EarlyHive is a New York City-based startup focused on Early Intervention services.

Problem Statement

New York City children with disabilities or developmental delays receive Early Intervention services at no cost to families. However, the average wait time to receive services is 30-45 days.

Platform Users

A service coordinator is assigned to the family to develop an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). The coordinator must find a provider to work with the family and help the child learn.

First Steps – Usability Audit Research

An initial usability audit of the current platform shows which features and user flows are working well and what can improve.


Initial Audit Findings:

  • When providers log into the system, the landing page (Cases) does not have the most pertinent information a user needs to know.
  • Notifications page contains most urgent information. 
  • Cases in need of provider’s response are not located at top of page; also, cases cannot be sorted.
  • Map provides excellent visualization of case locations.


Research Methods

Method & Purpose

  • Usability Testing – Test website user flows
  • User Flow/Information Architecture Analysis – Usability problems, clarity of site copy

Synthesis Method & Purpose

  • 4-List Method – Pains, behaviors, context, pleasures
  • Feature Prioritization – MVP and Nice to Have features
  • Design Studio – Site architecture
  • Prototyping – Test website iterations





Business Goals: Foster a sense of community around the platform User Goals: Search online for either a case or a provider Technical Constraints: Web-based platform


Key Research Takeaways


  • Long, unpaid commutes.
  • Must wait to receive cases.


  • Cases clustered in one neighborhood.
  • Great strides in child’s life.


  • Heavy caseloads to handle: lots of time staffing and keeping tabs on a case.


  • Provider located close to new case.
  • Coordinator knows a reliable provider who can service the case.

Interview Themes

1.) Cumbersome search process and excessive phone calls
Agency coordinator must contact dozens of providers before a case is successfully staffed.

2.) Factors for finding right provider:
proximity to client
provider’s availability matches child’s availability.

3.) Communication barriers
Once a case is accepted, providers have no system to communicate updates to a coordinator in real time.

4.) Lack of community
Agencies and coordinators/providers not in regular contact with one another.

User Flow Analysis

Current prototype

Initial user flow issues:

  • Landing page does not contain most urgent action for provider to take.
  • Only single recovery/error messaging in entire site flow. 
  • No recovery possible.
  • No status notification if case is accepted/declined.

Improved User Flows
Ideal prototype:

  • Landing page now includes cases separated; most urgent listed first.
  • More detailed case information
  • Can click to see calendar.
  • User kept apprised of chosen case status and ability to recover from errors.

Primary Personas

Persona Creation
EarlyHive is best suited for inexperienced parties who need to handle new cases and foster relationships.

Kara: Inexperienced Coordinator
About: Less than a year at an agency and typically handles a heavy caseload.
Needs: Assign cases to providers or agencies. Quickly address immediate needs of case. 
Desired Features: Search, Assign a Case, Database of Cases, Case Info, Alerts, Clickable Map

John: Inexperienced Provider
About: NYC provider for less than 2 years
Needs: Acquire enough cases to sustain a living; receive numerous cases near his residence
Desired Features: Onboarding, Rating system, Filtering, Search, and Clickable Map

EarlyHive Prototype

EarlyHive allows providers to service Early Intervention cases closest to their desired locations, cut out commute times to appointments, and a rating system also allows coordinator to find high-quality, reliable providers to service cases.

Prototype: https://invis.io/PG56APN9A