Skip to content

WeCare App: Improving Nigeria’s Healthcare Experience

WeCare App: Fixing Nigeria’s Healthcare Sector
pencil sketch of a paper airplane

NUGGET

TL;DR

  • Problem: Century Health wanted to improve the Nigerian healthcare service by allowing Nigerians view medical information and contact health practitioners. Nigeria’s healthcare system was underfunded, fragile, and inaccessible. 
  • Role: Design Lead & UX Researcher.
  • Team: 1 UX Researcher, 10 designers & 1 product manager.
  • Duration: 6 weeks.
  • Approach: We conducted 23 user interviews with Nigerians who had experienced the healthcare system. Once we had a prototype, we tested it with 5 prospective users to see if it matched their needs. 
  • Discovery: The most recurring issue was a lack of trust in the healthcare system. Nigerian adults did not trust the system and this made some to self-medicate. Our major challenge was finding a way to restore the trust.
  • Outcomes: The research influenced the recommendations we implemented in the design. It equally saved time and increased my team’s performance by 46%. 
pencil sketch of 2 speech bubbles, one has a question mark and the other has 2 exclamation marks.

TESTIMONIAL

“Awesome & Delightful team lead”

“Awesome and delightful team lead, managed her team efficiently, and did an excellent job propelling team members and the project to their destination. Also great at capturing details perfectly.”

Tolu Abu, Project Manager

Skip to 💨

A Dreadful Healthcare System

I had been self-learning UX Research for almost a year and I needed to practice. When I enrolled for Zuri’s 5-month training programme, it had two parts: the training phase — where I worked individually — and the project phase — where I worked in a team of 12. 

In the project phase, I led a team that designed a mobile health app for Nigerians.

pencil sketch of paper with scribbles

NOTE

Century Health wanted to improve Nigeria’s healthcare service by allowing Nigerians view medical information and contact health practitioners remotely.

They assumed — like we did — that receiving healthcare in Nigeria was dreadful: we had to contend against an underfunded, fragile and inaccessible system.

Duration: 6 weeks
Role: Design Lead, UX Researcher
Team: 1 Project manager, 10 Designers, 1 UX Researcher

Gaining Access to Health Information

pencil sketch of paper with scribbles

NOTE

Because healthcare was fundamental to the business goal of Century Health, we had to explore how Nigerians — who fit the recruitment criteria — received healthcare, communicated with doctors and viewed their medical needs in Nigeria. 

After the initial meeting at which we laid the goals, I focused our research questions on these points: 

  1. How do participants access information about their health in Nigeria? 
  2. How do participants address their medical needs in Nigeria?

Exploring Nigeria’s Healthcare Space

a visual representation of my process for this project: I kicked off the project by understanding the problem, then moved on to Recruitment and interviews. afterwards I analyzed and synthesized the data and ideated recommendations. I presented the findings to stakeholder in the third week, then I defined the user flows and prototypes. I conducted the usability tests and finally presented to the stakeholders a second time.
My Process

Focus on Patients

After my initial meeting with the project manager and designers, I drafted the research plan for the study. We identified our key goals, research questions and participant segment. 

pencil sketch of paper with scribbles

NOTE

Because of time we focussed our segment on Nigerians who were 18 years and above, had experienced the healthcare service in the country and had access to a smartphone and the internet.

Medium: We recruited remotely through social media: Twitter, Whatsapp & LinkedIn.

📂 More on the Target Audience

We screened participants and narrowed our target audience to Nigerian adults living in Nigeria who had used a health service in the country and owned a smartphone with internet connectivity. We aligned our recruitment specifications with the research goal and questions. Time was a significant constraint; 

  1. As we recruited participants, we interviewed them.
  2. We focused on collecting data from the patients. 

Talking to & Testing with Participants

We felt that the best methods were to understand patients through semi-structured interviews (23) and test the recommendations with 5 moderated usability tests. Seeing as our objectives were to understand how patients accessed health information and contacted health practitioners, we felt an interview would give us the required data. Conversely, we had to test our solution, hence the Usability Test.

📂 More on Interviewing Participants
pencil sketch of paper with scribbles

NOTE

Each session lasted for about 20–30 minutes. Per the interview guide — which I drafted — it began with getting to know our participants and slid into how they accessed healthcare and communicated with health professionals. We interviewed 23 participants and collected sufficient data to identify patterns.

