Endometriosis is a chronic illness that affects 1 in 10 women. With a range of frustrating symptoms and no definitive cure, the illness takes a toll on more than just the body. Without the information, support and resources that they need, endometriosis sufferers feel confused, frustrated and isolated.
Zendo aims to create an empathetic educational community that supports people with endometriosis. Through Interaction Design, it further aims to empower sufferers by enabling better self-management, better understanding and communication of symptoms.
Zendo was created as my 4th year honours project at Massey University. This project consisted of twelve weeks research and twelve weeks of development. I gained an A+ for this project and graduated with first class honours.
Zendo’s design approach is focussed on creating calm and positivity while upholding the user’s trust. People would often be using the app in times of pain so it is important that the interface is simple and intuitive to use. I then took this further by providing moments of delight that would distract the user from their pain and encourage them to keep coming back. I used visual representations where possible to ensure the user was not overwhelmed with information, and enabled the interface colours to adapt to the time of day to ensure a calming user-experience. As a human-centered designer, I consantly tested these techniques with the target audience to ensure it met their expectations and desires.
Symptoms of endometriosis can strike at any time. Therefore, an accessible, on-the-go resource is my main touchpoint. This project utilises smartphone technology to create intuitive data input and display it in a visually stimulating and accessible way. As Zendo requires a lot of personal user data, it is important that the user can build trust with the brand before they engage with the app. I created developed the brand personality through social media and created a responsive website to ensure that users could access key information about Zendo and its benefits from wherever they are. The website features colloquial language and relatable illustrations to build the trust of the user in a way that is simple yet engaging, with the call to action being to download the app.
Zendo is a tool to assist the existing healthcare system rather than replace it, therefore it is important that it involves healthcare professionals within its ecosystem. I designed an interactive PDF that can be sent to healthcare professionals to aid communication and build empathy with their patients. A PDF is accessible as it can be attached to the patient’s existing notes and doesn’t interfere with hospital computer regulations. This makes incorporating Zendo easy for busy healthcare professionals.
This project has helped me understand the importance of design in industries, like healthcare, that are not typically design-led. I strongly believe that design is a tool that can not only solve problems, but help bring joy to people even in the most painful of situations.