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A comprehensive service design concept to enhance mental well-being and foster companionship among senior citizens.

Well-being 
Mobile Application

Concept: Yara, born from years of observing the elderly, is a service dedicated to providing companionship for their mental well-being. Through frequent in-person interactions and engaging motivational activities, Yara aims to create a supportive environment that fosters happiness and a sense of belonging among seniors.

Team: 3 member team  /  My role: Product Designer  /  Duration: 8 weeks  /  Tools: Figma, Adobe XD, Illustrator 

The users >

Elderly individuals in India, aged 60 and above, contend with loneliness and a lack of motivation, significantly impacting their overall well-being.

Problem Statement >

How might we provide efficient support that caters to physical limitations and combat loneliness in the older demographic, enabling them to find renewed purpose and motivation in life?

Seniors aged 60 and above seek aid in physically demanding tasks, facing mental health challenges from loneliness, affecting purpose and motivation.

The Solution >

A service that connects seniors with younger companions for assistance in daily tasks, errands, and engaging activities, fostering companionship and purpose in life.

Quick peak into the solution >

Warm and welcoming brand persona 
to establish a more relatable and familiar connection with our elderly audience. 

Brand Persona

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Icebreaker games to bridge the generation gap with the old-school newspaper games and the hip Pictionary fun!

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One-on-one interactions; cultivating a vibrant community through a one-day event for bonding and connecting locally with like-minded peers.

Welcome hamper, to make the service feel approachable, especially for the elderly, who may sometimes feel a bit out of place in the midst of changing surroundings. 

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Welcoming Space, that resonates with our cherished audience, providing them with a comforting and reassuring presence in the face of evolving environments.

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Well-being 
Mobile Application

Affirmations

Users receive a fresh affirmation each time they open the app, aiming to uplift and inspire them, fostering resilience and determination.

Daily To-Do list

Buddies create daily to-do lists, adjustable by users or guardians, fostering activity and organization, promoting engagement and purpose.

Health update

Users will be prompted to input information concerning various aspects of their well-being, including breathing exercises, workouts, water intake, sleep patterns, and meals. 

Reminders

The user or the guardian can set up reminders to complete daily tasks like taking medicines.

Live sessions and activities

Scroll down to see the detailed process

Scroll to see case study

Understanding the problem space

To gain a deeper understanding of the issue, I conducted secondary research and engaged in observations. Delving further into online resources provided access to a wealth of studies highlighting the diminished quality of life experienced by elders in India as a result of social isolation and loneliness.

‘Loneliness’ and ‘social isolation’ are strongly associated with higher rates of physical illness, increased psychological distress, and mortality, leading to a lowered quality of life in the older population.

One-third of the elderly population of India suffer from depression with females preponderance.

One may prefer “solitude,” but no one voluntarily chooses “loneliness” and/or “social isolation:” the silent killers that our elderly have to face!

Secondary research 
and observations insights

The proportion of elders living independently in India increased from 9% to 19% in just over a decade

34% of the elderly suffer undiagnosed mental health issues.

User Interview Insights

To pinpoint the exact issue, I conducted five semi-structured interviews with participants aged 60 and above, all residing alone in a metropolitan area. This endeavor illuminated several emotionally sensitive aspects of the problem at hand.

User Interview Insights

“At this age, all we need is a person who listens, reciprocates, and enjoys having a conversation with for a brief period.”

“Due to the fear of being scammed, I tend to avoid going out and interacting with many new people.”

“While my kids have graciously managed everything from a distance, the quiet moments can sometimes feel a bit too silent. The presence of youthful company would undoubtedly bring a delightful change to my day”

“A simple, planned activity helps me stay motivated throughout the day.”

Problems Discovered

The Essential Need for Connection and Companionship

Longing for connection and companionship, whether through heartfelt talks or shared pastimes becomes a necessity, filled with emotional significance and well-being.

Navigating Daily Challenges

Everyday tasks evolve into formidable challenges, encompassing everything from running errands to managing household chores and preparing meals.

Prioritizing Safety

Safety, both physical and mental, is a paramount concern when welcoming strangers into one's life, particularly in the later stages of life.

Final Problem Statement

How might we provide efficient support that caters to physical limitations and combat loneliness in the older demographic, enabling them to find renewed purpose and motivation in life?

Constructing the solution

Ideation and Brainstorming

Before reaching the final concept, I employed various ideation methods such as brain dumping, crazy 8s, mood boarding, and storyboarding. These techniques allowed me to explore a wide range of ideas and identify the most relevant solution for the previously identified problem. 

The Concept

A service that provides assistance to senior citizens by helping them connect with a younger age group. Elderly sitters will be available to help them tackle challenging everyday activities, including running errands. This service will ensure that the seniors have companions who will accompany them throughout the day, engaging in activities like friendly chats and card games to promote a sense of companionship and well-being.

