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Autism Portal: connecting patients, families, educators, researchers and healthcare practitioners

Working closely with a small group of patients and incredibly passionate software engineers and genome scientists from a Toronto-based startup, we designed a prototype for an autism community portal for Autism Speaks. The primary goal of the portal and the project is to provide patients and their families better access to:

  • Information: providing tailored delivery of the latest information
  • Each other: providing connectivity to others based on shared symptoms, genetics, experiences, and geography
  • Research: providing the ability to actively contribute to cutting edge research studies

My task as a designer: develop early prototypes based on on initial discussions with stakeholders in the community.

Initial research

In our conversations we found out that patients and families want to feel more informed, engaged, and connected to the things that matter to them most. Some of the most common needs that were identified in our discussions with patients and their families:

Based on these needs, we rapidly prototyped a dashboard application. Most valuable and impactful tasks, like connecting other apps to access existing healthcare information or connecting patients and their families with relevant research studies were grouped by function:

Wireframing and prototyping

A dashboard to review personal information, individualized notifications, and manage privacy settings.

A space to enter longitudinal information about lifestyle, behaviour, symptoms, medications, and more. Connected applications regularly stream data into the platform and augment the notebook.

A space for patients to gain insight from their DNA records and match them with appropriate tools, users, resources, and research.

Patients can be matched and connected with most impactful research studies.

View prototype

Look and feel

Series of playful illustrations were sourced to breathe life into the interface.

A simple, friendly line look and feel was adopted for icons representing basic concepts in the app.

What’s next?

In order to ensure that the platform will be adopted with enthusiasm by the autism community, the prototypes are being used in broader research and conversations with stakeholders.

Series of prototypes are being tested with a variety of audiences to collect relevant feedback on the flows and the application overall.