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Illinois Department of Human Services 



Healthcare Service 


August, 2016-Present 



Contextual research, analysis, insight framing, co-creation workshop, concept development, storyboarding 



Jenni; Yachu; Xuanbai; Emily

Home Service Program Research:

How could DHS provide better service to people with disabilities?


To better understand the challenges, perspectives, and meaningful moments of customers and providers within the Home Services Program and to propose opportunities to improve the program experience.

Paid by the state to provide assistance with household tasks, personal assistants are selected, employed, and supervised by individual customers. Home service program provides services to people with severe disabilities so they can remain in their homes and be as independent as possible.

Research & Insights

Design Principles

Communicate openly and enable transparency of information to ensure smooth programmatic operations.

Build flexibility into the program to address time management.

Build a sense of accountability and trust through a community of care, preventing things like the inconsistency of care and fraud.

Build continued learning opportunities for providers to improve quality of care and support their own professional development.

Create an open & transparent channel for customers and providers to voice their needs/status and receive feedback from the system.

Leverage the Independent Living Philosophy to reflect the whole individual and the nuances of their needs.

Design with sensitivity to family member or non-family member provider context.

Empower the independence of the whole customer beyond the confines of the home environment.

Develop infrastructure to support smooth transitions across program and provider changes.

Tap into customers’ resourcefulness and recognize the potential of government involvement in the use of technology to improve program.

Co-Creation with Stakeholders

Four collaborative ideation groups with a mix of students, designers, state, and union representatives designing concepts using a round robin concept generation exercise.

Concept Generation and Evaluation

Through the co-creation workshop and synthesis process, we came up with eight future opportunities. They are:

Further Development of Matchmaking and Story Platform

Relate empowers customers and providers and build a supportive community through matching needs and skills.

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