Understating the customer journey

Upon finalizing the service concept, I crafted customer journey maps spanning from initiation to completion, encompassing three stages of interaction with the service. This exercise allowed for a thorough exploration of the concept, enabling the identification of key touchpoints and offerings. Throughout this process, I uncovered numerous aspects of the service and brand that could significantly augment value and elevate the overall customer experience.

Scenario 1: Shobha feels a little lonely all alone at home. As she has spondylosis due to old age, calls nearby kids or the neighbors to assist her with some difficult tasks. She has trouble understanding technology and thus stays away from it. She looks for some company to attend an event or run some daily errands. 

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Touch point #1

Brand Persona

Warm and welcoming brand persona 
to establish a more relatable and familiar connection with our elderly audience. 

  • Thoughtful logo: The dominant element of the logo is a comma. Indicating the initiation of a conversation (Dear, ) along with that it also depicts a conversation that might have a few pauses (commas) but is never-ending. 

  • Optimistic, Inspiring and Calming color palette

  • Profession yet friendly font: The rounded edges and a semi-bold stroke give a more soft and approachable feel.

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Touch point #2

Welcome Hamper

The hamper serves as a heartfelt welcome gesture to the community, symbolizing the beginning of the user's journey with the service. Presented to the user upon sign-up, the hamper comprises essential documents, a tote bag serving as a cherished souvenir, a small plant symbolizing health and vitality, and a set of icebreaker games designed to facilitate engaging conversations during buddy visits.

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Scenario 2: Shobha has signed up for the service. She is waiting for the buddy visit. She has not logged in to the app as she is not very comfortable with technology.

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Scenario 2:Shobha has signed up for the service. She is waiting for the buddy visit. She has not logged in to the app because she is uncomfortable with technology.

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Touch point #3

Ice Breaker Kit

As the name suggests these games are designed to help the buddy and the client interact. The idea behind introducing such games is to bridge the generation gap with the old-school newspaper games and the hip Pictionary fun!

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Scenario 2: Shobha has signed up for the service. She is waiting for the buddy visit. She has not logged in to the app as she is not very comfortable with technology.

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Scenario 3: A day in Shobha's life - Stays alone and does not always have pre-planned events.

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Touch point #4

Wellness App

The Yara user group encompasses not just the elderly but also their children and caregivers, all of whom will make use of this application. It will serve as a central hub for providing timely updates on buddy visits, monitoring the mental health status of the elderly, and announcing various events organized by the Yara community. While the application has the potential to cater to multiple customer segments, for the scope of this project, my focus has been on one key demographic: the Elderly. Accordingly, the application prototype has been meticulously tailored to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Task Flow
I kicked off the app development process by identifying crucial tasks performed within the application and proceeded to create detailed task flows. This strategic approach facilitated the creation of a seamless navigation experience, ensuring smooth task completion for users. You can view the task flows provided here.

Information Architecture 
After meticulously outlining the smaller tasks, I proceeded to develop the Information Architecture to visualize the app's structure and flow. This step allowed for a comprehensive understanding of how various components and features interconnect within the application.

While embracing an iterative design approach, I crafted wireframes to visually conceptualize the app's functionality, placing a strong emphasis on a user-centric design philosophy. These wireframes served as the foundation for a round of usability testing aimed at concept validation and gathering user perspectives on the application.

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Insights from the Usability testing

The testing incorporated two methods:
 

  1. Semi-structured interviews for introducing and validating concepts

  2. Moderated in-person testing sessions where users were guided through the app to provide feedback on its features.


Insights gleaned from the usability testing revealed the following:

In conclusion, the concept received widespread appreciation, with users expressing excitement about the various touchpoints offered by the brand.

The final Visual design

Following the initial round of user tests, I implemented changes based on the insights gathered, refining the user experience to better meet the needs and preferences of our audience. With these adjustments in mind, I proceeded to develop the user interface, ensuring a seamless and intuitive interaction for users as they engage with the application.

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Daily Affirmations

A new affirmation will be displayed every time the user opens the application. This will help them stay motivated throughout the day.

Health update

User has to enter information regarding the following, breathing exercise, workout, water intake, sleep, and meals to help users maintain and track mental and physical health.

Today will be a productive day!

Today is a phenomenal day!

I wake up motivated!

Daily To Do

A to-do list will be created by the buddy on the day of the visit. The user or the guardian can add/edit tasks. They can also create the list on daily basis. This help organize the activities and encourage the user to stay active.

Reminders

The user or the guardian can set up reminders to complete daily tasks like taking medicines.

Calendar

A calendar marked with buddy visits and Yara events and activities.

Stay connected to your buddy

Track live location during visit hrs.

Multilingual

The app will be available in local languages too, to cater to the multilinguistic population of India.  

That's it!

Thank you.

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