Carriers That Care

Canada Post: Carriers that Care

Service design, experience design, UX/UI design


Roles

Interaction Design
Interface Design
Product Strategy
Illustration

Team

Jasper Precilla
Samaila Newaz
Tristan Turisno
Hugo Duran

Duration

Oct 2023 - Dec 2023


OVERVIEW

A check-in service to strengthen connections between independently living seniors and their loved ones.

Carriers that care is a proposal for a door-to-door service to be delivered by mail carriers of Canada Post. While primarily aimed at seniors in rural Canada who live alone, the service extends to loved ones of the seniors, who may be unable to visit on a regular basis.



This is an academic project created for a senior-level experience design course. The final deliverables for this project included a framework & proposal for the check-in service, as well as UX/UI design for 3 digital touchpoints (a web portal, and app, and a dashboard).


INTRODUCTION

"The Great Mail Decline"

In their 2022 and 2023 financial reports, Canada Post has revealed that letter delivery has been on the decline since 2006. In the parcel delivery space, they have been losing market share to faster, cheaper competitors such as FedEx or UPS. As a response, the crown corporation seeks to extend its offerings beyond traditional postage services.

7 letters per week received by Canadian households in 2006; 2 per week in 2023.

62% estimated market share in parcel delivery prior to the pandemic; 29% in 2023.


Opportunity

With over 26,500 letter carriers employed by Canada Post, my team and I believe that there is a reasonable space for the business to intervene with the senior care space. With this opportunity and Canada Post's infrastructure in mind, this lead to the inital proposal of Carriers that Care.

KEY INSIGHT #1

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers have been advocating for a senior check-in service since 2016.

The 'Delivering Community Power' initiative, created by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), are a set of proposals inspired by a sense of need for Canada Post to innovate - one of which include a proposal for a senior check-in service.

KEY INSIGHT #2

Japan and France as inspiration

As part of their pitch, the CUPW had cited Japan Post and La Poste in France were already existing utlizing their infrastructure of door-to-door delivery to provide care to seniors who are separated from their families via periodical check-ins. Similarly to Canada, both are countries where the increase in senior population have been an issue.

KEY INSIGHT #3

Addressing a need amongst seniors & their families

Further investigation into these services by us allowed us to discover why these services were working: Both France and Japan have seen an increase in seniors living alone in the last few years. Children would move out and start families on their own, and while they would successfully stay in contact, sometimes, there were events that senior parents would not think to communicate as they did not think of them as significant .

"In the past year, Monique has encountered various “problems”—a fall in the garden, a slip on the stairs. She describes them as if they were avoidable mistakes, the result of her absentmindedness."

- Description of a recipient of senior check-in service in France. (Source: The New Yorker)


DESIGN SPRINT

HMW Creation + Golden Path

After our proposal, we evaluated the customer journey and decided that in order for the service to succeed, we'd first need to tackle where the service might fail - as we felt that would be where design could add the most value.

Amongst the exercises we did, I felt that the most helpful for our case was the golden path exercise. At this point in our design process, all team members saw different ways Carriers that Care could fail, but this exercise helped us gain mutual agreement on the largest problem space in our service.

This journey map allowed us to shape our next steps: HMW ensure a successful first-time visit to ensure trust in the service?


USER INTERVIEWS

"Looks great, but it's not for me"

We created a landing page to communicate the values of the service and to establish trust amongst potential customers. We then presented these to 7 users for feedback. This gave us insight into primary concerns that we should be addressing with our service.

Methodology

We conducted a total of seven 30-40 minute user tests with people who lived independently from their parents. These candidates were from a varied age range between 20s to 50s.

1. Background & Building rapport

Understanding the context of their relationship with the older figures in their lives and their connection to the community.

2. Observational & Think-aloud study

Asking testers to navigate the prototype voice out their emerging questions, unanswered questions and general thoughts.

3. Debrief interview & Parting thoughts

Establishing their understanding of the service and their opinions on its effectiveness and suitability for their own situation.

FLOW OF 3-STEP PROCESS OF USER INTERVIEWS

Common answers

During user testing and in-class presentations, proposals for Carriers that Care were met with concerns around putting postal workers in a position where they would have authority in areas that they would not be adequately trained for - especially medical care.

Lack of trust in the carrier

"I'd rather trust a family member or a neighbor to ask these [questions] rather than a postman"

"I'll do it myself"

“I feel like i'd go visit myself, since i don't have terrible relationship with parents.”

Feels impersonal

"It just feels like I'd be asked, "Why won't my kids just call me instead?""

Stubbornness and rejecting care

"Would she want to give her info to some guy she doesn't know, especially when I don't know if it will be the same person each week?"

EMERGING THEMES FROM USER TESTS


Our next step from here was to do even more research into aging at home. The Canadian NIA, who supports the creation of a Canadian check-in program, provided a framework that helped us define what area of ‘senior care’ we could focus on reasonably.


USER INTERVIEW RESULTS

Focusing the service on social isolation & loneliness

The core requirements of Carriers that Care are primarily designed around secondary research sourced from the National Institute of Ageing (NIA).

