CareNextion

The CareNextion application revolutionized the way families and caregivers support elderly and disabled loved ones. This free and easy-to-use application makes it possible to efficiently manage care coordination, regardless of where you live.

Problem

Aging Application

When Senior Community Services first came to NiceUX, their CareNextion application was about 10 years old at the time. This made updating the current design very difficult and time consuming. Not only was it inefficient and difficult to make usability improvements to the existing architecture, but when the system was initially designed by the engineer, it was done with regards to the database before the users goals.

The previous CareNextion application was built with ColdFusion on the back-end, and on the front-end with table based HTML with inline CSS for everything. This made it near impossible to efficiently and effectively maintain anything on the site.

 

Usability Concerns

We performed a baseline usability test to gauge the current state of the legacy system. We quickly found multiple serious and moderate usability issues with tasks that users performed frequently and were essential to the success for the use of the application. The time to task completion for tasks such as creating a care team (3:34 average), scheduling care tasks (8:12 average), and assigning tasks to individual care team members (2:35 average) we found unacceptable. It was quite obvious that user’s expectations on where to find information, or how to perform these tasks, went unmet.

In addition, the location-based context in which users would search for provider information, wasn’t existent. Making finding a provider to perform certain duties, like grocery delivery, was an exhaustive list of all the locations CareNextion supported. Which, at the time was the entire Minneapolis metropolitan area and outlying suburbs.

 

Poor Performance & Not Responsive

Like I mentioned above, the codebase of the previous application had a lot of weight to it and was roughly 10 years old. Even modern browsers, had trouble loading pages of content. This plays right alongside the time to task completion above. The more searching and screens a user needs to use to complete a task, the longer they are going to wait for those screens to load. And hopefully, they get what they need from visiting that screen.

One of the major goals of Senior Community Services was to ensure this application was able to be used on a wide variety of devices and screen sizes. Mainly targeting iOS and early Android devices. But if we decided to adapt the current codebase and design, the performance while poor on desktop computers with fast internet connections, would be intolerable on smaller devices with 3G connections.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 1.47.06 PM

Objective & Action

Defining The Project

Usually we like to keep cognitive impact to a minimum when changing experiences around on existing users, but CareNextion desperately needed an upgraded UI, codebase, and experience.

We started with understanding users, the content they used, and how they would like to use it. We found that users were overwhelmed with amount of options and iconography used throughout the previous application. They had a million options presented to them at any given time, when they only used two or three pieces of functionality for the majority of work they performed in the application. So we simplified it, consolidated the information they needed and presented enough to make decisions on any given screen.

We also wanted to understand what success looked like for the business. How can we measure success from a business perspective and make sure that the solution not only catered to the user’s expectations, but also was the tool the client wanted as their representative product.

Visual Design Upgrades

For the visual layer, we started with the basic components: color scheme, typography, and a few other UI elements. As we progressed through iterations of the style guide, we started trying out different options for UI components, headers, navigation and more.

The important thing to take away from here, is that we never created screen mockups. We had sketches from the concept stage to talk to the composition of screen elements, and the visual design phase was kept to understanding the UI aesthetics from a component level. This saved our client a ton of money.

Version 1.0

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Version 1.1

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Version 2.0

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Version 2.1

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Version 2.2

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Prototyping and Testing in Code

After we had a great idea of the visual and structural direction of the application, we wanted to validate our design decisions with usability testing within an Agile development environment. We focused on the primary functions of the application first so we had a solid base and evolved into prototyping the tasks listed above to ensure we were making a positive impact on usability.

Results

The final deliverable was the working application that not only reduced the time to create a care team by over two minutes (:57), it also reduced the time to schedule a care task by over 6 minutes (1:12). The residual improvements like reduced error rate increased user satisfaction and perception of brand quality, and lowered the call center requests about how to use the application to nearly nothing.