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LongCo

Platform
Mobile
Read time
5
mins
Work done
Project Lead, Visual Design, Experience Design

As part of my master's in Human-Computer Interaction, I led a team tasked with producing a health intervention for people with long-lasting symptoms of Covid-19.

Problem

There's limited support available for Long Covid patients

For some people, Covid can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has passed. This is sometimes called post-Covid syndrome or "Long Covid". Patients report various symptoms, including extreme tiredness (i.e. fatigue), shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, chest pains and impaired cognition. Given the novelty of Long Covid, at the time of completing this project, there was limited support available for those suffering from the condition.

Solution

LongCo, your path to living well with Long Covid Fatigue

We designed LongCo, a digital health intervention that reduces fatigue. Different things contribute to fatigue and can make it last a long time. Low levels of physical activity, a disturbed daily routine, poor sleep patterns, demanding work, caring responsibilities, low mood, anxiety and stress can all make fatigue worse. Our solution helps patients manage and reduce these factors by promoting energy conservation behaviours such as pacing, planning and prioritisation.

Selected screens from the final design
Research

Identifying patterns of behaviour, pain points and opportunities for design

We scoped the problem using existing resources such as peer-reviewed studies, patient stories, online support groups and news articles. The findings showed that those who managed to overcome their fatigue found success through pacing their daily activities and creating routines. Through this discovery, a working north star was beginning to emerge. How might we reduce perceived fatigue by training patients to use energy conservation behaviours?

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We mapped out the key behaviours mentioned by patients and how they relate to each other. Through this exercise, we identified “daily reflection and planning” as an activity that would most influence other desired behaviours.
Process

Taking an iterative approach

Based on our discovery findings, we came up with several guiding principles which helped us generate three potential solutions. We selected the best one and spent the next few weeks testing and iterating the experience with patients.

Selected screens from early product explorations
Testing

Skipped onboarding

In total, we conducted four rounds of testing with iterations based on feedback. During these sessions, we discovered that many participants weren't reading the information included in the onboarding explainer screens, leaving them confused about how the app works.

We solved this problem by (1) displaying the onboarding explainer screens in a pre-sign-up carousel, making them easier to skip for those who want to; (2) tunnelling users towards a brief explainer screen that must be viewed to access the app's full functionality; and (3) using modal pop-ups to display critical information about how the app works to first time users. Challenges such as this were among several identified during testing.

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Pre-sign-up carousel (1), explainer screen (2) and an example of a modal pop-up (3)
Final Design

How it works

  1. Users start by setting a specific and tangible goal. The app captures goals without requiring them to develop detailed action plans. It introduces users to common energy conservation behaviours ("pacing skills"), encourages them to try one and prompts them to commit to a daily check-in.
  2. During the check-in, users are encouraged to reflect on the influence of energy conservation behaviours on their goal progression and general condition (fatigue, mood and other symptoms).
  3. The data collected during the check-ins are displayed in the trends tab. The intention is that over time users learn which energy conservation behaviours have the greatest positive impact on their condition.
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The goal-setting flow captures patients goals, introduces them to the most common energy conservation behaviours and prompts them to commit to a daily check-in.

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