Postpartum is one of the most challenging times for new mothers. It's both physically and emotionally exhausting as they recover from giving birth and adjust to the new role as a mother. The standard U.S. postpartum care is only medically-based, and many new moms feel that the needs of emotional care are not adequately provided. Social support is crucial for emotional comfort, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, new moms are not getting enough social support.
So I created Warmly, a new pre-made soup delivery service under Freshly just for new moms. The mobile app allows new moms to order the soups tailored to their needs and receive the virtual social support they deserve via gift registry and live chat features.
12 weeks (Fall 2020)
Adobe Creative Suite
The postpartum period is one of the most challenging times for new mothers. It's both physically and emotionally exhausting as they recover from giving birth. The current U.S. postpartum care is medically-based, and new mothers' emotional care needs are not adequately provided. New moms need social support from friends, family, and other moms to receive emotional comfort.
Postpartum moms during the COVID-19 pandemic have an additional challenge in an already trying situation — social isolation. They feel isolated more than ever when they need social support the most.
One of the ways people provide social support to postpartum mothers is by giving food. Food has extraordinary power. It acts as a catalyst for connecting people, contributing to new moms' physical recovery and emotional comfort. What if we use food as a means to provide social support to new moms? What if we reimagine the pre-made meal delivery service like Freshly that's already popular among new moms to serve a better purpose than just being a quick meal delivery service?
A new pre-made soup delivery service under Freshly with new moms in mind. With a mobile app and physical products, it is designed to connect new moms to the social support they deserve.
Users can browse through the culturally diverse soup collections with the nutrition they need for different postpartum symptoms. Each item shows tags to indicate suitability for various symptoms (i.e., mood booster, breastfeeding). Users can also read more about the ingredients, nutritional facts, and calories on the product detail page.
Every new mom has different concerns during postpartum. Some might need more nutrition for increasing breastmilk supply, and others might need more irons for hemorrhage.
Soups are the mainstay postpartum diet in many countries because of the comfort and hydration they provide.
Even after the user selected and purchased the box, Warmly gives an option to adjust the delivery date until four weeks after the baby's due date.
Nobody knows when the baby would arrive, even if there is a due date. This feature helps to reduce the stress of soon-to-be-moms worrying about the box being delivered too soon or too late.
Users can create a gift registry with the input of how many meals they would need per week so that their family and friends can easily contribute even when they live far from the user. Users can quickly send the registry via email or post on their social media to get awareness.
With the COVID-19 crisis, it is challenging for friends and family to send food or travel far to support new moms.
There are family and friends who want to help but don't know how to help. Many gift registries are created for newborns. Why not for new moms?
Users can select the current mood and join a live chat room to talk with other new moms while sipping their soups. They would feel connected to other new moms, and the current mood they selected would act as a conversation starter. When there is no one in the room at the moment, a chatbot will give them an option to jump to the adjacent room or wait for others with a copy that says, "you're not alone who's feeling this way."
New moms understand other new moms the best. They are going through the same journey, and with this built empathy, they can give comfort and advice to each other.
Food brings strangers together. Sharing a meal can open up conversations.
From the conception phase to post-presentation, I have received much feedback from potential users, a subject matter expert in postpartum care, and fellow designers. They helped me validate the concept, design and also plan for the next step to work around the constraints.
The thing that was most exciting to me about warmly was the ability to curate based on your postpartum needs — I suffered from a postpartum hemorrhage so I had to add more iron to my diet immediately — I would have loved to eat something other than extra spinach and even better if it came to my door without having to think about it.
After-care for the birth person is REAL. You have a whole journey of your own to go on, separate from the baby, and will need lots of stuff (and support) to help you along the way. Many brands focus on newborns' needs, but not a lot to serve the new mothers. We need more brands like Warmly to step forward and support new moms.
WARMLY, love that. It was really smart to include tags on the meals that clarify how they can help (mood booster, healing, breastfeeding, etc.).
The chatroom feature is really interesting, but I wonder how feasible it is to have something like that exist in a food-ordering application.
As a new mom myself, I have my own opinion on postpartum, but I didn't want to lean on to my own experience only because every mom would have different perspectives. I conducted three semi-structured user interviews with moms under six months postpartum and posted a few threads asking questions in Reddit's new mom community to gain insights. I also did secondary research to find out what's missing in U.S. postpartum care. I consolidated the findings and found out that "the new mothers need more emotional comfort which is closely connected to the access to social support."
Then I researched what form of social support is provided currently and found that receiving food and chatting with other moms offers comfort for new moms. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, it's challenging for new moms to receive this traditional social support anymore. They are in danger of feeling isolated when social support is needed the most. I noticed many moms turned to pre-made meal delivery services like Hello Fresh, Home Chef, and Freshly. I saw an opportunity to create a postpartum mother-focused meal delivery service that provides quick meal service and emotional comfort by re-imagining the features that are tailored toward the new moms.
I have ordered the products from three different pre-made meal delivery brands to study and audit the current experiences and also to decide which brand has the most suitable brand and assets that I can utilize. After auditing Home Chef, Freshly, and Daily Harvest, I have decided to go with Freshly since they have the quickest meal prep time and the comfortable home-cooked meal vibe in menu selections. After reading the articles on Freshly, I also learned that Nestle recently acquired and looked to expand its menu. It seems like the perfect opportunity for Warmly to jump in as part of their expansion.
I have created a user journey for a few weeks surrounding the new mother's due date. Then I ideated features according to the user's specific needs or pain points during each stage and aligned them with the brand's business goals.
After deciding on the parent brand, Freshly, I have explored a sub-brand naming and determined the brand structure of Warmly to be the endorsing brand. With endorsing brand structure, I had the freedom to explore different color schemes than just following the parent brand's color. But I had to make the brand of Warmly have colors and typefaces complementary to the parent brand to show they are connected. I tried to mimic the fluid typographic style in the Freshly logo when creating a logo for Warmly.
I made sure I do user testing for every stage of the design process to either receive the validation, narrow it down to multiple options, or identify a hole to fix. The example shown below is my various iterations for virtual communal table feature screens. After a few rounds of iterations, I have created a high-fidelity prototype to demo Warmly during the presentation.
As I reflect on this 12-week project, I realized that empathy was there for the whole journey. It initiated this project, shaped the design decisions, and connected me to other professionals and users who value the power of empathy. Just like how a new mom can be a comfort to another new mom, in my career, I want to continue to deeply understand the people who I am designing for and bring comfort to them by thoughtful design.
During the research, I stumbled upon an article that helped me with new insights and decided to reach out to the author, who was thankfully delighted to connect with me. Her insights on the postpartum care industry were validating my concept. Later, she offered me a UX internship to work at her startup company helping new moms connect to the postpartum doulas by telehealth. It was such a rewarding experience to work with someone who shares the same passion as me.