A Community For Dads.
Juneau is an online platform for dads to learn from each other and share resources on parenting.
A community for dads.
10 weeks (September 2018 - December 2018)
User research, prototyping, low & medium-fidelity wireframes, usability testing
Premera Blue Cross
Ideation Studio, MHCI+D Program
Angela Yung, Tyler La
Sketch, InVision, InDesign
Working with Premera Blue Cross, a healthcare provider in Washington and Alaska, we were first tasked with exploring the idea of how we could support caregivers throughout a health care experience.
We ended up exploring how dads navigate the identity-changing process of becoming a parent.
How might we empower new and expectant dads to improve the postpartum experience for new parents?
We created Juneau to provide an online space for new and expectant dads to connect and talk about this identity-transforming process that is becoming a father.
At its core, Juneau allows both expectant and new fathers to engage in community discussion about fatherhood. While dads are not experiencing the same physical challenges that moms are, having a child is a major life-changing event that can bring stress and uncertainty to both parents.
Juneau meets users where they are. Whether a user wants to directly message another user, or wishes to post an anonymous discussion, Juneau has several ways for users to participate.
It’s our hope that Juneau will help dads through their journey while also normalizing asking for help and talking about questions and concerns big and small.
Forums allow for topics ranging from the practical (what should I pack in my hospital overnight bag for the birth?) to the more abstract (how do I be a good dad?).
A Custom Community
Community can come in various forms, and Juneau's onboarding process ensures users get relevant questions. Besides the general forums, dads can find specific interest groups where they can ask more targeted questions and build community.
Feeling prepared as a parent is multifaceted, and our categories acknowledge that. Juneau invites users to discuss a range of issues like what to expect during pregnancy, taking care of oneself, and being a better partner.
Through our secondary research we discovered that by far the most common reason for hospitalization in the United States were pregnancy and childbirth. This led our team to explore what the experience post labor was for caregivers, whether that was partners of new mothers or new grandparents. With this problem space in mind we set out to do primary research.
While we were not necessarily designing a solution for new mothers, we knew that a new mother and their caregiver's experience would be intimately tied together and thought it was important to seek information from this group throughout our process. We administered a cultural probe to new mothers and their caregivers and also conducted five semi-structured interviews with new parents. We arrived at the following insights:
The postpartum experience can affect new parents both mentally and physically.
New mothers want more support and sleep, while maintaining a balanced life.
The birth of a child tended to negatively effect a couple's relationships.
Ideation & Narrowing
From this first round of research we had narrowed our problem statement to, "How might we improve the postpartum experience for new moms and the relationships between them and their caregivers?"
We generated a mind map to get a holistic view of our problem space and then generated 90 concepts. These concepts ranged from smart devices that monitored a baby's sleep schedule, side-by-side parenting journals, and various time management tools.
Based on feedback from the Premera design team, we were able to narrow to 20 concepts that we thought best fit in with our problem space, project scope, and Premera's business goals.
To help downselect, we conducted a thematic analysis based on the coding we had done on our interviews with new parents. Some of our biggest takeaways from looking at our interview data were:
One of the biggest resources for new parents were friends with kids.
Current parenting classes weren’t effective enough in conveying the realistic journey of parenthood.
There was a limit to the direct amount of support spouses could provide to moms, especially re: breast feeding.
From here we arrived at our three final concepts: a VR parenting simulation, a baby advice app, and a task manager that would allow moms to delegate tasks to their support network. We thought through which response was most appropriate to the issues at hand.
Based on our research insights, we elected to continue with a combined task manager and baby advice app and constructed a paper prototype of the concept.
Prototyping & a Pivot
During our initial prototype testing, we found that our concept wasn't testing well. We were trying to do too much in one app and users weren't seeing a value in what we had compiled.
We needed to zoom out and think about what the real issue was.
Yes, dads needed a way to seek out information on what to do when their baby has an ear infection, but they also needed a way to connect and talk about their new identity as a father.
Our research revelation was that dads need a place to:
1) ask questions
2) find resources on how to be a better dad and partner
3) feel heard.
We were surprised to find no existing products with such a focus, so we set out to create Juneau.
We started over and crafted a paper prototyping. From our testing we could find the flows that weren't working and what was valuable (and what was not). We paid close attention to what types of categories would be the most helpful, and built our information architecture off what we found during initial testing.
We split up the various key flows and I got to work on crafting the "add a discussion" flow, "save a discussion" flow, and the "explore" function.
Add a Discussion
Save a Discussion
We wanted to keep the visual style pretty simple to keep the focus on the content. Some highlights of it include:
a clean modern style, but one that's inclusive of all types of dads
soft gradient waves that hint at the northern lights
minimal color palette of blues and teals that plays to the all male audience of the app, but not in a contrived way.
For more information on the design of the app, see Juneau's UI Spec below.
Don't Be Afraid to Pivot
Looking at our research and admitting that we were on the wrong path was hard to do, especially five weeks into a ten week project. But our initial research greatly informed the second part of the project and in the end we knew that we had designed a solution that fit a real need.