As I read through the transcriptions of each of my interviews I grouped my data into 6 categories:
My challenge was how to identify patterns in the research. I discovered many different issues relating to problems with diagnosis, challenges of animals with comorbidities, expense, and inconvenience of treatment.
When I focused on the emotions and problems described by the people I interviewed I was able to find denser areas of interest.
Some of the themes that I identified were: problems that caused the most distress, methods of record keeping, and outstanding vs. terrible experiences with veterinary care.
The following needs emerged as ones that I could make the biggest impact with my project:
My brainstorm mostly happened with numerous pencil sketches. I focused on how might an interface make an owner feel less anxious and alone? How might it help her form a routine? For vets, I considered ways they could contain conversations with owners and still get the information they needed.
After my brainstorming phase, I found that I was most interested in ideas that supported both vets and owners. Although convenient remote care, social support, and education often came up in my research, I knew these areas would not make as direct of an impact on vets as they would on owners.
I crafted this statement to focus my project:
This statement identified the needs of the veterinarians who desired more accurate information about their patients, and better communication with owners. It also acknowledged the needs of the owners who wanted more support from their veterinarians, and help adjusting to a new routine.
Profession: Pediatric nurse, Boston Children’s Hospital
Education: Simmons College, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, class of 2005
Experience: 12 years at 2 hospitals and one small practice clinic
Family: Divorced. One 6-year-old dog with Cushing’s Disease, Winston, and one 13-year-old cat with IBD and chronic kidney disease, Margot
Profession: Associate Director of Development, Boston University
Education: Boston University, undergraduate class of 2007
Experience: 5 years experience fundraising at universities and non-profits
Family: Single. One 15-year-old cat with diabetes mellitus, Cesar.
Profession: Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist, Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital
Education: University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, class of 2013
Experience: 5 years at 2 different hospitals
Family: Married to Doug Schneider, no children, 4 pets of her own (3 cats and 1 dog)
To craft my personas I created a rough hypothesis based on my impressions after sorting and brainstorming.
To test my assumptions I synthesized my qualitative data into 4 main variables: activities, attitudes, motivations, and skills. These categories are recommended by Robert Reimann, Kim Goodwin, and Lane Halley in Alan Cooper’s About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design. In his “constructing personas” section, the authors note that “creating believable and useful personas requires an equal measure of detailed analysis and creative synthesis,” and that a persona hypothesis must hold up against the results of the data. Using these variables I narrowed my focus to 10 behavioral variable ranges, noted in the chart below. These included variables like care-consciousness vs. cost-consciousness and trusting attitude vs. skepticism of the vet.
Mapping each of owner users to these variables helped me to challenge my persona hypothesis and craft behaviors, attitudes, and motivations, supported by demographic information, species of pet, and type of condition, to create a persona authentic to my user research.
Pam Vega and Nadine Thompson resulted from this process. Dr. Joy is based solely on the internal medicine specialist I interviewed.
I used empathy maps as a tool to help me write believeable scenarios for my personas.
As I was writing my scenario stories I jumped between writing and creating a modified journey map to help me ideate all of the steps my personas would need to take, and how they might feel along the way.
These scenarios went through several revisions. This is the version I used to structure the flow of wireframes. In them Pam only treats her cat and not her dog, and Nadine's pet, Cesar, becomes a dog.
When Nadine took her dog, Cesar, in for his annual visit, she was shocked to discover that he had diabetes mellitus. She hadn’t noticed any odd symptoms or behavioral changes at all. When the internal medicine specialist, Dr. Joy, explained the required treatment plan for Cesar, Nadine felt extremely overwhelmed. Nadine was trying to listen, but felt distracted with worry about her ability to give injections, and the cost of all of the supplies. Read more
Recently Pam has noticed that her cat, Margot, has begun to look thinner than usual. Her stomach looks sunken in and her face less full.
Three months ago, Margot was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, which means that she often vomits and has low appetite. Pam worked with Dr. Joy, an internal medicine specialist at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital, to get the initial diagnosis after doing a scope of her GI tract. While doing blood work Dr. Joy also determined that Margot has mild kidney disease. Now Pam has been managing Margot’s care with a special diet and medication for both conditions given twice daily. Read more