Accommodating
Emotions

Fovi Health - A Postpartum Support App

Role

Product Designer

Responsibilities

Visual Identity, Check-In (Homepage), Professional Assessment Experience, Animated Mockup

Teammates

Devin Huang, Peter Wasserman, Qian Yu, Yejun Wu

Duration

4 Weeks

Overview

Working with Fovi Health, an SMS-based postpartum support startup, we designed a high-level mobile solution that provides tailored support and feedback via chatting and calling personal coaches for postpartum parents. Minimizing the effort and friction of symptom tracking and professional assessment, Fovi Health will be able to provide a welcoming and trustworthy environment for its users. It was a group design project at UC Berkeley in the fall of 2018.

View Final Result
The Problem

Postpartum support is neglected in the U.S.

Illustrative Image

“You can think of [pregnancy] like a wrapped candy. Once the candy is out, nobody cares about the wrapper.”
— Chelsea, Fovi Health founder, on the need for postpartum care

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. In addition to the lack of medical support, postpartum mothers often have difficulty voicing intimate physical or mental issues to others.

The Client

Fovi Health, an early-stage startup looking for a solution

Fovi Health aims to provide digital postpartum coaching service that helps women with their physical and emotional well-being after childbirth. They work with medical professionals to deliver appropriate information over SMS and provide health coaching sessions over mobile devices. Prior to the project, they have launched a limited SMS-based pilot in the Bay Area.

They asked our team to design a high-level mobile solution with high fidelity mockup that enables new parents to effortlessly log (and health coaches to effectively track) symptoms for common postpartum conditions for future development.

How might we design a platform for postpartum users to share their conditions and ask intimate questions comfortably?
Preliminary Research

Existing data from Fovi Health’s first pilot

Our client provided us with an anonymized spreadsheet of data from the SMS chat history, coaching calls information, and user feedback from their pilot. Based on the information form Fovi Health’s pilot, we were able to identify some key findings as well as some pain points.

Preliminary Research Insight
  • A supportive and welcoming environment

    Throughout the chat history, personal coaches regularly checked-in via warm greetings and respond with words of encouragement. These records suggest that constant support is one of the core value propositions of Fovi Health.

  • Use of trustworthy references

    Trust is essential to 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 relevant articles or research if the users want to learn more in detail.

  • Switching between apps during the process

    In addition to linking external references, Fovi Health also used Google From to survey users’ symptoms and feelings. Based on users’ feedback, personal coaches were able to adjust their suggestions accordingly. However, the constant switching between different services could generate interrupted and distracting user journeys.

  • Habits of replying at night

    Chelsea, the founder of Fovi Health, indicated that their users often use the service at night throughout the pilot. Thus, we should also consider creating an experience that minimizes sleep disruption.

Competitive Analysis

Observing existing symptom trackers and counseling services

Because of the complexity of the proposed postpartum support product, we conducted a competitive analysis to learn how existing apps are currently solving the problem space. There are currently a variety of products that are related to the problem that we are targeting: counseling services, symptom trackers, and, of course, postpartum support apps.

Competitive Insights

Features in common

Some of the common features from these competitors are graphical trackers, in-app assessment, and various ways of communications.

Clinical appearances

Most postpartum support apps feature black text on white backgrounds, providing a clinical impression for the users.

Focusing on one use case

Utilizing depression symptom tracking as an example

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.

Design Principles

Finding balance while designing for postpartum users

Distilled from the insights of both pilot data and competitive analysis, we conclude the following design principles before we started brainstorming solutions.

  • Trustworthy yet frictionless

    While maintaining a trustworthy environment, we would also like to minimize the interruptions along with the user flow. Making symptom tracker and frequently-used professional assessment as frictionless as possible would be beneficial to the user experience.

  • Dark(ish) yet 
    welcoming

    Similar to dark mode, we would like to design an environment that is easy to the eye for users to use at night. However, dark mode is not often perceived as warm and welcoming. Thus, we would utilize supportive wording and a sightly colorful palette to ensure the core value proposition offered by Fovi Health.

