People who decide to take care for their relatives at home in the long term are often faced with various bureaucratic problems and miss financial and organizational support.
CURA is a conversational agentive application that assists nursing relatives in their first administrative steps of home care. By connecting the family caregiver to all relevant institutions and guiding him through bureaucratic matters in an efficient and trustful way, the agentive bot simplifies organizational tasks that home care implies and thereby relieves the nursing relatives.
The project is the outcome of a design project in collaboration with a group of nursing students at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. Our final team consisted of three design students and one nursing student.
Supervision: Prof. Matthias Edler-Golla, Prof. Florian Petri
(University of Applied Sciences, Fakulty of Design)
My work: User research, app concept, visual design and interface design in collaboration with the other team members, animated concept movie
Time Scope: April – July 2017
How could technology be used to solve some problems of the health care system in Germany?
USER AND DESK RESEARCH
By means of an extensive research about health care and by conducting several interviews with nursing relatives and professional caregivers, we came across many difficulties and pain points that exist in the field of home care.
Receiving Financial Resources
Organizing Care Products
Organizing medical Supply
In order to learn more about our target group and transform the collected data from the interviews and our desk research into solutions later, we synthesized our observations and developed a key question for our project:
"How might we create a supportive application for nursing relatives that minimizes the bureaucratic complexity of initializing home care by guiding the user through all organizational tasks in a trustful way?"
EXPLORING USE CASES
Every nursing case is individual and every caregiving person is in a different state of organizing home care when getting in contact with CURA. But still, there are some recurring processes that occur when a person becomes a nursing case.
Based on different initial situations and use cases that might occur when a person becomes a nursing case, it was time to define the function range of our application.
The idea of CURA is based on a conversational chatbot interface that provides and organizes forms of application and suggests the next steps in setting up home care. It connects the caregiver to all stakeholders and involved institutions and keeps track of appointments and due dates. CURA contains all relevant administrative information that caregivers need and thereby also serves as a basic guide for the first steps in home care.
THE CHATBOT'S PERSONALITYOur goal was to create a personality for our bot that sets the suitable foundation for the interaction between our user – the caregiving person – and the application.
Regarding the serious topic and the great responsibility of the app, it was crucial to design a character that conveys trust and reliability without being too humanlike and faking omniscience. The chatbot should rather be open about its agentive and advisory limitations and point out that it can’t give emotional or medical support. In order to avoid confusion and make clear that there is not a human professional answering all the requests in real time, we decided to use an animal instead of a human character. We chose the octopus as a metaphor for a skillful and smart multitasker. CURA uses a simple and objective language, but still in a friendly manner.
DESIGNING THE CONVERSATIONTo get an idea of how the communication between the user and CURA might look like, the next step was to script a possible onboarding conversation as well as the conversation of solving one exemplary task. The main purpose of the onboarding process was to point out what the application could help with but also what it cannot give to the user, that is medical consultation and emotional support. The next step was then to let CURA find out about the users current situation by asking basic questions about the nursing case.
Our intention was to create a flexible chat system that enables the user both asking free questions and choosing from predefined options to simplify the beginning of a conversation.
Since the caregiver doesn’t use the application for entertainment purposes, the chatbot captures all the requested information in a nutshell and avoids small talk.
CURA is not only a chatbot but an assistant in filling out forms and managing correspondence, the interface also contains input fields for forms and tasks. On top of that, the user should have access to all previous documents and the bot’s activities in an extra section.
Wireframing the most relevant screens of the application was crucial to get an idea of how integrating all the functionality into the main chat interface could work while maintaining an intuitive conversation flow.
Our main target group consists of mostly female non-digital natives in the age of 40 to 65. Keeping our key user in mind, the highest premise for the visual concept was to create a clean and easy-to-use interface with consciously placed visual elements that make the interaction pleasurable.