Baby+

The objective of our mobile application Baby+ was to assist expectant mothers in Pakistan through the various stages of pregnancy. We interviewed users who were pregnant, those who had been pregnant before, and gynecologists. These sets of users were then frequently consulted for the design and evaluation of our final prototype. The early evaluations we carried out showed positive results. Users appreciated the design of Baby+ and saw it as an assistive tool in furthering the plight of pregnancy in Pakistan.


UX Researcher, Designer and Developer


4 months


User Interviews, Field Studies, Usability Testing, Cultural Probes, Adobe Illustrator, InvisionApp, Javascript, Ionic Framework

Problem

Women in Pakistan, especially those who’re pregnant for the first time, don’t have proper guidance and lack knowledge about several little things one should and shouldn’t do during pregnancy. Visits to the gynaecologists are few with huge gaps in between. Often, women are unable to keep track of changes in health or weight during pregnancy and are unable to report such data to their gynaecologists and this often results in undesirable events during or after the birth of the child.

In Pakistan, because of the popularity of the combined-family system, women face several issues that might be uncommon or nonexistent in more developed countries. At the time of inception of Baby+, no such user application existed, catered to the differing needs of pregnant women in developing countries compared to those in the developed world.

User Research

User Details

Pregnant women

We targeted women belonging to upper-middle class who were internet and smartphone users, and were either currently pregnant or pregnant as recent as the last 6 months. We aimed for a mix of women who were pregnant with their first baby and women who had already been though pregnancy at least once before.

Gynecologists

We included gynecologists as potential secondary users of the application, and because they are the medical experts.

Method

Semi-structured Interviews

Our goal was to find issues that expectant women in Pakistan face. We inquired about the problems women faced during pregnancy, their relationship with the gynecologists, family pressure, and local factors that affected them.

Contextual Inquiry

We conducted a contextual inquiry by accompanying a patient on her scheduled appointment with a gynecologist.

Findings

Common Issues

Nausea, fatigue and vomiting are expected side effects. Pakistan women are anaemic – a primary reason for the health difference between pregnant women in Pakistan and those abroad.

Risky behavior

Traveling in rickshaws is extremely hazardous to pregnant women. Too much domestic work, which is expected from Pakistani women, can negatively affect health.

Local context

Pregnancy is turned into a family affair, leading to familial pressures that give rise to conflicting opinions about things women should and should not do. Archaic mindset of the family can get in the way of gynecologists; often resulting in expert medical opinions being ignored (in favor of totkas). Combined family system leads to women being afraid to open up about their pregnancy related issues. Dispute over religious affairs are common.

Solution

Low-fi Prototype

We tried to incorporate as many features as possible in our paper-based low-fi prototype. Our horizontal timeline was represented by a sheet of paper being slid right and left. Swiping up on this timeline led to the vertical features which were represented by a similar sheet of paper that was slid upward and downward.

Upon testing this prototype, we learned the following: User would not trust comments of anyone buy gynecologists in the FAQs, so we removed the functionality for other women to answer questions. User liked the idea of a daily companion as the the first thing they will see when they open the app. User wanted to track her baby’s progress, so we added a visual baby tracker that displayed the picture of a fetus depending on the stage of pregnancy the woman is at.

High-fi Prototype

We made an interactive hi-fi prototype from these screens by using InVision. Upon testing them with the user, we learned the following: The baby tracker feature was very well received. The navigation swiping mechanisms are intuitive. The interface is a bit complicated. The interface seems dull.

We incorporated all of this feedback to design a new set of screens. Using these screens, we developed the front-end of the application on the Ionic framework. Given this was a course project for interactive technology, we did not develop a back-end so any displayed information was hard-coded.