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Timeline-based To-do Lists for the Prenatal-through-Postnatal Experience

Restructuring complex info into timely task-based lists can simplify and reduce mental load throughout this often overwhelming journey.

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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

This idea is designed to provide free content to organizations that target expectant parents in the United States, specifically under-resourced end-users. Recognizing that mental load (aka cognitive load) is a significant barrier to entry in navigating a complex/ fractured healthcare system, this idea takes a user-centered approach to information delivery to structure info 1) as tasks, 2) progressively disclosed as needed, and 3) in a single, accessible, location with open-sourced content.

Imagine this

  • Your office has just received a new model printer, with numerous advanced features. You need to print out some documents urgently, and don’t know how to use the new machine. There is a thick user manual detailing all the features and how to troubleshoot, and a 1-page, 3-step Quick Start Guide. Where do you turn first?
  • You’ve just landed in a foreign country where you will be living for several years. You’re hungry and tired, but you have no local currency and do not speak the local language. Which should you open first: your travel guide with sections on banking, restaurants and helpful phrases? Or your textbook about the region’s history and economy?

Planning a journey
For many, the transition from pregnancy through to parenthood is like a being given a complicated new appliance with no clear instructions, or embarking on a journey to a new land without an appropriate guidebook.

Of course, it helps to have information about what the future holds, and much of that is already freely available via various media and languages scattered across the Internet. But, for parents, the path of nurturing a healthy baby through pregnancy and birth requires not only information, but support in turning that information into particular actions and new habits -- relating to insurance, medical appointments, personal health, employment, etc. -- at specific and repeated times throughout the journey. Research has shown that, for the under-resourced in particular -- and this may include anyone lacking time, social support or mental/physical wellness in addition to those lacking financial resource -- the stress of thinking about and dealing with scarcity leaves very little mental space to learn new information or put it into practice.

Health and community advocates across the U.S. are doing hard work compiling and communicating this information to their constituents, but could they benefit from consolidating their efforts?

Task lists organized by timeline

This idea proposal would take already-existing informational resources about the prenatal-through-postnatal journey -- sourced from non-advertising-influenced organizations (government agencies, NGO's, patient and community advocates, etc.)  -- and re-write and re-organize them into timely, task-based lists...

[.... You can read the rest of this proposal at GitHub here ...]

and in the attached document 'OpenIDEO Maternal Health Challenge - Anna Lee' in both Word and pdf form

At what stage is your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I prototyped an early [undesigned] stage of the site on Github: I anticipate that this type of site would ultimately need to live on a platform that is more accessible to my intended audience -- Github can be very offputting to non-coders -- but I'm using Github for now because its free and quick!

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

*Content development and editing: Advice from health ed., community advocates, medical/nursing professionals, and instructional design experts concerning what Task topics to develop and how best to edit the writing for under-resourced audiences, especially those with critical needs. *Product/project management: I think this idea would develop best under the auspices of a patient/health/community advocacy organization, as I lack resources to carry it forward on my own.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a mom with 5 years experience, and a freelance UI/UX designer with 17 years experience in visual communication and interaction design for advertising, marketing, branding and web.

This idea emerged from...

  • An Individual

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • yes

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no

How would you describe this idea (in 2-3 sentences) while in an elevator with someone?

I’m working on a "quick start" guide to help under-resourced new and expecting parents in the U.S. These tightly-edited To-Do Lists will be developed in collaboration with health/community advocacy organizations and support their efforts to deliver clear, concise, *actionable* perinatal education to their constituents.

What is the specific problem your idea is trying to solve? 1 sentence.

Many health/community advocacy organizations that work with under-served populations find they have to tailor their perinatal education materials to suit their clients' marginalized needs, yet these wonderful organizations are often working in silos, duplicating their research and writing efforts. I’d like to support them in content development by setting up an Open Education Resource, where content is specifically developed with the "overwhelmed, under-resourced" mom in mind.

How has your idea improved or evolved throughout the Refinement Phase?

I’ve focused on limiting the scope of this project, while ensuring that it is open to future partnerships and developments. Therefore, I’d like this OpenIDEO idea to focus on 2 things: 1) developing and tightly editing “starter” content and guidelines and 2) implementing the content in an Open Education Resource environment and/or with free non-commercial license. For now, I would like to leave off potential extensions — such as content delivery channels, mobile apps, printables -- as those are ideas that are reliant on the need to develop content firstly. I've clarified how this idea is centered on the need for specifically written/structured content to serve the needs of those who are mentally taxed and overwhelmed. To address marketing and dissemination, I would like to make contact with those in the Open Education Resources community. I would like to reach out to perinatal health education partners -- particularly those who serve under-resourced moms -- to see how that might be achieved. I am doing some preliminary online research about best practices for instructional design. I am doing some online research about ways to invite and encourage collaboration using Open Education platforms, non-commercial Creative Commons licenses, and open source platforms. I have spoken to three mentors, Stefanie Boltz (Senior Program Manager, Innovating Education in Reproductive Health), Kendra Smith (Editor, Healthline) and Kay Matthews (Founder, Shades of Blue). Through these meetings, I have learned that there is indeed a need for this kind of support among health and community advocacies — groups who are doing hard work “on the ground” and have developed expertise in helping under-resourced expecting parents get to the resources they need. Therefore, I am considering this group my primary audience.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

I will look to feedback from partners to see whether this idea is having its intended effect.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

I don’t have personal resources to conduct this project entirely on my own, so after setting up the basic structure and guidelines, I would like to reach out to health/community advocacy partners -- perhaps gather a small group of contributors and moderators -- who could help host and manage this resource going forward.

How is your idea different or unique from what is currently on the market?

The existing resource that most closely matches this idea is Text4Baby, who have simplified a tremendous amount of perinatal health information from a consortium of reputable sources into an accessible format that resists information overload or commercialization. I think it would be very beneficial to many local organizations if the content were easier to access ("open"). This would allow organizations that serve people with different needs to tailor it as needed.


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