How can we help social service providers and program participants find a more effective way of sending and receiving appointment reminders to reduce absenteeism?
Starting with the problem space and to give an idea of the importance and impact of social service providers we have identified that social service entities have seen an increase in the number of persons requesting assistance over the past couple of years due to the rising cost of living, which has been compounded by the lingering effects of the pandemic. As providers find themselves overburdened they have found that it is becoming increasingly difficult to contact program participants for important and time sensitive appointments.
User Pain Points
Through user surveys we identified that the reason for the high rate of absenteeism was due to appointment reminders not being read/received as over 46% of the respondents admit that they do not use email, and this is the primary mode of communication for social service providers.
Our preliminary user research to validate this problem found that program participants would prefer to be contacted directly with appointment reminders indicating that they would be more likely to attend once an effective reminder system is employed.
Landing on the Solution
Based on our target users’ pain points, we knew we wanted to work on the following features:
- Create and display an alert to inform participants of upcoming appointments and remind them to confirm the meeting
- Participants must engage with the app as the alert is not removed until interacted with by her
- Participants are able to communicate with their provider to reschedule appointments and share circumstances that would force her to cancel
Explanation of Solution
97% of program participants surveyed have a cell phone. My solution is to create a mobile app that allows users to schedule appointments, receive and send appointment reminder alerts to reduce absenteeism. The solution would help users to benefit more from social service offerings and gain employment independence.
We learned that keeping scheduled appointments are important to program participants however the lack of a reminder system contributes to the high rate of absenteeism.
Tracking use of REMINDER app will reveal processes that can be improved
Product Manager Learnings:
The Co.Lab experience was great and I would love the opportunity to showcase my learning.
The key takeaway from the past four weeks is the importance of identifying and Focusing on the problem, ensuring all pain points are exposed.
Valuing the point of view of the user is essential as the product is being built with their frustrations in mind and the success of the product ultimately depends on the user satisfaction and ease of use.
I also learned to merit the importance of consumer research in identifying persistent problems as it gave credence to the need for the product.
Going forward I hope to work with a team to build a variable product with prioritized features and of course get user feedback and eventually land a product manager role.