Role: Design Director Year: 2022

Collaborator: Dr. Eileen Carter, assistant professor of nursing at the University of Connecticut

One of the primary reasons that cause nurses to leave the profession is burnout.  It is a crucial issue during the COVID‐19 pandemic. New graduate nurses are particularly vulnerable to burnout as they transition to the role of professional nurse. This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between nursing scientists, targeted users, and designers. Co-design is a collaborative process that actively seeks end-user knowledge and ideas; it directly brings targeted users’ needs and the researcher’s expertise to the project. To ensure that the app was designed based on the needs of targeted users, we co-designed this app with experienced nurses, nursing professors, and newly graduated nurses. Multiple rounds of user tests were done by bringing prototypes to targeted users. Based on testing results, refinements were made by designers. All visual components of this app were explicitly designed to be calming and relaxing. No adjacent visual elements were designed to be with high color contrast. Round shapes were applied if possible. When shapes with angles were necessary, sharp angles were avoided. All page contents were kept as simple as possible. The slogan of this app is “take a moment to take care of yourself”. It is a “safety-house” for newly graduated nurses. In this “safety-house”, users can utilize the fragmented time between work to seek support, do mental exercise, connect with others, and talk to themselves. These are all evidence-based practices to lower the risk of nurse burnout.  The designing process of this app was strictly under the principle of human-centered design and design thinking. Through this project, we understand that human-centered and mHealth design should bring more stakeholders to the design process to co-design a better health experience.

The design won an excellence award at the 46th Connecticut Art Directors Club’s Annual award show.