General Assembly User Experience Design Course Final Project - Mini Miracles
For the final project under General Assembly's User Experience Design Course, I chose to research on breastfeeding for mummies as the project topic. There were 2 main reasons why I chose this topic. Firstly it was because being a new dad I saw a lot of changes and challenges faced by my wife and that of my friends around me as first time parents. And secondly parenting itself is a huge topic so I narrowed the scope of discussion to breastfeeding.
The original hypothesis I had was that this
Mummies need to find a clean and safe place to breastfeed in public easily because it is important to breastfeed the baby safely when needed.
In other words, mummies need to find a clean nursing room fast when baby needs to feed.
As we are not our design's users and I am not a mummy, I decided to take the route of open discussion to find out about first time mummies' breastfeeding journeys, their challenges and confirm for myself if finding nursing room is indeed a problem.
So I went to find and recruited 6 first time mummies who are either currently breastfeeding or have done so until within the past 2 years. For each mummy, we spent about 45 minutes on semi-structured interviews to discuss their issues, joys and tears in the breastfeeding journeys. Consent was sought and obtained for voice recording of the interviews, but physical notes were taken to allow mummies space and having a safe environment to express their thoughts.
Through the user interviews with the 6 mummies, I got insight to their world of breastfeeding, and crystalised the following outcomes.
Mummies are motivated to breastfeeding for three main reasons.
to establish unique bond with baby
for babies to be healthy
to reduce costs buying milk powder
And that currently mummies leverage on an unstructured support system to learn about breastfeeding - be it from hospitals (lactation consultants, doctors and pre-natal courses), family, friends and post-natal masseuse or Google - our best friend.
Some notable quotes from the mummies include
It’s amazing to know that you have tiny beings who can’t do without you.
Cost of formula (milk) is crazy!
experience shared by LC (lactation consultant) managed expectations
And where is the concern about nursing room? The interview data is presented below.
I used affinity mapping to analyse the interview data collected, and the concern about nursing rooms took up less than a fifth of the interview data. As I went through the interviews with mummies, it was clear that finding nursing rooms is the least of concerns - some mummies who had concerns finding clean nursing rooms would pre-plan their journeys; other mummies who did not have concerns did not mind how bad the nursing rooms are because they will just bite the bullet and use it for that few minutes.
Instead, what was mainly talked about was the challenges in learning about breastfeeding, and how information given obtained in an unstructured manner created noise, and confusion in the learning process. In other instances, some mummies miss out on information they ought to know, and in the rest of it, mummies fail to identify medical conditions in babies early. So it's the breastfeeding learning journey itself that needs to be addressed.
Thus, I created a new hypothesis based on the interview data collected:
Mummies need to improve the breastfeeding journey because they also need to take care of the emotional aspect and helping mummies to understand what to expect
In other words, building a companion application for mummies to improve their breastfeeding journey may be an enhancement to improve mummies' roles.
Based on the new hypothesis as well as the interview data collected, 2 persona were created.
First persona was Joanne, who is a new first time mummy undergoing confinement and determined to breastfeed.
Second persona was Jacqueline, who is a first time pregnant mummy in her third trimester, wanting to be prepared for breastfeeding her baby.
I also went looking around current applications and services in the market which provided similar services to the companion app. The competitor analysis was done mainly on direct competitors since the indirect competitors would largely be the current infrastructure that supports mummies learning journey and peer support system.
As at the time of this project, none of the competitors seek to explicitly provide emotional support to mummies. Thus, the unique selling point of Mini Miracles is to create a user experience for mummies to get emotional support alongside the time which mummies learn about breastfeeding, the process of experimenting and going through this phase of parenting together.
For the second half of the project, I did analysis of features prioritization, wireframing, skinning and designing the application. I used a few tools to help me in performing these tasks, such as
using AdobeXD for drawing the UI and prototype
using MiroBoard/ 2x2 matrix to prioritise the features for the MVP design
using OptimumSorts to do card sorting on content categorisation
using Adobe Color Wheel to help select colours for the application
You're welcomed to see the hi-fi mock up using this link.
A full presentation of the project can be viewed here.
And since I know iOS programming, I will be moving on to develop this project into a live application as a personal hobby!