Peacefully is a startup based in Los Angeles that aims to streamline all end of life tasks from closing bank accounts to notifying social security benefits. Currently surviving loved ones and caregivers spend over 500 hours navigating post-death tasks. On average, families can spend up to $12,000 in managing their loved one's estate. Family conflicts arise out of this sensitive time.
Through my human-centered design process, I uncovered key pain points in the caregiver journey after the death of their loved one and solved for simplifying their end-of-life tasks. As a result, I designed interactive prototypes and launched a post-death task management app that captures the caregiver's needs in a survey and delivered a customized checklist with a marketplace of partnerships such as insurance. Peacefully won the award of Most Innovative Idea at End Well Conference 2018.
"Peacefully made it easy to get my siblings to help by giving them tasks to do. It really took the burden off of me."
In my discovery process, I completed 100+ interviews with caregivers, surviving family members, estate lawyers, hospice health professionals, and funeral home directors. I created personas, customer journey mapping, and storyboards for the planning and post-death scenarios to understand the key touchpoints to introduce an app to the user's life.
The design challenge I uncovered was how to acquire caregivers grieving at a fragile point in life to adopt a task management app. I learned of four key factors from the interviews, which are caregiver distance, relationship to the diseased, education level, and financial capacity.
I collaborated with the business development team to create a product vision using the lean canvas model. It served as a guideline for executing product strategy and aligning the team on a product roadmap for tactical launches.
I also developed a brand identity that reflects the core values of Peacefully and allows the marketing team to communicate those values in collateral items and content marketing.
I worked closely with the engineering team in a design sprint and delivered user flows, scenario mapping, sketches, and wireframes. I also developed high fidelity prototypes to show all the visual and typographic design details of a product. I ensured to design for accessibility to account for user personas over 65 years of age. The multiple iterations of this prototype secured the company an initial $60k in funding.
To validate my hypothesis on caregiver behavior, I conducted usability testing to identify the user's mental model and rectify usability problems such as fillable state dropdown as early as possible. I also conducted A/B testing to improve the design system from multiculturally-represented icons in the app (formerly named "Nia") to language that guide caregivers through their tasks.
Designing for a re-imagined post-death experience was humbling. Throughout my process, I learned to design for simplicity, which reduced caregivers' cognitive overload about next steps while grieving. I also redesigned the checkout experience, offering it in a freemium model to reduce the pain perception of finances after a death. My marketplace design allowed me to tap into the potential of connection, guiding the caregivers of resources from insurance to mental health services. Customers have reported improved wellbeing, decreased stress levels, and ease of app use.
In its first month of launch, Peacefully acquired 200 users ranging from caregivers to funeral homes. It also partnered with five nursing homes and achieved a remarkable NPS score of 49 within four months since its app launch.