Part of creating a ‘sticky’ digital health application that becomes a part of the user’s professional and/or personal life on a daily basis is truly understanding what their daily journey looks like. What do they experience emotionally? What are their highs and lows? When are they busy? When are they unmotivated or uncertain about what to do?
The emotional state of end users has a profound impact on their ability to use technology. If a product hasn’t been designed with this in mind, it will lead to frustration, mistrust, and poor rates of adoption. For example, consider a patient being released from the hospital after a heart attack. The patient faces a long recovery period guided by dietary restrictions, medications, exercise regimes, and a host of warning signs to watch for that could spark a quick return to the emergency room. Typically, upon discharge, patients are briefed by nursing staff, given recovery related reference material, and left to manage their own recovery. This initial period after release is a time of great stress and uncertainty for the patient.
TIP: Three Steps to Success
Here are three well-tested steps to gaining insight into an existing process during the early requirements phase:
Step 1: Model your understanding of the existing process
Step 2: Present the model to all those involved in the process. Update the model according to the feedback received. Repeat (as many times as possible).
Step 3: Pass the model back to the software designers.
Illustrating the key points and journey of your user in a clear and simple map or storyboard shifts the focus from operations and technology to the customer and explains the emotions behind each one of the actions they take.
What is a customer journey map?
A journey map provides a holistic and graphical overview of the various touch points a customer has with a product or service. It pinpoints potential user experience, security and reliability issues; in addition to identifying the factors at each touch point that may lead to a positive or negative experience. Journey maps help to minimize the odds of these issues occurring during design. They help software designers and their clients understand their user’s experience at each step along the process and shift focus from operations to the user and explain the emotions behind each one of the actions they take.