"Charlie"

A Chatbot for Millennial Alzheimer's

Family Caregivers

Alzheimer’s is a worldwide epidemic that increases continually. In the United States alone, 5.7 million people live with Alzheimer’s. This disease touches the afflicted and their families dramatically. They need help. Our solution is a sophisticated, emotionally intelligent chatbot called Charlie. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Charlie provides Alzheimer’s caregivers personalized emotional support through natural conversation and guided lessons. For Millennial family caregivers who seek information and caregivers who are time-starved or feeling lost or unable to cope, Charlie will provide the time and space to be the resource companion they need to help alleviate the mental and emotional stress of not knowing what to say or what to do when interacting with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease.

​Chatbot Design

Alzheimer's

Millennial Caregiversk

Team
Qinyu Ding
Deb Pang Davis
My Role - UX Researcher & Prototyping
Mainly contributed in UX research, ideation (journey map) and chatbot interactive prototyping. Helped usability studies.
Date
Sept 2018 - Dec 2019

“'CHARLIE' CAN HELP YOU BUILD A TOOLKIT TO PREPARE YOU AS A CAREGIVER“

Methods
Interviews
Personas
Wireframes
Tools
Proto.io
Adobe Illustrator

“'CHARLIE' IS AVAILABLE 24/7 TO TALK WITH ON WHATEVER YOU WANT.

HE DOES NOT JUDGE"

Design Process
Research &
Define the Problem
Extract Insights
Model &
Ideate
Design &
Prototype
2
Evaluation
Iterate

"I don't know what bad things could happen to her until they happen.

And nobody can tell me how exactly I can deal with them."

- One of the caregivers we interviewed

Background

Alzheimer’s is a worldwide epidemic that increases continually. In the United States alone, 5.7 million people live with Alzheimer’s. This disease touches the afflicted and their families dramatically. Research shows that 16.1 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

 83% 

help comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers.

18.4

hours of care valued at over $232 billion.

1/4

of them are millennials who care for an aging parent, their own family, and careers

Confronted with the dramatic decline of loved ones, millennial caregivers frequently report crippling stress. Many general therapy apps and Alzheimer’s or dementia information apps exist today. Yet, an analysis on mobile apps for caregivers of older adults determined a need for apps specifically designed for "the caregiver’s emotional well-being" and tailored to "their unique stressors and experiences" 

The Primary Problem to Address:

 "How might we help Millennial caregivers feel less isolated and supported?"

Audit of Design Precedents

Before starting the primary research, we had reviewed existing work and products that could inform or influence our design.

Dementia Advisor offers role-playing scenarios where the user is prompted to choose an answer depending on the situation. There’s some great content. An expert offers his suggestions after the user completes a sequence. The images unfortunately give a negative impression of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The initial impression is that patients are male and all are grumpy. Interaction points are designed for an older audience. There’s some great signals and feedback. Unfortunately, this app is limited at the moment in terms of content. Visually this is probably one of the better products out in the market. 

Dementia Advisor offers role-playing scenarios where the user is prompted to choose an answer depending on the situation. There’s some great content. An expert offers his suggestions after the user completes a sequence. The images unfortunately give a negative impression of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The initial impression is that patients are male and all are grumpy. Interaction points are designed for an older audience. There’s some great signals and feedback. Unfortunately, this app is limited at the moment in terms of content. Visually this is probably one of the better products out in the market. 

Caregiver Buddy is offered by the Alzheimer’s Association of America. It is chock full of content; however, it also feels like an impenetrable wall. The app is clearly designed for older caregivers with larger type, touch target points, etc. Does is meet usability heuristics 

We found out that there were not enough products designed for caregivers. 

The challenge - Issues with cards raised in the pilot test

Solutions

Anything worth doing is worth doing well

Designed & coded by Qinyu Ding © 2019