Priyanka Dhapare


Industry Sponsored || UX Design || Research

Project Context

Industry Project for Spring semester 2022 at the Centre for Digital Media (Masters of Digital Media)

Team: Priyanka Dhapare, Thelma Wiegert, Isabela Lopez, Simran Singh, Emma Bousfield, Michelle Gu

Team Name: The Alleviators


  • Product Designer (Primary role): Formalizing the product, Wireframing and creation of the design prototype, Implementing findings from User Testing, Collaborate with Visual Designer for high-fidelity mockups, ensure smooth developer hand-off

  • UX Researcher (Secondary role): Assisting with User Interviews, Personas, Storyboards, Identify areas for testing and help in planning usability tests


  • Figma
  • Miro
  • Notion
  • Airtable



— Instagram

— Twitter

— Facebook

Problem Context

Providence Health is one of the country’s largest health care organizations. It operates 17 sites, including St. Paul’s Hospital (Vancouver, BC), and serves as a health and wellness resource for families, patients and residents from all parts of the province.

Providence Research hosted a hackathon event designed to tackle the challenges faced by patients and the community when dealing with pain. On that occasion, Pain BC, an important institution dedicated to improving the lives of people in pain through empowerment, care, education and innovation, brought a problem:

"Chronic pain is a condition that affects 20% of Canadians. People living with chronic pain in rural and remote communities in BC have inequitable access to resources that could help them improve their condition, due to such barriers as socio-economic status, distance to specialists in urban centers, lack of allied health professionals, availability of technology and other tools, limited diagnostic options, waitlists, non-attachment to primary care, and cultural safety concerns. As a consequence, people living with chronic pain are severely impacted by their condition, regarding important aspects of their lives, from physical well-being to mental health and social life."


In-depth Interviews:

We conducted desk research to understand more about the problem space since we as a team were new to the healthcare domain. Following that, we realized that we still had some questions specific to our problem statement that needed answering. Researcher Isabela and I prepared an in-depth interview where we spoke to patients, professionals, and people working with NGOs to see this problem through. For this interview, we prepared a series of questions that were separated into sections: warm-up, about the problem, and wrap-up. Warm-up questions consisted of getting to know the interviewee and their background, what motivated them, and what placed them where they are.

“About the Problem” tackled the problem itself, we wanted to hear people’s voices and their perspectives on this issue and "Wrap up" was about any final thoughts that they had.

Additional insights:

Understanding pain prevalence helped us to define a target, and from there, go deeper into important criteria we should consider. Chronic pain increases with age, and becomes more significant in the group of people older than 45.

This group makes use of technology, but this use also becomes more limited as they grow older. That brought us to the criteria: our solution should be easy and simple to use.

Additionally, considering internet coverage in rural and remote areas, it should be light, quickly loading on mobile phone (the most used device) even with low internet connections, without using much data.

Problem Definition

After investigating different perspectives, we could frame the problem into one big question:


"For British Columbians living with chronic pain in rural and remote areas who need assistance to deal with their condition, Pepita is a web-based application that provides curated resources to help them. Unlike the current situation, where they have to invest a large amount of time and energy looking for resources, our product will provide personalized recommendations in a straightforward, accessible and insightful manner."

Pepita – is a web-based tool where users can input information about their chronic pain condition and receive curated resources based on their responses. These resources are meant to support the biological, psychological and social aspects of chronic pain.

I pitched that we should opt for a web-based tool and the reason for that was – accessibility. Mobile applications require download and storage on devices, a web-based tool that operates on browser can act like an app without all the fuss.

Video editing credits: Emma Bousfield

The Process


Based on the insights gathered from the interviews, we worked on creating personas, storyboards and user journeys that would best combine and capture the key characteristics of our user groups.

Persona of a Health Care Navigator

Persona of a Patient

User Journey of a Patient

Health Navigator – User Journey

(Click on the images to zoom in)

These artefacts helped in team alignment and were used as a point of reference to guide our design decisions. They also helped set the stage for our very first ideation session that I co-hosted with our primary UX Researcher. We started with good-old crazy 8s. Once that was completed, everyone went around the table explaining the 8 ideas that they had and we took a minute to vote on which we thought was the best one among them. The second part of this session consisted of taking the six winning ideas (one from each person) and running a round-robin exercise with them. For round-robin, everyone started with 5 minutes to flesh out their chosen idea at the end of which, they would have to move on to the next idea on their right and build upon whatever is up there on the board. This continued until everyone has had an opportunity to expand on each of the ideas.


I weighed the pros and cons of each of the final 6 ideas. After considering inputs from our clients, advisor and most importantly, the key findings from User Interviews; I chose the idea that most resonated with those inputs – a tool that delivers a personalized experience to the user by curating a list of chronic pain management resources that meet the users’ specific needs.

It circled back to a recurring theme:

Don't re-invent the wheel

I narrowed down on the features that would work together to create the intended experience. Next, I created an Information Architecture. This was to help visualize how different pieces of content would be arranged in an easily understandable way.

Information Architecture

Given our time constraints I decided that the design prototype (made in Figma) would be used to demo the entire scope of the product while our functional prototype will have limited features acting as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). These MVP features are highlighted in blue in the diagram above.

