Reimagine blood donation service in the digital world
I believe creative thinking can bring social goods. Alms is a project initiated with the purpose of building an accessible and engaging platform for blood donors. It was inspired by my personal experience of the difficulty and obsoleteness of the current donation service, especially its ineffective recruitment method of young adults.
2015, personal project
What's your donation story?
After web-based secondary research, I conducted immersive ethnographic research, such as field observation, shadowing, and contextual interview. I visited the Community Blood Service of Illinois to get some first- hand information about their working environment and donation process.
Meanwhile, I got a chance to interview the managers at the blood center at the Community Blood Service, who was able to answer research questions about the process of donor recruiting and organize blood drives. To collect insights through the detailed nuance of real-time exposure, I shadowed two participants through the entire donation process, and documented the experience with notes, photographs and video.
People generally want to help, they are just looking for that opportunity
Insightful quotes were jotted down on sticky notes. Quotes that share a similar intent, problem, or issue, or that share an affinity, were clustered together. Out of this affinity map, a story about donors, their struggles about donation, perceptions, and the nature of their problems, started to emerge.
A very positive result through the research is that People generally want to help; they are just looking for that opportunity. It means that the problem is not at the actual transfusion process, but how to increase the awareness of blood donation, and the opportunities, so that more people could get easy access to the service. The most important is that when they want to help; their attempt won't be hindered by service inconvenience.
Co-creat with users
Since the goal of the design is not only creating a better service for experienced donors, but also to target at people who are new to blood donation. Therefore, people who are experienced donors, non-donors, and people who work at the donation center were invited to the co-creation workshop for brainstorming.
78 concepts were gathered after the co-creation session. As more and more ideas posted on the whiteboard and grouped into different sections, main themes started to surface from the whiteboard, which are relaxed experience, influence of people, education, rewarding, fear, and service accessibility.
starting from people like you and me
Social changes are made because of the effort of each individual among us. The good deeds we carry are most of the time infectious, and small acts can influence others. "Influence" plays a crucial role in the recruitment of potential donors since according to the research result; the influence of friends and families is one of the most significant incentives for people to give blood.
Based on the concept, I drafted a basic site map for the application, categorizing features and the relationships between each category. At this stage, the content analysis of the existing blood donation site helped me a lot in gathering information about medical issues and regulations that couldn’t be changed. I used as much existing site structures and markups as possible so that I could focus on going deeper and better—not redoing existing work.
Iteration throughout user testings
I iterated my design with rounds of early on low fidelity prototype testings with my classmates, experienced donors, potential donors, and also people who work in the blood donation industry. I gathered 118 usability feedbacks after four rounds of iterations.
Schedule a donation
Alms provides users easy ways to schedule a donation. Users can view events directly from the map, and pick the location at their convenience or select from the calendar view.
Create value for donors
Blood donation is not just about helping others – it also benefits the donors. Besides basic point reward system, alms provides a blood tracking system, donors can view their blood journey and rewarded with a sense of full filling when it actually helped people in need. After each donation, a physical report will be generated and returned to donors.
Fears stems from ignorance
A lot of people hesitate of blood donation because they're not sure about the donation safety. Therefore education plays a crucial role in motivating blood donation.