HIV test application
It is a project for our health care program. Our mission was to design a mobile application for Oraquick In-Home Test, a top-selling HIV self-test kit, which provides a more friendly and effective experience for users.
OraQuick test kit
Oraquick is the first in-home oral HIV test brand. Oraquick test kit can provide HIV test results within 30 mins in the privacy of users' homes. Also, it doesn’t involve any blood since it’s an oral test and just needs to swap the gums.
It is a well-designed test kit. Besides oral test sticks and a tube, it has step-by-step directions, a holder for the tube and several information booklets on HIV testing. You can buy this test kit from most retailers, like Walmart, CVS pharmacy, and amazon. Privacy is a big concern for potential HIV patients, that’s the reason for it’s a self-test kit that can be easily used at home. And! It also contains an opaque disposal bag for this reason. Good job Oraquick!
App for test kit
Great HIV test kit but not good enough
The physical HIV test kit does pretty well on the examination functions. It’s fast and convenient. But for the HIV potential users, the emotional support would be the kicker. Here is the serious part. We have to realize the users are holding a lot of pressure. Most of them might be the first time doing HIV test in their whole life, and facing this vital disease along, without any professional people around. The test can easily go wrong. Because of the particularity of HIV and the social attitude to this disease, that whoever got this disease must have some dissolute lifestyle and the death might spread to others, these prejudices and lack of sufficient information would leave heavy stress on the patients and drown users in helplessness.
Not to mention if the result is positive, besides facing the shocking fact, the users need more. Helpful support and correct information about HIV would be needed comforts. That’s what app can contribute to the HIV test experience.
Instead of facing the fear of HIV alone, utilizing a test applicant leads to a more positive testing experience.
Fast, get result with in 30 min
Convent, no blood need
Private, solo job and easily dispose
Strict, mistakes lead to fault results
Loneliness, face depressing fact alone
Aloof, little emotional care for user
Hopeless, little response to bad result
What if we can companion user with sufficient emotional and informational support while taking the test?
There are some barriers that prevent user from comfortably using HIV test kit.
This test kit is pretty thoughtful and proved to be helpful for two decades. But there are many opportunities available for digit application.
The direction is text-heavy and difficult to follow each step. Especially it is a single-use test kit. Any mistake in the process can ruin the result. I spent 15 min to read all of them to be confident enough to start using it.
Taking an HIV test is stressful and anxious. The test kit is trying to soothe users through directions and words, which can be improved a lot through the application.
Diagram mixed with direction
The illustration looks good but there are still many details in directions, which can be easily missed, like be ready to use a timer, swap only once, etc.
It contains serval different booklets for test direction, HIV Information, the medical fact for tools, packaging list, legal information, and warning. Users have to figure out which they should start reading.
Easily ignored help information
There are some next steps for HIV positive test. These helping gestures can be more useful and efficient in the application.
The test kit has sufficient information and instructions, but it does not present in an efficient and friendly way. It’s like serving a starving person nut but without a nutcracker. How would we reduce the cold instruction and add a warmer human touch?
Health Apps Regulations
After reading the very-rightful instructions, I had to say I felt it is very solid legal text to prevent any possible legal issue the test might raise. I believe it is appropriate in medial product. It raise my concern about the regulation in designing a medial application. After some research I found these kind of application don’t need to submit pre-market review or to register and list their apps with the FDA, which set a playground for us to build better user experience without highly restricted regulation.
- Help patients/users self-manage their disease or condition without providing specific treatment suggestions;
- Provide patients with simple tools to organize and track their health information;
- Provide easy access to information related to health conditions or treatments;
- Help patients document, show or communicate potential medical conditions to health care providers;
- Automate simple tasks for health care providers;
- Enable patients or providers to interact with Personal Health Records or Electronic Health Record systems.
According to the regulation, the instruction for each step of using testing tools is critical and should be restricted. But meantime, the information related to HIV conditions and treatments can be little loose, which is the part we can provide emotional support for users with positive results.
Right information for the right person
After listening to the story of people having HIV, I understood the difficulty in taking the test the social pressure and unknown future. Users want to have complete privacy about the HIV test before they figure out how to handle the situation with anyone else. The situation can be very complex, might include pregnancy, marriage, betrayal, and break up. Telling users a positive result is like throwing tornado into their life. Warm suggestions to show them hope for tomorrow would make a big difference.