Key features and Usability Tests

I planned the next phase of our project which involved prototyping and testing. It was broken down into 3 parts where each part would focus on a different area and we would run usability tests based on them. The test results from the first test influenced the next step of the design and design iterations. Below are the iterations that some of the screens went through in the process (click on the images to zoom in) –

Phase 1: Onboarding

The tool starts by leading users through an onboarding experience, consisting of a brief set of questions to get an initial sense of their condition.

Usability Test 1

The goal of this test was aimed at testing the onboarding flow to better understand if the user can successfully complete this task and if there are any impediments.


- What is the rate of completion?

- Are the language and tone appropriate? Is the quality of questions well written?

- Do we have the appropriate number of questions?

- How easy is it to navigate(skip a question, go back to change a response)?

- Would users feel the need to “skip” a question? If yes, why?

- Identify the following: Unnecessary questions & Sensitive questions


  • - Users found the number of questions to be appropriate
  • - Some questions presented themselves as too “wordy,” making it hard for users to read efficiently
  • - Users felt the onboarding experience learned enough from them to create a personalized experience
  • - Users found there were too many options provided as possible answers, by the time they scrolled to the bottom they had forgotten what was shown at the top

Phase 2: Resources

Considering the answers they provide, the user is then taken to a resource page where they can interact with the content that's been curated for them.

Usability Test 2

This usability test aimed to identify the best layout to present the information from the curated resources after onboarding. We conducted a mix of rapid A/B testing + and semi-structured interviews.


- Identifying the best layout for the feed page such that the user can absorb information in form of the list of resources provided to them in the easiest way

- Determining the max number of resources to display at a time

- Determining if the users understand the hierarchy in the resources provided

- Determining the usefulness of labels for sections and categories

- Identifying the best layout for the individual resources page that ensures a good experience for users in terms of readability and playing media


  1. - Users wanted to know why they were given certain resources
  2. - Users reacted well to their chosen layout, some pointed out merging both layouts
  3. - Users pointed out they wanted to feel embraced by the product once they arrived at this page, this is the space they wanted to feel like it was theirs
  4. - The initial layout was effective, interior pages came with some difficulties in data delivery, and it wasn’t as digestible as we hoped
  5. - Users want to see what categories they were given as well as change/alter what didn’t seem fitting

Phase 3: Functional Prototype

The functional or the working prototype was created to ensure that the logic for resource recommendation was working as per user expectations.

Resource Recommendation Logic

I worked on this recommendation logic along with the Product Managers and the Developer on the team.

The answers provided during onboarding by the user are associated with certain labels that are flagged as "activated". Since they are linked to the database of resources, Pepita can recommend suggestions that best match the user's needs and preferences. The resources are then prioritized by the % match on the screen generated by the answers. At the same time, the system keeps learning as per users' feedback and data input: which we call a constant feedback loop, it is derived via automated learning, manual feedback and keywords which are identified from the diary feature.

Note: Due to scoping constraints, we were only able to implement and test the "Questions -> Labels -> Resources" part of the logic.

Usability Test 3

The final Usability Test was to to test the functionality of the MVP, whether users are able to complete onboarding, and if Pepita is able to provide the appropriate content based on onboarding answers.


- Will the right tags be activated in the back end to provide meaningful resources?

- Will the database be responsive?

- Will the user complete onboarding without any hiccups?

- Will the user need guidance throughout the process?

- Is the updated language and tone appropriate?


  1. - The back-end activated the right tags
  2. - Questions 2-3 of onboarding need updating
  3. - “Mental Health” is a trigger word and users did not understand how this related to their pain journey
  4. - Once users landed on the resource page they need a CTA (call to action)

Future Scope

As part of the future scope, we present the following features that were ideated upon and are recommended to be included in the application:

Diary Feature

From user's perspectives: This feature will allow users to focus on writing (or venting out) without worrying about any audience or what someone may think. And doing it regularly will help to improve user's thinking processes, and keep track of events that happened.

From a product perspective: Based on inputs, system algorithms will identify the keywords from the saved data and will map them with other activities performed in the app in a similar time frame. It will help the product to generate valuable insights and provide refined resources for the future.

Progress Report and Insights

Works closely with the diary feature to track how the user has been coping with pain. Users receive an in-depth analysis about what is working for the user and how to manage pain.


- This was my first time working with such an established organization for client and I learnt to communicate in a much more formal tone than what I used to normally.

- Working with people from different backgrounds was interesting because everyone had their own perspective to things but we as a team had to work together and respect everyone's contributions.

- At some point, my role naturally evolved into product owner and it seemed like the team looked to me for direction. This was a good as well as a scary and stressful position to be in. Good because I liked the responsibility of leading the product vision but at the same time, there was always that fear of failure. However, I'm happy that everything worked out well and our clients were very happy with us.

- In addition to the design related learnings, I learnt a lot of soft-skills in how to tackle disagreements within a team. Disagreements are bound to happen, especially when it is a group of driven and passionate people. Strengthening the team dynamic so that you are able to face the issues in a constructive manner is key.