No Trust in Nigeria’s Healthcare

‘My last experience in the hospital was evil.’

Participant X
digital sticky notes on a digital whiteboard
Affinity Diagram

I moderated a series of sessions with other designers to distil the data, pull insights, and ideate recommendations. 

pencil sketch of a light bulb

CHALLNEGE

Initially, I struggled to consider the divergent views of my team members. But I actively listened to each idea and traced it back to the project’s goals without compromising them. 

These sessions enabled us to create a topline report and personas, which gave us a better understanding of who we were dealing with. Our most crucial insight was the lack of trust in the healthcare system and we had to look for ways to revive it. 

📂 Findings, Insight & Recommendations
Findings
  • Wait time: Nigerian adults want to receive healthcare through the quickest means possible. 
  • No Trust: There’s a lot of doubt when accessing the profile of doctors. 
  • No Trust (Privacy): Nigerians do not trust doctors to be confidential with their information. 
  • Expenses: Nigerian adults worry about their health expenses. 
pencil sketch of a path leading to the summit of a hill with a flag perched on top

HIGHLIGHT

Insight

The most recurring issue was a lack of trust in Nigeria’s healthcare system. Nigerian adults did not trust the system and the doctors in terms of competence and confidentiality.

Addressing Trust Issues

As the design leader, I had to oversee the whole project. I moderated the ideation sessions, guided them while defining the user flows and sketches and participated in the prototyping sessions. 

Since the most pressing insights were those that showed Nigerians did not trust the system, I recommended features that would allow patients to cancel and reschedule appointments with another doctor, rate doctors and view the profile and qualifications of doctors. 

  • Add doctors to favourite list.
  • Book, reschedule, or cancel appointment with doctors.
  • The chance to change doctors when unsatisfied with the services of one. 
  • Report rate and review doctors. 
  • Receive follow up from doctors.
  • Locate nearest health institutions. 
  • Filter doctors by specialty and language. 
  • View Doctor’s profile
  • View medical history
  • Receive referrals or prescriptions from doctors.

Do the Recommendations work?

We tailored our recommendations to address the problems we found then we tested them. The Usability Test (5 participants, 5 tasks) found that our initial prototype had poor feedback, unsociable language and slow transitions. We patched these issues in time for the final presentation.

📂 Usability Tests Findings
Back to the Drawing board

Unfortunately, we only had enough time to test the semi-interactive high-fidelity prototypes. 

pencil sketch of a path leading to the summit of a hill with a flag perched on top

HIGHLIGHT

Finding

We met with 5 participants who fell under our target audience and asked them to perform 5 tasks on our prototype. We found the language we used in the app was unsociable, difficult to navigate, and the design lacked proper feedback. 

With little time left, we improved the feedback system of WeCare, made changes to the transitions of the screens, and made the language sociable.

Deliverables

Personas: The sessions ultimately led us to create two personas which tunnelled us to understand our target audience better.

2 personas that depict the target audience
Personas

Empathy Map: What was the target audience thinking, saying, feeling and doing in regard to Nigeria’s healthcare system?

an aggregated empathy map of what participants think, say, feel and do.
Empathy Map

Report: I created a slide deck to share the findings and insight with internal and external stakeholders.

Outcomes

46% Increase in Team Performance

We were not the only team that participated in the programme. After we presented our solution, my team’s points increased by 46%. In the end, we emerged with 81%. That put us in 6th place out of 10 teams.

Awesome and delightful team lead, managed her team efficiently, and did an excellent job propelling team members and the project to their destination. Also great at capturing details perfectly.

— Tolu Abu, Project Manager 

WeCare Medical App

The insights gathered from the research contributed to the app’s design and prototype. It gave the team solid direction, especially when dealing with the trust issues. 

Provided Guidance and Saved Time

We would not have advanced without the insights we generated from the research. The study guided the team and spurred essential design decisions.

Reflections

Considering Different & Conflicting Ideas

It was hard to consider all the views of my teammates, especially during the ideation and synthesis sessions. But I overcame this challenge by listening actively to each team member without trivialising their opinions and compromising Century Health’s goal.

Treading New waters

It was the first time I worked in and led a design team. Beyond UX Research, I stayed with my team throughout the process. Personally, our position disappointed me, we came 6th out of 10 teams. But, I resolved to do more. I did not lead my team to victory, but I learnt how to lead, communicate and research.