The Journey

Starting Somewhere

During the first phase of my 10-week journey, I wanted to better acquaint myself with the problem and research up to date.

I dove right into the material for what care gaps are and how the team was trying to resolve them. After reaching a high-level understanding of the research up to date, I reviewed previous wireframe tests to observe what the proposed solution was and ask why this? and why not something else?

My methods for understanding and making sense of all this new material involved:
  • Discussions with my Lead
  • Informal interviews with internal stakeholders
  • A workshop with team members across different intersecting zones to extract their knowledge on the subject and their concerns
  • Mapping and categorizing the new learnings and crafting user statements for design inspiration

Conducting User Research

For the bulk of my work, I interviewed representatives of key personas that are integral to the management of Care Gaps. These ranged from Care Managers to Nurse Practitioners to Assistant Physicians. Rather than following a scripted interview process, we experimented with a future-oriented interviewing technique called Presumptive Design.

In simple terms, Presumptive Design aims to uncover problems and frustrations by assuming we know what that problem is and testing that assumption. Instead of spending precious time crafting what we think is the solution of the future, we instead begin our design process by quickly testing solutions using mockups, or artifacts, that imply possible features and ask the users to perform a task using the artifact.

The results were insightful: when our assumptions about a solution were wrong, it opened a channel for conversation on why the solution would not work, and users would subsequently share what their workflow really looked like or wished it could be. Extracting meaning from these reactions helped us better understand the user’s ideal workflow when it comes to the future of care gap management.

This is an example of one of the artifacts that we used to carry out our conversations with potential users. In order to test our assumptions, we mocked up a potential solution for the future of care gap management and asked our users to walk us through how they would use this.

Developing Insights

The next phase of this project was to synthesize our learnings from our conversations. We processed the video recordings using Dovetail in order to identify patterns and new directions for the future of care gap management. We then took these insights and developed concepts to tell a narrative of what an ideal solution could look like in 2-3 years.

Sharing Findings

The final step was to convey our findings to the team and zone leadership. We decided to take an unconventional approach and presented our information via an interactive slideshow. For every insight we shared, we took questions and ideas from the team and updated the slides in real time. The result was a living document that summarized our summer-long process, findings, as well as the final input from the team.


  • The limited time frame meant I had to absorb a lot of complex information very quickly which was at times stressful.
  • The nature of exploratory research was at times hard to navigate as it can be unstructured for periods of time.

Opportunities for Growth

This project grew my interest in user research, as I was able to try out a new technique for improvisational interviewing. I would really like to keep learning more!


Allison and her team are using our insights from this project to guide the direction of the vision project. Recently, it's being used to onboard new team members onto the Care Gaps team.

Internship Insights

Exploratory, future-oriented research does not seem to be commonplace in healthcare, but users seemed very eager and excited when given the chance to talk about possibilities and what does and doesn’t work for them, which is very powerful.