Branding & UX Design: TA-Dah APP Project
TA which means “Assistive Technology” in Portuguese and “Dah” which means “Yes” in several Slavic languages, also comprises a surprise sound. We want to surprise professionals, showing that Assistive Technology and other resources that expand and enable communication make all the difference in the lives of many people around the world, giving them dignity and quality of life.
This project is being developed first in Portuguese, to attend to the Brazilian population, as it was evident during the research phase that this country is in need of a system that takes their context into consideration, when developing an APP for CCN (Complex Communication Needs). Apps are usually created in English first and are translated to Portuguese afterwards, which usually reflect on a poorly designed tool that doesn't work for the Brazilian audience. There are lots of resources about AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communications) in English, but the opposite is true for the Portuguese language, so we saw that the struggle from the Portuguese speaking population was higher and their need for a supporting platform imperative. For this reason, the Portuguese version will be developed first and the English version will be developed in a second moment.
The idea was brought by Renata Bonotto and Priscila Antunes, that are successively a known reference on AAC Tools and Applied Linguistic Development of person's with CCN, and a Diversity & Inclusion Expert Consultant with lots of research and clinical hours of experience in the field.
Start date is February of 2023, with end date of first phase for November of 2023, with the launching of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
The Ta-Dah APP was thought with great affection by a group of professionals from different areas from Brazil and Canada, who had a common dream: to provide humanized and effective clinical and educational follow-up for people with complex communication needs. This app was thought of in every detail to promote accessibility and inclusion in every way.
Through it, health and education professionals are able to understand the needs and communicative potentials of their clients and students, through an clear step-by-step on the milestones of the development of communication. This happens through a totally safe and intuitive environment, which allows professionals to be able to evaluate, describe and monitor their evolution, in addition to sharing reports with families and other professionals on the team.
Co-Creator, Project Coordination, Branding & UX Designer of the Ta-Dah APP Project.
Responsible for coordinating the project as a whole, from the idealization phase to the delivery of the final product. I was able to provide an instrumental participation on the UX Research phase, by conducting interviews in Portuguese and English, and in the data analysis process that would shape the understanding and decision making of the UX Design phase. I was responsible for creating the brand look & feel, developing the complete visual identity with typography, color palette, iconography, elements like drawing original illustrations for the website and templates for the application of the brand. For the UX Design process, I made the study of the user experience functionalities for the website, I defined the architecture of the website and created wireframes to ensure the development of the low-fidelity prototype with brand guidelines. As a member of the design team, I played a key role in creating the brand and initial approach of the UX Design.
1 - RESEARCH PHASE: This project is currently in progress and we are in this moment at the development phase.
See below the Research phase in detail.
With the lead of UX Researcher Fabiano Moreira, we were able to investigate the problem statement through several supporting activities that we participated as a group. Those activities include a quick Industry Benchmark Analysis, that gives context to the problem statement and help to start the diagnostic process of UX Research. The CSD Matrix Board helped the team to draw the Research Questions for interviews and questionnaires to professionals, families and complex communication needs users. After conducting all interviews online and getting the feedback from questionnaires, we worked on a detailed Content Analysis and were able to create the User Journey Map, with daily phases, steps and action plans. Once this thorough and extensive task was completed, we came up with insights from each user journey step and selected specific paint points per type of users groups. The Personas activity gave us another level of empathy and provided the team with the necessary understanding around the daily lives of this audience, allowing us to create the Prioritization Matrix with a wide range of possible services to solve those specific problems, that allowed us to further select specific ones that we would be able to tackle within this project.
Once we took some decisions and defined the app services cycle, we started the development phase to make this User Experience Design to turn a reality.
- Industry Benchmark Analysis: Desk Research: exploratory research on general conditions in the specific area & Benchmark: exploratory competitive research. The 3 pages report made by Fabiano Moreira shares that:
"About 1 billion people around the world have some type of disability, which corresponds to about 15% of the world's population, according to the UN. In Brazil, according to the IBGE census, the number of people with a disability (visual, auditory, motor and mental or intellectual) went from 24.5 million, in 2000, to 45.6 million, in 2010, which is equivalent to almost 24% of the Brazilian population.