Ideation

“How might we” and “Crazy 8”

To explore the solutions for postpartum depression symptom tracking and coaching services, we sketched out potential features in different scenarios such as “how might we let users log their symptoms effortlessly” or “how might we encourage users to continue their progress” during the brainstorming session.

Brainstorming session for user flow

Crazy 8 of “how might we let users log their symptoms effortlessly”
Ideation of “how might we encourage users to continue their progress”
Ideation of “how might we encourage users to continue their progress”
Scoping Down

Delivering an MVP within two weeks

With a variety of brainstormed features like journals and community forum, we decided to scope the product down to an MVP that was executable in two weeks. We prioritized the following features based on the core value propositions that Fovi Health aims to deliver in the future.

  • Chat with coaches

    Based on their preference, users can use text or voice to ask questions and receive feedback about their current conditions.

  • Coach Call

    Users can schedule calls with an assigned coach for more in-depth and personal feedback.

  • Symptom Tracking

    Users can log their conditions and symptoms into the platform so that the coaches can provide proper advice accordingly.

  • Assessment

    When the users’ conditions require professional assessments, they can fill the survey within the app.

  • Daily Advice

    Users can receive daily advice according to their conditions when they open the app.

  • Progress Report

    Users can check how they are doing over time through a progress report based on their symptom trackers.

User Testing

Evaluating with low-fidelity mockups

After sketching out some low-fidelity wireframes, we conducted some user testings with our classmates and designer from the industry. Most of the feedback were targeting the homepage and the chatbot feature.

Initial User Flow
User Feedback

Unnecessarily long process 

Iteration

Make the daily check-in more up front

Final Results

Visual identity designed for nightly usage

  • Creating a brighter environment with additional colors
    Based on users’ behaviors, we designed a visual system with a dark color palette to limit sleep disruption. While dark mode doesn’t suggest a friendly atmosphere, we mixed the palette some brighter colors to make the platform seems more welcoming and dynamic.
  • Minimal initial personal greeting
    To prevent information overload, they would only see a personal greeting and words of encouragement when users open the app.
  • Prioritizing "Ask" in the navigation tab
    Besides daily check-in, we prioritize the “Ask” feature because communicating with personal coaches will be the most frequently-used service for Fovi Health.

Effortless and rewarding symptom logging

  • Customizable symptom trackers
    There are different graphical trackers for different symptoms. If users want to log additional symptoms, they are able to add more trackers as well.
  • Daily advice based on users' progress
    Users are able to log their conditions one at a time right from the homepage. The daily advice would also be costumed to their current progress.

Comprehensive and actionable “Ask” feature

  • Actionable messenger to reduce switching between apps
    To minimize the disruption during counseling, we designed an actionable communication tool. From scheduling coaching calls, suggesting professional assessment, to showing positive progress report, the users don’t have to switch between apps to get appropriate services.

Lighting up the professional assessment experience

  • Creating a less jarring assessment experience
    Given that medical surveys are often jarring and lengthy, we designed a surveying experience that engages users with dynamic visuals and animations.
  • Explicit instructions to gain trust from the users
    We also want to make sure that the instruction is explicit and provide the options to learn more to prevent confusion and gain trust from the users.
Final Feedback

Considerate, aesthetically pleasing, and a step in the right direction

“I love the visual design and colors because of how it is considerate for its target users. 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 supports rather than actual advice.”
— Chelsea Vargas, Founder of Fovi Health
“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.”
— James Reffell, Instructor & Design Director at Clever
Retrospective

Learning from designing for Fovi Health

It was great to design for Fovi Health because postpartum support is an important and relevant issue in the states. The process helps me 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 iterate our ideas throughout the process rapidly.

Focus on the essentials that the users need

It was great to design for Fovi Health because postpartum support is an important and relevant issue in the states. The process helps me 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 iterate our ideas throughout the process rapidly.

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 conquer while being consistent

Working with designers allowed us to allocate resources into different aspects of a product with similar levels of skill sets. It required frequent communication to keep the visual style and interface design consistent in the early development stage.

Group photo with Chelsea, CEO of Fovi Health