Fovi - A Mobile App for Postpartum Support
Working with Fovi Health, an SMS-based postpartum support startup, we designed a mobile app to track users’ symptoms and support these users with advice and coach calls. This was a group project for Product Design Studio at UC Berkeley School of Information in the fall of 2018.
5 - Designer Team
My Responsibilities within the Team
Designed and moderate the visual identity
Designed the Homepage and the Professional Assessment Experience
Created an animated mockup
Why Postpartum Support Is Important in The U.S.?
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a depression that lasts longer and more severe than “baby blue,” a common experience of worry, sadness, and tiredness after giving birth. In the U.S., nearly 1 in 5 American mothers suffer from PPD. However, only 15% of these mothers received professional help. How do we design an mobile experience that supports more mother experiencing PPD?
Current State of Fovi
Fovi is an early-stage postpartum support startup. It launched a limited SMS-based pilot in the Bay Area, and it was looking for high-level guidance on symptom tracking for future development.
Fovi aims to provide digital postpartum coaching service that helps women with their physical and emotional well-being after childbirth. It will work with medical professions to deliver relevant information over SMS and provide health coaching sessions over the phone.
Design a high-level mobile solution with high fidelity mockup that enable new parents to effortlessly log (and health coaches to effectively track) symptoms for common postpartum conditions for future development.
Effortlessly receive the support they need without taking time out of their hectic schedules caring for their new babies.
The attributes of the target users that Fovi Health is aiming to support are listed below.
Pilot Data from Client
Our client had provided us with a spreadsheet of data from the SMS chat history, coaching calls information, and user feedback from their pilot. With the data from the pilot, we created a synthesis that displays different kinds of postpartum symptoms and the response (advice, coaching call, etc.) from Fovi to see what we can develop from.
Welcoming and Supportive Environment
Through the chat, personal coaches regularly check in with warm greetings and respond with words of encouragement. These records suggest that constant support is one of the core value of Fovi.
Trustworthy and Professional Messages
Trust is important for counseling. During the SMS service and coaching sessions, the personal coaches would reference study to support their advice. They would also provide external links to according article or research if the users want to learn more in detail.
Frictions between the Service and External Surveys
Sometimes when the coaches want to check in with the users, they would use Google forms to survey users' feeling or situations to refine their future advice. The experience where users have to fill the survey external and return to the texting app to continue the service seems unintuitive. Users might get distracted and not resume the following service immediately.
In addition to analyzing direct competitor for postpartum services, we also researched other apps for symptom tracking, period tracking, and depression tracking.
Through analyzing our competitors, we learned numerous ways for users to input their emotions and levels of stress and derive our own from there. Also, the black text on white background design of many of the postpartum support apps generates an impression of clinics. Thus, we decided to go against the current trend and designed an environment that is appropriate for our users to use at night according to hectic early parenting schedules.
From the result of our research, we decided to focus on designing for postpartum depression symptom tracking because postpartum depression is one of the most common problems among new parents. By concentrating on depression tracking, we were able to explore and develop the experience and the flow in greater depth through examples such as the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale.
To explore the optimal design for postpartum depression symptom tracking, we sketched out some potential features in different scenarios such as “how users log their symptoms” and “how to encourage users to continue their progress” during the first brainstorming session.
Narrowing Down The MVP
The vision of Fovi is to provide postpartum support through real-time coaching service. Building upon the text-bast pilot, we brainstormed together to explore different values that we can deliver through the mobile platform. Eight features cames out from the brainstorming session, including journal, newsfeed, community, coupons for incentive purpose. However, we decided to prioritize the core interactive features of Fovi to make sure we can design the essential experience of the product.
Text or voice input for users to constantly ask and receive feedback according to their current conditions.
Scheduled call with an assigned coach for more in-depth and personal feedback.
A system that users log their daily symptoms that allows Fovi to take more actions when the situation is worse than certain thresholds.
We used The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale to design an example of what future professional assessments will be like.
Flushing Out Ideas
After establishing the MVP of the product, we sketched out some of the common or critical features from "crazy 8" and further considered what the target users would need to affiliate their situations.
Make the Daily Check-In More Up Front
By checking in from the homepage, it would be more straightforward for users to track their conditions even when they are in a hurry.
Nuances in Chatbot/Coach Call Interaction
We illustrated the interaction of the chatbot and coach call to design a way that provides sufficient information while reducing confusion during the process.
Other Minor Changes
Besides the MVP, we added a visualization page to show users their progress to build their confidence and encourage long-term usage. We also added a FAQ page for users who want to learn more information related to their symptoms when the coaches are unavailabl
Based on the result of brainstorming, we created the proposed user flow of Fovi. The highlighted steps are the low-fidelity wireframes of the core features.
Welcoming and Frictionless Homepage
The users would be welcomed with a personal greeting and words of encouragement at their first use of Fovi every day. They can also log their symptoms, which can be customized according to different conditions, right on the homepage to reduce the friction from the pilot.
Comprehensive Ask Feature with Followup Actions
To reduce the back and forth within the app, we designed the ask feature as an inclusive environment where the coaches can schedule coaching calls, suggest professional surveys, or shows the users with positive progress reports in the ask feature. Not only the users are given more actions to follow, but they can also save any feedback that they feel useful to read in the future.
Professional Yet Vibrant Assessment
The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale was designed to be an example for other future professional assessments. Given that surveys are often severe and rigid, the goal of the design is to engage users with dynamic visuals and animations.
After we presented the concept and high-fidelity mockup to the client and the class, we received the following feedback:
“I love the visual design and colors because of how it is considerate for its target users"
“I really like the emphasis on reducing the amount of information on the homepage where users can track their symptoms directly”
"The word of encouragement would be a nice touch for these users. Some of the responses from our user-testing showed that sometimes all the users need is support rather than actual advice."
Client — Chelsea Vargas, Founder of Fovi
“Overall this is a great effort around a hard and real problem. The visual and motion design is excellent. I really liked the solution around having one tracker to begin with, and the ability to add more — I think that will be very effective.”
“I also appreciate the consistent prioritization of trustworthy medical information, and the caution around potentially confusing bots and humans.”
From the Instructor — James Reffell, Instructor & Design Director at Clever
It was great to design for Fovi because postpartum support is an important and relevant issue in the states. It helps to learn that designing for people with sensitive emotions is often difficult to execute. By focusing on the holistic aspect of app design, we were able to rapidly iterate our ideas throughout the process.
Focus on the essentials that the users need
There are many aspects of postpartum support that we wanted to tackle throughout the process. However, we were able to create a holistic design solution by prioritizing Fovi's core interactions which the users can benefit from the most. Features like rewards or journal might help the users in the future, but they are ineffective without the MVP.
Designing for specific situations
By targeting postpartum depression, we could dive deeper into the user scenarios and elaborate our solution through user flow and interface design. We explored the particular case in more details such as the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale and exemplified such condition for the other postpartum issues.
Divide and concur while being consistent
Working with designers allowed us to allocate resources into different aspects of a product with similar levels of skill sets. Yet, it still required frequent communication to keep the visual style and interface design consistent in the early development stage.
The project would have been more comprehensive and considerate if we could perform user testing through the iterations. Overall, it was a valuable experience to design for such a sensitive yet essential issue for other people.