As part of one of my classes, I had the opportunity to work with OSF to create an application aimed at giving free medical care and assistance to the homeless in Peoria. This application was to be on kiosks that would be set up all around the city of Peoria, so that the homeless population could easily access the kiosks and the resources they held.
I was on a team of four, tasked with researching, designing, testing, and prototyping this application that included all the elements OSF wanted. OSF’s main goals were for users to be able to access emails, to set up transportation to the hospital, to see the services they had available nearby (such as food shelters), and to see their OSF MyChart, which would allow them to set up appointments and contact their doctors, access test results, and refill prescriptions. The transport system also involved a schedule of buses around Peoria. We also created screens allowing users to make emergency calls, to submit questions that could be answered, and an entire resources section about common ailments that users could access via search.
I was involved in the designing of all the 41 total screens my team made for the project, but I took point on the Transport Assist, Emergency Call, and Prescription screens. I also took part in the research stage of the project, finding resources about the homeless and what it’s like, creating personas, user flows, a journey map, a moodboard, and more.
OSF User Flows
When designing our application, as a team we focused in on making the app as friendly and welcoming as possible. In our research we discovered that many homeless people can be cautious around other people and may not always go to others for help. They particularly did not enjoy being pitied, which we kept in mind as we made our screens. A big part of the project we also had to consider was that because of their circumstances, the homeless population often does not stay in one place or have many items on them, and may have difficulty with remembering passwords to emails and to other systems due to a lack of paper or another way to write. We made sure to remember this as we decided on how our systems within the application functioned.
We used lighter colors such as blue, mint, and pink to give users the impression of a soft and helpful feeling. We kept our screens as simple as possible, keeping in mind that users could be from all walks of life, and we wanted everyone to be able to understand our screens quickly and easily. Card systems and minimalistic graphics kept our screens legible and easy to grasp at a glance.
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