Redesign the service at at the Children’s Inpatient Department Waiting Room to improve families' waiting experience
During my research internship at NUS HCI Lab, Singapore, I did independent research at a children's inpatient department in my free time, whose waiting room received lots of complaints. I redesigned the service and proposed my ideas to the waiting room manager 🎉
2019.9 - 2019.11 (2months)
The Waiting Room in the Children’s Impatient Department in NUS received many complaints on its services, e.g., long waiting time, confusing status. This drove me to take a deeper look to explore what can be done to improve both parents and illed kids’ experience in a systematic way.
I redesigned the service design system for children in ill and their parents. The following storyboard shows how the new user journey is like:
I started with observation to understand the current situation. Through data collected in observation, I identified following issues that might cause unpleasant waiting experience.
Lack Entertainment Facilities
Many Obstacles in the Corridor
User Path Analysis
I analyzed the layout and user path to figure out how the current layout would affect user behaviors or experience.
To investigate deeper into what factors are negatively influencing the waiting experience of children and parents, I conducted semi-structured interviews. The questions are listed below:
User Journey Map
I used user journey map to analyze how users do, feel, and think at each step, and what are possible design opportunities.
Using affinity mapping, I summarized the key issues.
Concept1: App Design
The web app is used to help parents understand the current status as well as the entire procedure.
Concept2: Chair Redesign
I came up with two design ideas about the chair design.
Concept3: Corridor Redesign
To investigate how stakeholders (parents, children, nurses, and pharmacists) would like these ideas, I conducted interviews on 10 participants to collect their feedback. The idea of the playing room was not feasible since pharmacists mentioned they need that room for medication storage.
Prototype: App Design
I iterated the app design and created hifi-prototypes based on user feedback. I used vivid animations to depict how the hospital staff are working hard behind each stage. This kind of emotional design would hopefully ease parents' worries and help them establish empathy with the faculties.
Case1: Waiting for Initial Assessment
When waiting for the initial assessment, parents and children can check the entire procedure. With vivid animations showing the report analysis process, they could better understand the current situation.
Case 2: Waiting for the Pharmacists
By allowing users to check the diagnosis and prescription info, they could kill time and but gain a better understanding of the children's situation, which would facilitate their communications with the pharmacists.
Case 3: Notifications for Consultation
Estimated waiting time and the number of kids waiting in front would be displayed to ease parents' anxiety. By showing them the service system like the queue management system, they would have more trust with the hospital.
Prototype2: Interior Redesign
💓 Consider users’ emotional needs
Instead of designing digital games, I tried to incorporate interactive tangible games in the service system, since tangible interaction would provide better emotional comfort to kids. Also, in the app design, expressive and cute animations are used to delight people and ease their waiting experience. I think it’s important for us to care about the emotional needs of those underrepresented, not just functional ones.
📁 Clustering & Priority ranking
I was quite entangled when I initially found countless problems with the service system. I found it important to cluster the problems and prioritize the important ones in order to facilitate an effective and systematic design approach.
🚪 Both front-stage & back-stage matter
While I focused more on the front-stage redesign, e.g., using emotional design to alleviate users’ negative feelings, it is also important to redesign the back-stage of the service system and reduce the waiting time to solve the problem fundamentally.