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Introducing Birdie Client Feed

June 30, 2022
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Introducing Birdie Client Feed

In order to provide fantastic person-centred care, our partners need to know a lot about their care recipients. They need to easily track down that information and share it with colleagues & the CQC, often at short notice. Finding this information can be challenging at the best of times, especially when all their data isn’t in one place.

That’s why we’re so excited to launch our new Birdie Client Feed!

We’ve been working closely with our partners for over a year to develop a suite of tools that transform the way care is audited. You can now find and filter all the alerts and visits related to any individual care recipient in one place, the Birdie Client Feed. And we’re going further! You’ll now be able to record non-visit related information as well with notes, all filterable, all in one place. Auditing care and monitoring a person’s wellbeing has never been so simple.

See here for more information on Client Feed!

So, how does Birdie work with our partners?

One of the best things about being a designer at birdie is that we work so closely with the people that use our products. At Birdie we don’t work with “Customers”, we work with “Partners” -because it really is a partnership. That means we are able to combine decades of experience in care with cutting edge tech. This results in products and features that are making the provision of amazing person-centred care as simple as it should be.

So, how does Birdie work with our partners?

It all starts with research. In early 2021 we wanted to understand what our partners thought of Birdie’s auditing capabilities. The first step of the process was to develop a research plan to help keep us focused on what we needed to learn:

  1. When do partners struggle with our auditing tools?
  2. How do they use them?
  3. How can we improve what we have today?

We uncovered that the overwhelming majority of partners wanted a notes or diary feature. This was understandable as its how care agencies have been keeping track of their clients for years. After a few conversations with partners we suspected there was still plenty of room for improvement. We wanted to dig deeper and really understand why the diary had been the tool of choice for so long, so we asked the “five whys”. It looks something like this…

Partner: We really need a diary feature, to keep track of our clients.

Birdie: Why do you need a diary feature?

Partner: So we have somewhere in Birdie to record non visit information.

Birdie: Why do you need to record non visit information in Birdie?

Partner: So client information isn’t spread across multiple systems

Birdie: Why is that important?

Partner: It makes it easier to monitor an individual if all of their information is one place, if the CQC ask for evidence we can find it easily, and because it costs us money to have more than one system.

Ok, so that was technically only 4 “whys” but you get the idea. Using this simple method we were able to drill down to what our partners really wanted. There’s a famous quote from Henry Ford “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”. At Birdie we have no interest in getting distracted by what’s already on the market, we want to deeply understand what it takes to deliver great personalised care and build on that.

Meet the Ostriches

As a designer at Birdie, I work in one of many squads. Each squad has a designer, a product manager, a number of software engineers, and sometimes even clinical personnel and other specialists. My squad is called the Ostriches (naturally all our squads are named after birds at Birdie!). As a squad, we used our research to focus on how we could help care managers find care recipient information easily and in one place. We believed that collecting all of the care recipient’s visits, alerts, and add notes into one “feed” would be a step in the right direction. We also introduced the idea of tagging to allow care managers to further filter the feed to easily find specific types of information.

Early in a project we use drawings called “wireframes”. These are simple, low-fi mockups that help us communicate the structure of an idea and how it relates to the rest of the Birdie system. This allowed us to quickly develop an idea without getting bogged down in pixel perfection.

Wireframes for Client Feed

Wireframes worked well when talking to the other Ostriches, but our partners needed help visualising what the end product might look like, so for external design reviews we used “high-fidelity” designs to give them a more realistic experience.

Whenever we design a new feature for Birdie, it has to work harmoniously in the larger product eco system. We used a method called Object modelling to help us understand how our ideas would fit into the overall system. The method is more commonly used in engineering but for the purpose of our project it was a great way to visualise the relationship between all the different parts of Birdie.

Object Modelling for Client Feed

Now we had some great ideas, and we understood how our new feature would fit into the bigger picture. Next we made a prototype — a fake product — to user test with our partners. Making real software takes a lot of time and effort, the last thing we want to do is waste time and energy on an idea that doesn’t work with real partners, so we fake it! A prototype is like fake software, moving images held together with a scrap of code, just enough to look real. Just enough to get real feedback from real partners. “Fail fast and learn” is the name of the game when it comes to building great products.

When the first version of the real features were built and ready to test, we arranged an internal “dog fooding” session. This is the practice of testing your own product before it gets into the hands of real partners. It’s always a pleasure to see Birdie folk from all over the company show up to help us get features over the line. We really do succeed together!

Birdie Client Feed and Notes

At this point we were confident in our new product, it was time to launch the Beta and finally bring Birdie Client Feed to life. The feature has been with our beta group for just a few weeks but the early signs are promising. Watch this space!

Hopefully you now have a better idea of why we think partnerships at Birdie are so important. By working so closely with real care agencies with real experience we can build features and products that make a meaningful impact on person centred care. I’m personally very proud and excited to see Birdie Client Feed make the pain of auditing client data a thing of the past!

We can't wait for you to dive in!

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