A Place Like Home

A Place Like Home

Device display imac macbook ipad

Objective

Develop an easy-to-navigate application to aid in the search for alternative living arrangements, including transitional, nursing, rehabilitation, group, and memory care housing. The focus is to bring more ease to a difficult decision-making process.

The first step in design thinking is empathy. How are these users feeling as they search for a home for a loved one, or acquaintance, or even a client? Since there are few resources available, it isn’t hard to imagine a fair amount of stress and frustration. I interviewed people who needed to find a home for elderly relatives, someone who needed a home for an older developmentally disabled child, and someone who needed transitional care after surgery. I knew from past experience that finding memory care and rehabilitation housing can be difficult as well. These scenarios were used to inform the categories of housing choices.

Userflow

I want to make sure users have plenty of options, so they can choose to create an account and/or allow location access. It is possible to use the app without designating either of those choices. I also want to make sure they are aware of where they are at all times, so there is an alert when they are leaving the app for state resources and external links. I also include a sign out confirmation.

User Stories

  • As a user, I want to be able to find a comprehensive list of alternative homes for a loved one or for my clients.
  • As a user, I want to be able to view ratings, reviews, and any complaints filed with the state or province in which it is located.
  • As a user, I want to be able to view pricing and estimate the costs based on various options, including additional services.
  • As a user, I want to be able to see statistics about this home, including the number of residents and the resident/staff ratio.
  • As a user, I want to be able to see details of this home including photos and videos of what it looks like both inside and outside.

Usability Testing Objectives

I tested mid-fidelity screens on 6 users and received valuable feedback, some of which I incorporated into the final UI. The tasks given the user were:

  • search for their choice of alternative home
  • filter by amenities
  • save a search
  • access outside resources

User Feedback

“I like that the main amenities are listed this way. It’s easy to quickly read.”

“Saved Searches is a great feature! I use this a lot for house hunting, and it’s a god send.”

“I think these filters are more like preferences. Maybe rename them?”

“Great idea for your app, seriously. I wish this was something that existed years ago for me. It’s such an important tool.”

Hi-fidelity User Interface Designs

Mockups

Project deliverables included both Android and iOS designs.

style guide colors and font

Summary

While researching for this project I was somewhat astonished to find that there is very little technology available to aid in the search for alternative housing. Other than state and county resources, people seem to be left to finding resources via word of mouth, physical visits, or paying for a consultant. It seems to me that we could ease the burden on caregivers by creating something more streamlined, if only for preliminary research. This study is one that I intend to develop and try to make available in the future.

Link to prototype may be found here: https://invis.io/XVVVDPLJEW9

Project duration: 10 weeks.