers and vice versa.
Due to constraints with time and money, we narrowed down the number of features to the bare minimum, keeping the other features as potential ideas when the site goes through its first re-design process.
Using the personas, we created the website design based on their needs as well as making the layout much more simple and intuitive for care givers and care seekers to navigate through.
By differentiating care seeker and care giver tasks, users will be able to have a better time navigating through the site depending on their needs. We also created a more efficient sign-up system where users have power over committing to their role as a care seeker or care giver on the site instead of through info call. This is so that all the customer traffic will flow through the website instead of one person.
We used big text and simple graphics to cater to the elderly who may be using the site as well as simplifying the flow of the website to make it more straightforward for both care givers and care seekers connect with each other and find the information they need in a shorter period of time without having to consult customer service.
Care giver View
Care seeker View
We established core features of the re-design that met the MVP of Homebridge's basic needs that could be implemented in the next 6 months.
We also established next steps Homebridge could take after 6 months. After the end of the design sprint, we presented our pitch to other groups at the Capital One building in San Fransisco. Homebridge liked our re-design so much that they have planned to invite us to their office and Homebrige will use the designs we created and present our ideas to their CEO and begin re-designing the website.
I learned that working under major time constraints with a lot of people can be extremely challenging, so it was important that we were able to manage our time accordingly as well as divide and conquer. Because it was a 2 day sprint, we produced a lot of work in a short period of time which could hinder the process of coming to a solution accordingly, but because we were given a major constraint, there was no time for team bonding or understanding our strengths or weaknesses, we just had to get started and see where that would take us. Though this could be a potential risk when working on a team with a lot of people, we embraced this and ended up learning about each other by working and splitting up parts of the process to collaborate with every teammate in smaller groups.
It is also very important to be transparent with one another and though this came to be challenging when I barely knew some of my teammates, I had to be clear about whether I was stuck on something or needed more clarification in order to create a cohesive solution.
Because we were working directly with our stakeholders, it made me realize the importance stakeholders play apart in the process. They were our clients and at the same time, they were working towards helping their clients through their service. As designers, it was our responsibility to guide them through the design process and being able to help them create a solution that they had a lot of ideas for, but didn't know how to create/implement it. We needed to be able to listen to their needs and at the same time, think about the overall problem and how we can help them with the solution. This meant it was essential to understand the company, their mission as well as their users.