In particular, the scope of the service is based around their "Ageing in the Right Place" report, where they define four fundamental pillars that are essential in enabling older adults to age in the most appropriate setting where their personal preferences, circumstances, and care needs are met. Carriers that Care is made with a focus on the fourth pillar, improving social connections to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

1. Promoting Preventive Health and Better Chronic Disease Management

2. Strengthening Home and Community Based Care & Supports for Unpaid Caregivers

3. Developing More Accessible and Safer Living Environments

4. Improving Social Connections to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation

THE FOUR FUNDAMENTAL PILLARS FOR ENABLING "AGING IN THE RIGHT PLACE"



This helped us define our final HMW:


CONVERGING THE RESEARCH & DEVELOPING THE UI

Our touchpoints & personas

A user journey map was created in order to define the necessary touchpoints that my team would need to design to.



Furthermore, the defined touchpoints imagine the involvement of three potential users. Each persona represents the possible actors in a single user flow.

Rachel

Recipient of service

Lives alone in Nova Scotia. Recently widowed.

Selena

Family of recipient

Lives in Calgary with her own family. She is considering the service for her mother, Rachel.

Cindy

Letter carrier

Carrier for 17+ years. She has recently been trained for Carriers that Care.


In general, we imagine that a user's first interaction with Carriers That Care will be a three-step process, eventually simplifying into two steps as they get used to the routine of postal worker check-ins. The interfaces that were designed aim to encapsulate the digital touchpoints that would be involved in the service, on both the customer side and the employee side.


FINAL TOUCHPOINTS

1. Discovery - Web Portal

A scroll-through of the microsite, displaying, in order: An introduction to the service, an outline of the service, subscription pricing, and CtC blog articles.

This is where the user would need to learn about the service and potentially need to be able to share this information with the loved ones that they do not live with. We've designed the content of this page to push the social aspects of the service, while including elements such as options to mail brochures to loved ones as a means for a 'heads-up' that families may be interested in signing up.

2. Sign-up Process

The final screen of the sign-up process, providing details on how Canada Post will directly reach out to potential recipients of the service to receive vocal consent on beginning the service.

Once both parties (the potential recipient of the service and their loved ones) are ready for sign-up, the Carriers That Care portal will require them to input information such as preferred dates for visits, contact details for both parties, and miscellaneous details to make visitations easier for postal workers.

An example of what the service dashboard may look like before vocal consent is confirmed.

This sign-up process places emphasis on ensuring that the senior, who will be the recipient of the service, is aware of Carriers that Care and is consenting to receiving the service. Anticipating cases where families will be signing up on the senior's behalf, we have included callouts throughout the process, and will not begin delivery of the service until Canada Post receives vocal consent from the recipient.

The progress of this consent process will be visible through the dedicated Carriers that Care dashboard, which will be accessible through the web portal or through logging into Canada Post's website.

3. Service Dashboard

Navigation from the Carriers that Care dashboard to Canada Shops.

The dashboard will provide access to full reports once letter carriers start sending reports. At any point in the service, the customer also may feel the need to adjust their visitation plans, collect more information about their assigned letter carrier, or perhaps want to submit feedback to the service. We felt that a dashboard was necessary to ensure that customers can interact with the service as they see fit.


Once a purchase is made on Canada Shops, the user may receive updates on the purchase alongside Carrier reports.

We also see the dashboard as an opportunity for Canada Post to connect Carriers That Care to other services in their ecosystem. One such proposal we had was the ability to have gifts hand-delivered by trusted posties through connecting our service to Canada Shops, an e-commerce store that was piloting during Fall of 2023.

4. App for Letter Carriers

Once committed to the service, a postal worker will be assigned to conduct routine visits to the recipient's home. We felt that it was necessary to include an app in order to simplify the service process for carriers, while also making the service less dependent on the carrier's individual ability to report on seniors.

a. Filling out & Sending reports

To best accommodate postal workers who are constantly on the go, the report has been made to be as short-handed as possible: interactions will be primarily through button inputs, and text input prompts will be kept to a bare minimum of one field.

Placing limitations on reports

Most letter carriers will not have undergone the necessary training to be able to make observations pertaining to medical conditions.

To ensure that this services would be focused on social aspects, ideally, posties would only be able to report objective data, such as, for example, whether or not a senior has new bruises. Additionally, Canada Post would not be allowed to suggest actions.

b. Resources for unexpected events & emergencies

To alleviate pressure on postal carriers to be experts on handling risks that are outside of their expertise, these pages would allow them to maintain their focus on this service's core strategy, preventing social isolation.

5. Emails & Other collateral

Delivery of reports

Each time a report is sent out by the letter carrier, both the recipient of the service and registered loved ones will be able to view them through their preferred medium or text or email. This will be a preview edition, containing a brief description from the carrier of how the visitation went. Full reports will be available only on the service dashboard; however, we have opted to avoid including direct links as to avoid confusion between fraudulent emails and Carriers that Care emails.








Value proposition

For the business

With the rise of digital alternatives, revenue from letter delivery has been on the decline for the past 17 years, and in parcel delivery, Canada Post been losing market share to faster, cheaper competitors such as FedEx or UPS. Utilizing their reach to approximately 17 million addresses across the country (Canada Post, 2021), Carriers that Care would introduce a new stream of revenue to the business.

For the customer

The Canadian National Institute of Aging suggests “Improving Social Connections to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation” as one of its recommendations for better enabling aging at home. Carriers that Care provides opportunity to foster consistent social engagement by providing a means for seniors to maintain relationships and social connections.