Designing a social health service for the elderly for a Hong Kong based startup


1 Week


UXathon Award


Aqua de Vida


UX & Visual Designer, Project Manager


Loughborough University regularly partners with the United Nations and Hong Kong University to run design hackathons involving pairing student teams with clients from HKU who are trying to start startups and gain investments. The client I worked with was trying to enable and encourage the elderly population in China to socialise and exercise to keep their physical and mental health up.

People over 60 are increasingly becoming more socially isolated.

This is due to various reasons including spousal and familial separation, geographical and communicative distancing from old friends, and fewer and fewer services catering to them. This is leading to loneliness and mental health issues.

Their physical health and wellbeing is suffering

Due to family members working, there generally isn’t anyone to stay at home to take care of the older generation, meaning that their physical health and wellbeing is suffering. This is compounded by the fact that it is hard to find safe areas to exercise properly, leading to injury.

and so is their mental health.

These issues, along with the overall loss of independence leads to depression among older people, which tends to go unchecked for the same reasons that it was caused, leading to a vicious cycle.

Some Briefs I Didn't Choose:

Food Waste Caused by Forgetfulness

According to several studies, people with Alzheimer's waste a lot of food due to the food expiring while the owner has forgotten about it.


Sufferer, General Public, Primary Carer


Daily Life following Diagnosis


Moderate/Severe Decline

Not chosen due to somewhat low impact relative to other options, as well as lack of personal interest or excitement about the problem.

Emotional pain caused by cognitive testing

Cognitive testing for progression tracking can be a daunting, stressful experience for the patient as they can see themselves declining, or not being able to express their thoughts. This can also be worrying or saddening for the family members if they're present.


Sufferer, Family Members


Doctor's Visits



Some good aspects, and an interesting challenge, but the chance of being able to solve well with the time and resources available is low.


Veteran Field is a private multi-service center for independent senior citizens to provide mental, physical and health care services through a professional program on a weekly basis.

Discussing Deliverables

Discussions with the client team allowed us to agree upon a set of deliverables that were realistic, impactful, and suited to the available skillsets.

  • Envision the Service: A proposed user journey or multiple user interactions that guide what the service or an aspect of the service could be. Wireframes/Hifi screens or a connected story detailing user touchpoints. A full Hifi Journey as a stretch goal
  • Brand Inspirations: Define the general base aesthetic of the brand. Colours and Fonts as a base deliverable. Logo as a stretch goal.

Gathering and Analysing Research

The clients had already undertaken a lot of research, and though it was geared towards determining business viability, it proved to be a highly valuable resource that had answers for most questions that we had.

In the given timeframe, it seemed best to rely on that for most things and do just enough extra research to answer any important questions that we had that weren't covered in their documents.

    Testing Assumptions

    • Assumption: A digital interface may not be a good choice for the target age demographic.

      False: The chinese market is a bit of an outlier in this, as they have a much higher than average percentage of senior smartphone users that are comfortable with complex interactions such as online shopping through their phone.
    • Assumption: People are not just isolated, they're lonely, ie. they are not happy with their social situation and would be better off with more social experiences

      True: High suicide rates and increased reports of depression and other mental health issues in China have both been attributed to this problem.
    • Assumption: People are going to be comfortable in putting trust in a system such as this

      True: Research performed by Aqua de Vida corroborated this, along with general pricing tolerance (around 800 RMB per month).

    The Experience Vision Statement

    Users should have a safe, secure place that allows them to meet their unfulfilled physical and mental wellbeing needs. This service will span from core healthcare tracking and maintenance to physical exercise, activity, and play to social and mental stimulation through meeting people, making friends, receiving counceling, and challenging their brains. The user should be put on an efficient path to achieving their own personal self actualisation goals.

    The service should be tailored to the individual, while still allowing them to feel part of the collective group. Activites should deliver a social experience with a personal touch. Partaking in any one of the services should feel effortless, and should be eagerly anticipated by the user. Supporting maintenance sessions (such as health tracking) should be efficient and their benefits should be transparent, and where possible, opt-in.

      Holistic Touchpoint Exploration

      For this particular service to be effective, multiple stages of the experience had to not only work well, but also synergise and fit together.

      For this reason, I decided that rather than immediately focusing on one part of the journey, it would be best to start by exploring the full lifecycle to really get into the mindset of designing the system rather than just the app.

      • Entice: Trigger the user to take an interest in the service
      • Enter: Encourage the user to complete the sign-up (ie close the sale)
      • Engage: Make the main experience as useful and enjoyable as possible
      • Exit: End the sessions with a smile on the user's face.
      • Extend: Increase the chances of the user continuing the subscription.

      Ideation and Development


      A platform for community members to interact with the service by joining group activities and managing healthcare

      It is a platform to book their activities and exercises, and check their skill level.

      It enables users to keep an eye on their own health, both current and goals.

      It enables socializing with friends and loved ones through the ability to share moments.


      Simple, Helpful Onboarding


      Booking a Chess Game

      Winning Twice!

      We were fortunate enough to win not one but two first place awards for this project. We won the first place award for best client relationship, and the client team in Hong Kong won best project award.