Finding information is easy but finding help is hard
Because of the particularity of HIV, patients seldom learn HIV from family or friends around. But the good news is there are many well-documented HIV platforms out there provided by government or organizations, like American centers for disease and control. Users can find all details and facts related to HIV, like why the test is necessary, the transmission of HIV, and so on. After spending 1 hour studying it, you feel you are like an HIV doctor who can answer many many questions about it, which are
- Comprehensible information
- Supports from who understand each other
How might we companion user with sufficient emotional and personalized support while taking the test?
Chopping blocks of text into small pieces and talk with users
I aimed to ideate on humanizing onboarding experience. Take it easy also calm down our users. I have ideas that turn heavy text into step by step dialog. Instead of putting a page of instruction text in-front of users' faces, the heavy reading work can be turned into a warm chatting between user and application and give more specified instruction for users.
Asking questions from a stranger isn't comfortable
Turing heavy text into one by one dialog makes the process easier than just reading. I decided to focus the dialogue instead of personification because I realized the first impression of chatting interface in realtime and non-retractable which also increase the pressure of making mistake. From the initial concept, collecting necessary information can be used to customize the instruction. But it created a dilemma between privacy and personalization. I felt that the value of knowing what user needs and provide specific support would be important in reducing the helplessness, particularly providing other patients' stories. The challenge was asking the question at the right moments.
Addressing heavy text issue
Re-organize the information flow
The current Oraquick test kit user experience is very overloaded for users to learn especially at the moment taking HIV diagnosis. It wants the user to know everything important or not important right now before they start doing the test. Most of the information does not need to be consumed all at once. The test kit does a really good job of covering every possible situation through the test and for various users. In test kid application there is a chance that we can make the instruction more related to the specific part of the test.
As you can seen in the test flow below, the original test process can be separated into several parts. Before the test, preparing for the test, during the test, waiting for the result, negative results, positive results, etc.
Don't need to read all of them, but to read and learn along with the test.
Fit information into the test process
By inspecting the user flow, we target three moments of asking questions. The first is basic information for starting the test, which is optional and less related to the user. As process advance, there is an inevitable 20 min waiting time for the test result. Users are ready the see the brief facts about HIV and be introduced with other support material in the application. As users have known the results and stepped one foot into the process, users are more likely to tell more situations about themselves for more specific help.
Privacy and customization
I don’t think they need this information to help me
We asked people to place what information they would like to share to application during the process of the user flow. When the topic related to disease and privacy, people are more unwilling to let applicant know who they are. They place their name off the table. The reason why they do this is that they don’t think this information is needed to get the help they want, which means if we want to know their situation and condition, we need to provide clear reason for why this information can help user themselves.
Address the questing time issue
Categorize functions into 5 groups
Based on the user flow and content, I proposed a potential Information architecture. There are three main parts of the application, the most important test instruction, HIV facts, and community service information.
The task progress section would tell how many steps left to be done, and indicate what’s next task to explore. Each task progress section starts with a task already completed to encourage engagement.
The timer and reminder function would reduce stress from users. The test time and date are critical for the test accuracy. Instead of letting users take a note or watch clock on the phone, which they might forget, the build-in timer lifts the burden from them.
Privacy, privacy, privacy. It’s never enough to take care of privacy in the HIV test situation. A little sloppy notification would leak the personal information. The notification setting appears after showing how the notification will look like to reduce the possibility of being seen by others.
Step by step instructions
The last step in test instruction is the most stressful moment. Instead of just telling which pattern is positive, we let users choose the pattern first to reduce emotional bias and use two-step confirmation, select and submit to reduce the mistakes.
Human Help can not be substituted
After the rapid test, we realized that users have various situations. At the same time, there are many policy details response to different situations they might face, like house support, medical cost waive, pregnant support, transportation help, etc. And our initial goal is to provide sufficient emotionally / information support which means prepare them for the next steps. Instead of keeping them in the application with a bunch of information, it would be better to lead users out of the application to find the right people to provide specific help and support.
The challenge was to visually calm users down and show friendly care.
From the visual mock-up, we organized them into several different pages structure which can be the template for other pages. We defined the visual language as trustful and friendly. We borrowed the format of prescription as our visual reference. Then with designing these pages, we settled down the design system.