TransZen

Helping trans individuals find reliable quality health care.

Project Overview

As my final project for the General Assembly's Product Management course, I  created a mobile application for trans individuals that helps them navigate the health care space.

Role:

  • User Researcher
  • UX / UI Designer
  • Product Manager

The Challenge

The U.S. has come a long way when it comes to LGBTQ issues, especially when it comes to the trans community. Society has become more accepting of trans individuals; however, there's still more work to be done, especially when it comes to health care. When it comes to healthcare, 44% of trans individuals report it as a top priority. The problem that I was solving was that trans people lack access to quality healthcare (both physical and mental). Most of all, they require a system of finding and locating the right professionals who can provide them the care they need.

The Audience

  • People who identify as transgender.
  • People who are questioning their gender identity.

Understanding The Market & Demographics

Research + User Interviews

To better understand the mentality and the needs of trans individuals, I conducted in-person interviews with individuals who have transitioned or in the process of transitioning. I also read various articles related to the issues that transgender people face when finding proper health care. Some of the fundamental discoveries I found were:

  • About a quarter of the transgender population has experienced discrimination, harassment, and victimization within a professional health care setting.
  • Trans individuals are at a higher risk of poor physical and mental health, disability, and stress. About 41% of the trans population has attempted suicide.
  • The majority of trans individuals pay out of pocket for their health care. When it comes to younger trans individuals, parents often refuse or downplay their child's dysphoria. Sometimes they transition on their own, such as illegally obtaining hormones or causing harm to their body by improperly binding their breasts.
  • A few individuals who I talked too were able to find a therapist and doctor they liked right off the bat, while others had to keep exploring and searching for the right one.
  • For older trans individuals, they worry about losing their friends and family if they transition.   

Understanding The Market:

There is an opportunity for impact and change within the LGBTQ market, especially for trans individuals. However, from what I have gathered, most products on the market have a focus on dating and relationships.

Some key facts that I found in regards to the market and buying power of the LGBTQ community:

  • What is known as "pink money," which is a term used to name the buying power of the LGBTQ community, is estimated to be $917 Billion. $82 Billion of that is the trans community contribution, of which $21 Billion are health care costs.
  • The total cost of gender reaffirming surgery can cost over $100,000, with bottom surgery alone estimated to be $25,000. In 2016, 3,250 sex-change operations were performed. By 2024 it is projected that the sex reassignment market will exceed $968 Million.
  • Depression is often common once an individual has received bottom surgery, so therapy is often recommended.

The Solution

My solution to the lack of access to quality healthcare for trans individuals, was TransZen. TransZen is a mobile app that allows the user to find, locate, and book health care professionals from the safety and privacy of their phone. The health care professionals within the platform are vetted and verified to be safe and knowledgable of trans issues. There is also a system where users can recommend professionals who have treated them.

Analyzing The Competition:

There aren't many services that cater to trans health care; as previously stated, most apps directed towards LGBTQ individuals are dating and community apps. TransZen's solution isn't uncharted territory; there are two direct competitors within the field—MyTransHealth and SpectrumScores. Additional competitors are Planned Parenthood, WebMD, and ZocDoc.

An area of opportunity to differentiate TransZen from MyTransHealth and its competitors is to include a system of rating and reviewing health care providers. This system ensures that the quality of care recommended by TransZen is continuously updated and monitored—providing more robust feedback to trans individuals looking for health care providers.

Success Metrics:

The following metrics can track the success of TransZen:

  • 14,000 downloads acquired with 10% (1,400) appointments made / booked.
  • 2,350 health care professionals added to the platform by the end of 2020.   
  • Tracking success by the insights on improved quality of care through customer reviews and testimonials.

Product Roadmap:

Time will be spent on research and experimentation—to ensure building a product that fully connects and meets the needs of the trans community.

In my product road map, I also built in the possibility of partnering with MyTransHealth and taking their platform even further. We have to take bolder steps in addressing the needs of underserved communities. Yes, trans issues are a taboo topic. And yes, some may never truly understand the experience of gender dysphoria. However, we do have an understanding of what doing the right thing looks like. Solutions like MyTransHealth, SpectrumScores, and TransZen is a bold first step.

View  prototype

Next Steps

Though I have completed the Product Management course by General Assembly—I still have a few things in mind to further refine the solution.

  • Revisiting past research to cast a broader range of surveys to understand trans individuals and the problems they face in health care.

  • Conduct usability tests to refine designs and improve the user experience.

Selected Works.

Project Name: AARP Cart Revamp
Roles: Design Thinker, Facilitator, User Researcher, Creative Director
Brief: We have developed a new design for a mobile cart to improve the mobility and presence of AARP within events.

View case study.

Project Name: TipJar
Roles: Design Thinker, Facilitator, User Researcher, Creative Director
Brief: TipJar is an online community for caregivers to connect with other caregivers to find helpful tips and information related to caregiving.

View case study.

Project Name: Livably
Roles: User Researcher, UX / UI Designer
Brief: Livably is a mobile app that helps older adults find new homes within neighborhoods that is better suited to their needs.

View case study.