New York City children with disabilities or developmental delays receive Early Intervention services at no cost to families. Right now, the average wait time is 30-45 days to receive services.
EarlyHive's web-based platform significantly cuts down wait times for children receiving therapy services. EarlyHive allows agency coordinators to search a database of providers in close proximity to the child's geographical area, and cuts out hours of wasted time coordinators now spend finding a provider via phone or email. Providers can quickly accept a new case through the platform.
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.
We created our final prototype by synthesizing user research and then investigating UI best practices. We tweaked their existing platform and significant ways it can improve in order to meet user and business goals. It was an exciting challenge given how many parties are involved in the New York City Early Intervention ecosystem.
First Steps: Usability Audit of Early Platform
Provider New Cases Notifications Landing Page
An initial usability audit of the current platform EarlyHive had created before we met with them shows which features and user flows are working well and what can improve.
- 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 Method & Purpose
- Usability Testing: Test website user flows
- User Flow/IA 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.
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 Flows 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.
Ideal Prototype Improvements:
- 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.
Kara: Inexperienced Coordinator
- Less than a year at an agency and typically handles a heavy caseload.
- Assign cases to providers or agencies.
- Quickly address immediate needs of case.
- Search, Assign a Case, Database of Cases, Case Info, Alerts, Clickable Map
John: Inexperienced Provider
- NYC provider for less than 2 years
- Acquire enough cases to sustain a living
- Receive numerous cases near his residence
- Onboarding, Rating system, Filtering, Search, and Clickable Map
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.