new endings – Bachelor Thesis 2019 – @HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd with Anna Biesinger
User Research, User Interface Design, Printdesign

new endings is a digital tool in the form of a website that supports the user in planning his funeral and emergency preparedness. In addition, a pension folder summarizes all important documents in one place.

Challenge

Death is a topic that challenges some people. Many are uncomfortable dealing with their own death or the death of a loved one. This creates a certain lack of clarity that causes difficulties for the relatives of a dying person in the actual case of death. The challenge for us was how to bring this negatively charged topic closer to a young target group and how to create a possible discourse.

Approach

One of the first methods in the problem identification phase, we conducted qualitative interviews with experts and a defined target group to better understand needs and how to change the funeral and retirement planning process. How do they deal with the topic of death? What are the pains and gains of the users? In the subsequent evaluation, the five top findings were defined. These form the basis for the resulting concepts.

Solution

The selected top findings revealed that there is a need for a positive approach to the communication and presentation of the subject matter. The human being should be in the center of the concept and we want to be able to show him all possibilities of a funeral. The digital solution of a website should appeal to a younger target group. Simple and understandable presentations break up the negative theme. The user is guided through the individual points of the website in a targeted manner and in the end has put together his or her individual pension package. Various design methods, prototyping and user tests help to constantly question the result and adapt it to the needs of the users. 

The playful approach to how the user generates information further lightens up the whole topic. The website is divided into two sections. The funeral area and the prevention area. The user can decide for himself which areas he wants to complete. An important part of communicating the information is storytelling in design. The user is taught the topic via an introduction. The first thing he is given is information about the subject. His task is to engage with the tool and fill it out. The positive feedback gives him a sense of achievement and completes his journey. 

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The information filled in by the user on the website are summarized in a precautionary folder. Notes show the user necessities and information of the individual areas. The signature the information on the living will and the health care proxy becomes valid.

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