The K4Community Team Hub is the command center for Staff at Senior Living communities, and a big part of health and happiness within Senior Living Communities is keeping residents informed of dining options within the community.
Historically the Team Hub utilized static PDF designs to communicate menus. For busy Life Enrichment Coordinators at Senior Living communities, this becomes an extremely manual process to input data, create a design, and publish menus to Digital Signage in the community, the Resident mobile app, and manually re-enter the same data for Voice for each day of the week.
For Residents, the experience of pinching & zooming a PDF on a mobile device is not user-friendly or accessible, and because of the overhead for Staff menus often were not even published to Voice, an important accessible Resident experience became very underutilized by communities.
The existing process for publishing menus to Digital Signage (DSM), App, and Voice, which had to manually be done for each day of the week.
The discovery process was one of the most comprehensive projects in K4Connect. We started with three main research objectives:
1. Define existing customer journey for publishing menus to different destinations
2. Understand customer needs around uploading/editing/scheduling menus
3. Validate proposed publishing workflow/mockups.
From here we started by interviewing Life Enrichment Coordinators and Dining Staff to further understand their individual workflows, understand pain points, and see where efficiencies could be made.
We hypothesized that taking this extremely manual, static process and completely automating it by utilizing structured menu data that could be easily sent to our publishing destinations (Digital Signage, App, and Voice) would eliminate Staff burden, and create a more accessible experience for Residents. This strategy moved the company towards a new data-driven approach and created a stronger value proposition for the company, bringing us one step closer to fully realizing the company's longstanding “create once, publish everywhere” promise.
The proposed automation process relived Staff of duplicative manual data entry and daily publishing.
Prototyping & Testing
The prototyping phase of this project was extensive as every control we put on the Team Hub web app UI had implications for the Resident App and Voice experience, as well as Digital Signage. We had the following objectives for our prototype:
Flexibility: From our research, we discovered Staff need the flexibility to schedule menus that repeat on a 4-6 week seasonal cadence, "always available" menus that never change, as well as "daily specials" menus that have no repeat cadence. With this knowledge, we created a flexible scheduling system that worked for all three scenarios.
UI Modes: We discovered Staff need to input their menus at the start of a season, but also need to make day-of changes while the menu is running all while communicating those changes easily to residents. We created two modes on the interface for the scheduled menu and the substitution menu so that Staff could perform this task in context of their environment and headspace.
Automatic Publishing: Publishing to App, Voice, and Digital Signage had always been the last step in the content creation process in Team Hub. By allowing staff to pick their publishing preferences up front, we were able to create a completely hands-off experience for Staff by automatically publishing menus when the menu dates were active, and live updating changes after the menu is published.
Preview: Previously Staff were not able to see how the Team Hub UI would translate to the Resident experience before they published anything. By created an in-context preview as Staff are creating menus, we were able to show the resident experience to Staff as they were in the creation process.
Reusable Food Library: In order to speed up the data entry process, we created a food library where staff could reuse items across all menus instead of manually enter each and every item.
The Substitution UI Mode allows Staff to quickly make and publish menu changes.
The Preview mode allows Staff to see how Residents will experience menus on Desktop App, Mobile App, Digital Signage, and Voice.
The K4Community Menu Publishing project was a tremendous effort between Product, Development, and Customer Experience to bring to life. I was put in a new leadership position during this project which allowed me to lead the strategy, prioritization, research, design, and development hand-off from start to finish.