Planned Parenthood of NYC

Innovating access to sexual & reproductive health information for youth from immigrant communities in New York City

As Innovation Strategy Consultant, I worked in a team of four on a design challenge for Planned Parenthood of New York City, to broadly address the engagement of immigrant communities with their services. After preliminary research, and using the Five Whys method, we reframed to focus on how might we improve access to sexual and reproductive health information for young people from immigrant communities.

User research was planned on a timeline to include triangulation of methods and data sources. The AEIOU framework was used to plan research and create discussion guides. Research methods included user and expert interviews, fly-on-the-wall observations, card sorting, resource flow mapping, secondary research and literature review.

We interviewed forty individuals in the age group 15 - 25 to learn about their mental model, behavior and motivations around sexual and reproductive health, sex education and ideas pertaining to intimacy, relationships and body image.

Due to the private nature of the conversation, I also designed interview-probes in the form of 'hey cards' that enabled users to share their stories in writing. The data gathered through these probes was especially insightful.

Synthesis / Affinity mapping

We learnt that a significant number of young people belonging to Asian immigrant families did not have access / exposure to formal sex-ed resources. Since NYC schools only require one semester of health education in middle school and one in high school, and compliance is not enforced, we also uncovered a huge gap between what young people wanted to know, and what was covered in their sex education program. Abstinence-focused sex-ed left young people curious and confused about a whole spectrum of topics relating to their sexuality, well-being, self-image and relationships. Due to a somewhat conservative upbringing and the stigma attached to talking about sex, young people from certain communities found it difficult to communicate with their peers and loved ones.

As a trusted brand, PPNYC is well positioned to foster dialogue and healthy relationships, while providing access to reliable and accurate information on a range of sexual and reproductive health topics in an engaging manner. We started ideating concepts for this business opportunity.


Design criteria :
After a few sessions of rapid prototypes using poker cards, the game concept was further refined and the contents of topics were distilled through card sorting group activities. 

It was quintessential to meet the users where they are, that is, on their phones! So we created mockups for a digital manifestation of the card game.

User testing revealed that the concept needed to improve on the functionalities of engagement and be more personal, privacy-focused and conversational. We then iterated the contents and designed a chatbot experience.



Chhavi Jain 2020