Shoulder to Shoulder - An App That Connects Cancer Patients Together
Project Summary
I have developed a platform that prioritizes the security and privacy of cancer patients. By creating a secure profile system and requiring verification of cancer diagnosis or treatment, I have ensured that users can safely connect with others going through similar experiences.

I have also included optional gender-based messaging to provide an extra level of comfort and safety for users. In addition to connecting with others, the app offers a variety of guided meditations and mindfulness breathing exercises to help users manage stress and improve their overall well-being. Users can choose from different lengths and levels of difficulty and set reminders for regular practice.

I have also included a community support forum where users can share their experiences, ask for advice, and provide support to others. Users can also join a group chat or connect one-on-one with other cancer patients through our secure messaging feature. Patients can filter and search for other patients based on specific cancer type, stage of treatment, or age.

Overall, my design for the app aims to provide a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for cancer patients to manage their journey, including the ability to track progress and set goals for meditation and breathing practice.

Outcome Statement
The app will provide a secure and private platform for cancer patients to connect with others going through similar experiences, manage stress and improve overall well-being through guided meditations and mindfulness breathing exercises, and track progress and set goals for meditation and breathing practice. Additionally, it will also help patients to have access to community support forum, group chat or one-on-one messaging with other patients with the ability to filter and search based on specific cancer type, stage of treatment, or age.
Problem Statement
Cancer patients often struggle with feeling isolated and unsupported during their treatment journey. They may have difficulty finding others going through similar experiences and may not have access to effective tools for managing stress and improving well-being.
User and Needs
Shoulder to Shoulder is an app that teaches cancer patients relaxation techniques and help them connect with other patients.
The app offers a secure and private platform for patients to connect with others going through similar experiences.
First, I ensured the security of the users by building a secure profile system and requiring verification of cancer diagnosis or treatment. Additionally, as an optional feature, the app offers gender-based messaging to provide an extra level of comfort and safety.

It also offers a variety of guided meditations and mindfulness breathing exercises to help users manage stress and improve their overall well-being. Users can choose from different lengths and levels of difficulty, and even set reminders for regular practice.

To connect with others, the app features a community support forum where users can share their experiences, ask for advice, and provide support to others. Additionally, users can join a group chat or connect one-on-one with other cancer patients through our secure messaging feature. Patients can filter and search for other patients based on specific cancer type, stage of treatment, or age.

Through this app, patients will have access to a variety of tools to help them manage their cancer journey, including the ability to track progress and set goals for meditation and breathing practice.
My role in the project
As a user experience designer and researcher, I planned, and interviewed kids and their parents; created affinity diagrams, persona, conducted data analysis and design requirements, created and designed the user interface of the app by creating wireframes, and prototyping and usability testing.
Constraints and Process
Constraints
The app may need to comply with legal and regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and GDPR, which may limit the data that can be collected and how it can be used.
The Process
I recognized the constraints of time and sensitivity that come with interviewing this population so I took the following steps for the interview process:

  1. Developed a script: I developed a series of questions that was sensitive to the topic and the population, and made sure to avoid asking any questions that might be considered intrusive or triggering. I also made sure the script was easy to understand and followed a logical structure.
  2. Recruiting participants: I reached out to potential participants through online communities on Facebook, and made sure to explain the purpose of the research and how their feedback would be used to create the app.
  3. Scheduling the interviews: I scheduled the interviews at a time that was convenient for the participants, and made sure to give them the consent form to protect their own privacy.
Phase 1: Planning
Phase 2: Interviewing
During the interviews, cancer patients expressed excitement that an app was being created to support them during their treatment journey. Many of them talked about the isolation they feel during their journey, and the difficulty of finding others who understand what they are going through.

Many participants showed signs of sadness and depression, and discussed taking antidepressants to cope with their loss. Some were in denial about their situation, and expressed a need for a safe and secure space to talk about their feelings and struggles.
I also noticed that few people were hesitant to join a community or support group due to anxiety about comparing results with other patients or fear of losing their new friend. The same people did not want to connect with anyone, including family members, to protect them from witnessing their pain.

Overall, patients expressed a need for a secure and private platform to connect with others going through similar experiences, and for tools to manage stress and improve well-being during their treatment journey.

Phase 3: Creating User Requirements
The app provides a secure and private platform for cancer patients to connect with others going through similar experiences. It is essential to have a verification process in place to ensure the security of the users. Additionally, as an optional feature, the app offers gender-based messaging to provide an extra level of comfort and safety for users.

The app also provides a variety of guided meditations and mindfulness breathing exercises to help users manage stress and improve their overall well-being. Users are able to choose from different lengths and levels of difficulty, and even set reminders for regular practice.

A supportive community is also available where users can share their experiences, ask for advice, and provide support to others. Additionally, users are able to join a group chat or connect one-on-one with other cancer patients through a secure messaging feature. Patients can filter and search for other patients based on specific cancer type, stage of treatment, or age.

Finally, the app provides a tool for patients to track their progress and set goals for meditation and breathing practice. This will enable patients to keep track of their journey and make necessary adjustments to their practice.

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