The projections, according to the Global report on assistive technology, are that, by 2050, the need for some type of device that helps people with some type of disability from 2.5 to 3.5 billion people (including eyeglass wearers) or from 900 million to 1.3 billion of people (not considering the use of glasses). These “devices” or products, equipment, devices, resources, techniques, among others, are part of the so-called “assistive technology” (AT), which aims to “lessen the problems encountered by individuals with disabilities" (Cook and Hussey, 1995), promoting a transformation in the reality of these people, aiming at their autonomy, independence, quality of life and social inclusion.
The Global report on assistive technology, released in 2022, indicates the need to increase, diversify and improve the capacity of professionals working in this area, in addition to investing in research and innovation, as well as with start‐ups that develop new products, services and solutions. According to the report, the lack of qualified professionals in this area can lead to choices AT mistakes, which can lead to the abandonment of these products, development of new problems or even premature death."
- CSD Matrix Board: This activity's goal is to help the team to see more clearly what are the certainties, what are the suppositions and what are the doubts that we have about the problem that we are trying to solve.
- Research Questions: The goal of this activity is to develop questions for interviews and questionnaires, the 2 selected methods of primary research that we will conduct during the research phase.
- Questionnaires & Interviews with Professionals, Families and People with CCN: The Interviews were made on the time span of 1 month, from the 11th of April, 2023 to the 13rd of May, 2023 with the collaboration of all team members as Observers and Fabiano Moreira and Juliana Camargo as Interviewers. The Questionnaires were sent out on social media and direct email to all audiences and counted with more than 250 form replies.
- Content Analysis of Questionnaires & Interviews: The whole team analyzed the feedback from all 20 interviews by sticker color coding to create groupings of pain points, opportunities, and ideas that could expand the app initial problem statement.
- User Journey Map: Assembled in chronological order, the team placed the colored stickers in order to create a step-by-step user experience journey, while defining important actions, pain points and sentiment attached to situations. After completion, we came up with insights that would solve important pain points to each user journey steps.
- Personas: From the user journey map, we were able to understand all the characters involved with the problem statement. We grouped those characters into 4 personas: the family member, usually the Mom or Dad, the main professional that interacts with the person with CCN, the actual person with complex communication needs and the school mediator or teacher, that will assist the person with CCN overall evolution and communications issues inside the school, where they usually spend a lot of time of their lives.
- Prioritization Matrix: After empathizing with all persona groups, we were able to see the big picture of this problem statement, and created a Prioritization Matrix board. This step is a deep analysis of all the insights, with specific action plans to solve their direct pain points and then defining these viable plans into real life services that we could provide to this community in order to improve their lives.
This detailed research phase gave the group a consistent understanding of what our product needed to be in order to help this community on their daily struggles, and how to make sure that people with complex communication needs have all the necessary support to overcome challenges and surprise all around with their unique personality and strength on their path to autonomy.
With all the knowledge gathered from all the activities, interviews and primary research conducted by this altruist group, we are now building the actual platform with user-centered design and data feedback to back our problem statement.
2 - DESIGN PHASE
We decided to start the design process with the word clouds studies for 3 of the persona groups, a common strategy for the Design Thinking phase, so it gives a clarity on the wording context for the main user groups.
We came up with the app name through a collaborative and fun brainstorming activity.
I used the insights from the Prioritization Matrix to start the platform Functionality Study;
Created the initial Site Architecture & Wireframes;
and Developed the full Brand Guidelines.
To Be Concluded.
3 - ITERATION PHASE (REFINEMENTS)
Renata Bonotto: Idealization, AAC Expert Consultant, Researcher;
Priscila Antunes: Idealization, Diversity & Inclusion Expert, Research Logistics;
Juliana Camargo: Co-Creator, Project Coordinator, Designer;
How: TA-Dah APP Project (Self-Employed)
What: Design an APP to assist persons with CCN, their families & professionals involved on their care
Who: Ta-Dah APP Team
Industry: UX Design - Education