ThinkMD needed to deliver medical advice and expertise via a mobile platform to a broad range of cultures with limited literacy.
ThinkMD's goal is to greatly reduce the death rates in children under five years old in areas that are medically underserved. Many children in these populations die from issues that are easily diagnosed by those with simple training. The ThinkMD app walks people through those simple diagnostic steps then delivers treatment recommendations that reduce preventable deaths.
The original version of the app was hard to use, visually unappealing, and challenging for non-literate or culturally diverse groups. By working with GameTheory and using game techniques to build a new version of the app, ThinkMD hoped to greatly increase usability and overall performance of the app.
The Audience: Ethnically diverse populations with low literacy rates and limited technical skills.
The Goal: Make diagnosing childhood illnesses easy and clear through intuitive app design.
Starting with ThinkMD's original prototype we started to critique the usability and suggest game-based approaches we could use to make things more understandable and accessible for an audience that could have zero literacy and zero previous experience with mobile devices.
We began to construct a first version of the app, working with the ThinkMD team to understand just what needed to be communicated to the users in order to make a good diagnosis. The balancing act with this application was to make it look appealing and attractive for a competitive western audience, while also making it usable for a population who may not be able to read and may have never used a cell phone before.
The initial version of the app was created and taken out into the field for international testing in Butan. We prepared the ThinkMD team to gather good testing feedback while in the field so we could iterate on the app when they returned. Once the team was back we collected findings and decided on changes.
We worked with the ThinkMD team to create a second version of the app, integrating all that we learned from that in-field testing. The second version was released in the Spring of 2016 and is being used currently in the field.