Baby Nursing Redesign
Karen is laying propped up in a hospital bed—she just gave birth. Her body is stretched and sore, and she hasn’t slept in days. She is in awe of the tiny creature lying in her arms, and it seems like nursing would be the most natural thing in the world. But, it isn’t. Noah isn’t latching on right. Every time he eats he falls asleep after ten minutes. She usually falls asleep too. She can’t remember the last time she nursed or which side she was on. The nurse is there asking Karen how many times she’s fed Noah in the last six hours and she doesn’t have the foggiest idea.
Our project centered around re-designing an app that would help Karen, and all new mothers, through the challenging transition of bringing home a new born. We conceived this idea as part of a quarter-long class project in HCDE 518: User Centered Design, one of my Master’s Degree classes. This project was to do a re-design using best practices in user research. So, we began by looking at a newborn nursing app: BabyNursing.
Our goals were to redesign and re-position the app to increase downloads, increase engagement, and improve usability. We decided to conduct research activities that would help us understand what new moms needed and wanted as they began nursing. We also wanted to see live responses to Baby Nursing and other nursing apps. As we conducted our research we identified numerous ways to achieve our goals.
To gather data, we began with a set of interviews to identify existing pain points these new moms were experiencing and to build a picture of what life was like for these new moms. We did field and phone interviews with 13 new moms, four of which were conducted in-home.
Following this, each group member took to the drawing board and designed a prototype app to address the key issues uncovered from our research. Coming back together, we looked at and refined each of the prototypes, and put them all into InVision, an online prototyping tool.
With four prototypes in hand, we went back out to conduct usability tests. We tested our four prototypes with three new moms and one healthcare provider and based on their feedback, came up with a final design that focused on simplicity and the key tools new mothers really needed.
This design focused on quick access to recording feedings, and a simplified, one page interface (rather than the scrolling interface BabyNursing previously used).
As a group project, obviously I was not the driver of every aspect of what we did. This was a group of professionals already in the field, so we quickly found a good balance of roles and distributed work effectively. There are three main roles I took during the project:
- Technical Writer. As a strong writer and with a background in document design and technical writing, I took a key role in designing and editing the four written reports we produced as part of this project. Although we all contributed to the content, I took that content and created the Final Report.
- User Researcher. Each of us went out and did user research, interviewing new moms, designing prototypes, and testing them with users.
- PowerPoint Designer. Unlike the written projects, we all had a hand in designing parts of the PowerPoint, so I cannot take credit for the entire design. However, I did have a key role in taking the initial designs and pulling together a final product. I designed animations to help convey ideas more clearly and engage the audience and brought a consistent and clean design to the entire slide deck.
- Presenter. We each took a role in presenting a piece of the presentation. Ashby presented the opening story (we felt that would be more powerful coming from a mom), and Conrado, Jim, and I presented the findings and our design choices based on those findings.