UX RESEARCH • PRODUCT DESIGN • INTERACTION DESIGN

YOMO - Helping menstruators navigate menopause

A participatory design approach to create a community-based tool for menopausal transition

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PRODUCT VIDEO
THE CHALLENGE

How might we empower menstruators through their menopausal journies?

Menopause is a universal phenomenon experienced by all menstruators. It marks the end of fertility and is associated with cultural and socio-economical stigmatization of menstruators because of their aging bodies. Due to this stigma, menopausal health has always remained in the shadows.

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PROJECT DETAILS

Collaboration with The Index Project for the Interaction Design Studio II at Carnegie Mellon University. Duration: 4 months

MY ROLE

Lead for UX and UI for the app, Design research, Concept development, Prototyping, and testing, Video production, Project management

TOOLS

Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Figma, Sketch, Adobe AfterEffects, Adobe Premier Pro, Mural, Protopie

TEAM

Michelle Cedeno, Yiwei Huang, Sanika Sahasrabuddhe, Stefania LaVatiatta, Anuprita Ranade

THE OUTCOME

YOMO

YOMO is a health literacy platform that helps menstruators better understand their changing bodies through clinical methods and communities of support. It is a companion that helps women navigate crucial life transitions like menarche, maternity, and menopause.

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01 Community of support

Yomo introduces its users to a community of women who share and discuss topics related to reproductive health. This community provides support by fostering open and honest communication between women of different ages, social and cultural backgrounds.

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Share and discuss experiences related to reproductive health. These shared experiences help everyone in the community to find relevant information.

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02 Symptom Tracking

An efficient way to track both symptoms as well as treatments. This data can be shared with doctors during consultations.

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The Yomo ecosystem also expands to wearables making it easy for menstruators to check-in and log their symptoms on the go.

03 Care Library

The care library enables menstruators to connect with experts and also helps them to be well informed about various treatment options and lifestyle choices which impact their wellbeing. It also includes a telehealth feature that menstruartors can use to contact experts of their choice to seek medical advice.

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THE DESIGN PROCESS
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00 | DEFINING SCOPE OF PROJECT

Project brief: Design to improve life

What does design to improve life mean to us?

Design to improve life, to us, means to look at health more holistically and to enable ways to spring back from certain biological or medical events. An improved life means to be able to live through inevitable transitions.

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01 | EXPLORATORY RESEARCH

Through various design methods, we explored the cultural, societal, biological, behavioral and socio-economic facets of the menopause

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Expert Interviews

We learned the struggle menstruators face regarding their health including topics such as equity, agency, accessibility.

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Grafitti Wall

We learned how people from different age groups and genders define menopause.

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Literature Review

We learned about the multi-faceted issues concerning menopause and were able to identify various themes; cultural, societal, biological, behavioral, socio-economical, and etc.

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Web Eavesdropping

We learned how menstruators describe their symptoms are both physical and societal. 

Emerging Themes

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02 | GENERATIVE RESEARCH

We anchored our generative research towards understanding the perception, hopes, fears, and dreams of women across all ages.

Co-creation Workshops 

We learned how menstruators perceive menopause and the strategies they use to navigate the challenges they face.

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Workshop activities

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The Outcome

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Affinity Mapping

We synthesized our finding using the rose-bud-thorn framework to identify emerging themes

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Personas

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Journey Map of Personas

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Identified Opportunity Areas

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Awareness & Knowledge

Stop worrying about symptoms  and know self better

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Positive Outlook

Building a positive outlook about menopause to encourage discussion

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Empathy & Communication

Make stronger bonds, and helps other women to do the same

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Empowerment

Take action to be  prepared for the life transition

03 | EVALUATIVE PHASE

Through our generative research, we identified opportunity areas and defined design principles to guide our concepts. We created concept storyboards using “what-if” scenarios and went through a series of user testing to understand the value propositions of our concepts.

Concept Storyboards Using "What-If" Scenarios

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Selected Concept - Care and Treatment Library

An application that helps you track your symptoms through a library 

  • Valuable to have treatments and information in a centralized space
  • Ability to connect with support groups to engender empathy for self
  • Avenues for knowing what to expect next in life

Lo-Fi Prototyping and Testing

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Prototyping

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Learnings from User Testing

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The friendly language in the community building section made it approachable

Tracking
Preferred a customizable calendar view instead of a wearable.
Liked to see a log of their data and suggestions based on emerging patterns

Community
Felt more comfortable connecting with another woman if they had a similar experience.
Users loved to see that they are not alone. Want to have a space to share stories, opinions

Defining UX Modules

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UI

LEARNINGS

Empathy    Humility

This project made me rethink how we design with empathy for our users. We strive to work with a sense of empathy towards the people we design for. However, in many cases, it is impossible for us to put ourselves in the shoes of others and truly understand their experiences. At the beginning of this project, I assumed that I would be able to design with greater empathy as I am a woman, designing for women. As we went deep into our research, I realized that I couldn't empathize with menopausal women because I've never experienced any symptoms of menopause. 

I now believe that designers should work with a sense of humility rather than empathy. This can be done by acknowledging the lived experiences of our users, taking their thoughts and ideas into account, and involving them in every step of the design process. A participatory design approach can help us work with greater humility.

LET'S TALK!

I’m looking for full-time opportunities in product design, interaction design, and UX design in May 2021

© 2021 Anuprita Ranade