“This exploratory effort will be among the first to design a functional mHealth prototype for Kenyan adolescents with T1D, using Human-Centered Design.”
Michigan State University researchers and Kenyan institutions are collaborating to develop a mobile health app for adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes. The goal of this mobile app is to put health at the fingertips of youth in sub-Saharan Africa. They plan to do this by combining mobile technology, insight from Kenyans, a human-centered design approach. Human- centered design focuses on human perspectives throughout the design process. Their human-centered design approach for this project aims to prioritize the needs of the intended population, Kenyan youth. The approach involves three phases: “developing an understanding of technology users, creating a prototype for design ideas, and working with end-users to implement and evaluate the design.” Software developers and public health practitioners will work together to understand the needs of Kenyan youth who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and develop a new mHealth app.
The project lead of this app, Susan Wyche, Ph.D explained that a human centered design approach is essential for the success of this application. Wyche explained that “technology shouldn’t be hard to use, The people designing the technology should talk to the people who use the technology, and put their needs, their experiences, their aspirations at the center, rather than letting the technology drive things.”
The research team will begin by developing curriculum and offering a workshop on human-centered design in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. The team will conduct interviews and focus groups with people diagnosed with T1D, lead design workshops to develop design ideas, and build an mHealth prototype that they will then evaluate with children with T1D.
Image by Angelica Cionci
Stats by: https://www.frogdesign.com/work/gsma-health-innovation-through-mobile-design
The main goal for this project is to help support Kenyan youth with T1D as well as bring more awareness around this illness. The research team also hopes to empower people and organizations to develop new mHealth applications and improve health outcomes using mobile technology. A main aspect of this project is seeing if a human centered design (HCD) approach and their mHealth app is valuable in Kenya. I am looking forward to seeing if this approach will work for this project. I personally feel that it will be successful. Most apps are unsuccessful and fail because they do not take their intended user into account. Keeping the intended user as a part of the design process is essential for success.
Do you feel that an HCD approach will help to make this project a success? Why or why not?