This is Rebecca. She and I have been friends for twenty years. A few years ago, her mom was diagnosed with cancer in the fall. By March, her mom was gone.
The Caregiven team is a small, scrappy, heartfelt startup consisting of eight people who have experienced devastating loss and responsibility in their past.
Rebecca (the CTO) asked me to help out during my summer break from teaching in 2021.
Target Audience: The audience for the Caregiven app is anyone who is in a role providing physical, social, emotional, or financial support to an adult loved one with a physical, mental, age-related, or potentially life-limiting condition or disability.
Objectives: Caregiven didn't have any design professionals on the team, and asked me to evaluate accessibility needs and address the non-functional aspects of their UI, specifically in their dark mode.
My Role: I joined on to help identify and solve the accessibility needs of their users. Research demonstrated that 27% of their users were consistently using dark mode but expressed that it wasn't meeting their needs.
Guiding User Questions
I used my family as user testers on the existing product, taking notes and gathering data. I also spent my time learning about accessibility parameters.
Who is using dark mode, and when?
I know accessibility is a big issue, what parameters do I need to meet? What are current standards?
Questions for the Team
I gathered data from the Caregiven team as well, learning about their process and tools, and their needs and pain points.
What constraints do I need to stay within for the engineering team?
What tools are being used by the Caregiven team?
How and when are team members available for discussions?
What kinds of deliverables do they want and how?
Open Source Illustration Needs
The Caregiven team was using UnDraw to meet their illustration needs.
Using their library of illustrations, I adapted and created alternate versions of all of the open-source illustrations in current use, as well as selected future illustrations, so the colors would be less harsh and the illustrations more consistent.
Caregiven is working on acquiring partner-clients in the insurance, healthcare, and palliative care fields. They needed visuals for sales presentations.
I created mock-ups of what co-branding could look like.
I created individual versions tailored to specific multiple partner-clients.
I provided instructions on how to quickly adapt the mockups with new logos for future partnerships.
Making sure I left the team with enough resources and assets to move forward without me was a priority.
I left them with clear notes, helping them identify multiple areas of inconsistency in their design system.
I created a color chart, based on the original color scheme. I left extensive notes on design decisions in Figma, so they had reference materials. This left them with options for future needs.
Outcomes & Learnings
The Caregiven team and I feel great about the partnership. I provided the following:
a path forward for accessibility improvements.
design suggestions to improve usability and attractiveness.
a library of illustrations for dark mode.
flexible resources for use in their cobranding sales pitches.
Being out of the private sector for so long, there were a lot of processes and apps I didn't have experience with.
I was able to teach myself Figma during summer break.
I logged experience with Jira and using a CMS management system.
I accomplished research on open-source illustrations.
I found and used research on more realistically diverse populations in illustrations.
I learned about and applied accessibility standards for digital design.