Helping caregivers connect to other caregivers for tips and resources when they want, wherever they want.

Project Summary

We were approached by the AARP Caregiving Team to design a solution to deliver relevant and timely information to caregivers within pharmacies. Initially, the AARP Caregiving Team proposed to implement kiosks that dispense information to the user within pharmacies. However, we identified that a booth was not the right tool to engage and inform the caregiver. In the end, through customer interviews and a deep dive into the world of caregiving, we developed a solution that was preferable by caregivers. This solution was a proposal for a mobile app named "TipJar," as it provided a supportive community for the caregiver to receive relevant and timely information to their needs.


  • Design Thinker
  • Facilitator
  • User Researcher
  • Creative Director

The Challenge

The first challenge proposed was: "How might we develop and deploy a kiosk within pharmacies to provide information to caregivers." We reframed this challenge too: "How might we deliver relevant information to caregivers when and where they need it." We shifted the problem as it was a flawed assumption—assuming that caregivers wanted to spend their waiting time in the pharmacy by interacting with a kiosk.

The Audience

  • People who identify as caregivers or who are caring for someone either part-time or full-time.


Research + Observations:

We presented our research on poster paper, and allowed participants to view them at any time.

Before the development of the prototype, we immersed ourselves by visiting pharmacies and observed the customer's interaction with kiosks. We also enlisted the help of AARP's Research Center of Excellence to pull together data trends, and insights on the behavior patterns of the caregiver's within pharmacies. Afterward, we pulled the team together to present our findings in a 4-hour long workshop, which also included a focus group discussion by participating caregivers. Some key learnings were:

  • Customers are not utilizing or interacting with the kiosk. They are more interested in what they have on their phones.
  • 85% of prescriptions are delivered electronically, which minimizes the wait time or time spent within the pharmacy.
  • The prescription experience is a crucial driver of loyalty. Pharmacies work to optimize the experience with auto-refills, drive-through options, and non-pharmacy offerings to minimize the time spent in the pharmacies.
  • During the focus group, we observed caregivers sharing information and their experience as caregivers with each other.

Design Sprint:

Participants from our consumer group playing our version of "Shark Tank"

We facilitated a 4-day design sprint to generate and test our ideas rapidly.

  • Day 1: We reviewed prior research and brainstormed over 20 ideas, which we shortlisted to five.
  • Day 2: The team was split into groups and given an idea to refine; they also began to build low fidelity prototypes.
  • Day 3: Prototypes were finalized and presented to consumers. We had the participants vote on which concept they would like to see move forward.
  • Day 4: We created a "shark tank" game for our consumers, where we handed each $100 of monopoly money and asked them to "invest" in an idea. This exercise helped to prioritize which concept to move forward.

The Solution

Out of the five ideas, we moved forward with TipJar to build and test. TipJar is an online community of caregivers offering day-to-day practical tips, access to local resources, and access to professional guidance. We utilized the MSCW method to prioritize the features of the prototype. To assist in the development and speed of production, we brought in Blaine Levy of BlaineLevyGraphics to build the higher fidelity models for user testing.

Finalized Screens.

User Testing:

We facilitated nine usability tests to gain feedback and gauge the interest of the prototype. To do this, we provided two tasks, followed by a series of questions in between to understand their expectations:

  • Task 1: Explore the tips that other caregivers are leaving behind.
  • Task 2: Explore the process of leaving a tip/account creation process.

The prototype tested very positively—meeting the needs and expectations of caregivers. The major takeaways from the user testings were:

  • The overall user experience was smooth, seamless, and familiar. However, users preferred to have no hidden or expandable menus. Stating that their time is very precious and having to look for a navigational menu to open was valuable time wasted.
  • Users liked the option of being able to follow channels within the onboarding process.
  • The process of being able to find a tip without having to create an account was valuable (though they wouldn't mind creating an account).
  • Users liked the idea of having each submission vetted as they felt it added a level of security and quality to the platform.
View final prototype

Results / Next Steps

After refining the prototype as per the feedback received from the user tests, we packaged all our research and files to pass off to the appropriate team within AARP to build and deploy. TipJar eventually became the inspiration and framework for the AARP communities page.

Prototype is password protected.

Password: AARP5576

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Let's Work Together.

I'm always up for exciting projects and new opportunities. Reach out to me if you are interested in collaboration.