Integrating privacy and sexual reproductive health tools and services to encourage young women and adolescent girls to adopt safer sexual practices. A human centred design approach to branding, product and service innovation to drive adoption.
Massachusetts General Hospital and KEMRI teamed up to conduct a study on the adoption and use of Oral Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Kisumu, Kenya. This is a highly effective means for HIV prevention when taken regularly, and is being rolled out in numerous settings globally. In this study, they identified that though young women want PrEP kits, but the main challenges are being experienced in adherence and retention, a key one being stigma around HIV/AIDs, meaning new means to support the use of PrEP are needed.
We teamed up and developed My Way – a self use SRH kit that’s designed to solve around the problems of stigma and continued use.
As always, we began with building deep understanding of the context, challenge, people and ecosystem around this. An all-rounded and inclusive design-led approach brought together adolescent girls and young girls who desire PrEP, to better understand the challenges they experience in regard to its use, their needs within subject matter and their service providers to create a possible solution to PrEP adherence and retention.
This approach was valuable in creating access to Sexual Reproductive Health services discreetly, and was pioneering (and purposeful) enough to influence other regions to reduce spread and risk of HIV/AIDs infections globally.
MSG & KEMRI had a hypothesis of challenges and needs of adolescent girls and young women when using PrEP.
Once aligned as a team, we initiated the design process by applying a Human Centered Design (HCD) approach and methodologies, to present a series of insights and learnings from the research sprint that deeply inform the challenges with adherence and retention of PrEP.
The participants of the research phase organically shared possible solutions to the challenges they experienced which lent well to the MGH & KEMRI hypothesis, presenting home use products and tools used for SRH services and a gateway to accessing them.
We built an ecosystem map from all we learned and brought this ecosystem together for design thinking workshop sprints to co-create prototypes with products, tools and service outlays. We took these back into field research to test and refine.
Guided by ARK’s iBX model, we incorporated the process with Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to merge deliberate products and services together, to meet our key objectives.
The existing ecosystem offers tools and products for SRH services already, such as ARTs, contraceptives and pregnancy tests, that exist for home use as well. Adding PrEP builds on this well formed portfolio.
However, not only are many adolescent girls and young women in need of discreet sexual reproductive health products and tools, they also need these in a way that they can understand them, use them easily and and use them comfortably.
Our product’s distinguishing values here, amongst others, are:
• Attractive yet discreet packaging
• Discreet engagement with service delivers
• Custom offering of tools and products for SRH
• Offering regionally customised instruction guides both digitally and manually
• Offering incentives to key players in the service delivery line
We developed journey maps that show how My Way is to be delivered. It factored in stakeholder (persons involved in the ecosystem) needs and feelings at each stage, guidelines on processes involved, and incentives to participate.
Our goal was to create a brand that invites its audience to engage with their sexual reproductive health positively be it users, providers of the service, retailers or onlookers, and that would still be discreet enough to render glass eyed frames on influencers of stigma. A future facing brand for a model that empowers its audience in an inviting and comforting voice.
Like the brand, the name needed to be discreet. In addition and as a key feature, the name needed to elicit the feeling of ownership to empower and encourage adolescent girls and young women to ‘run their world’. With the research participants, we landed on the name ‘My Way’, derived from the initial PreP study ‘PrEP My Way’. It dropped the PrEP for discretion, and kept My Way for the aforementioned features, and its phonetic ease for different dialects.
The brand identity took on a playful, youthful and relatable ensemble.
Instructions — The instructions needed to be simplified. We created a much shorter copy, easier language used and visually communicating.
Packaging — The packaging has two key objectives to meet – be discreet and be attractive.
Our approach allowed us to identify opportunities in awareness campaigns, process management and digital extension, having prototyped community engagement campaigns and a digital back end service support system. We remain good friends and partners with the MGH & KEMRI partnership to grow the offering. MGH & KEMRI have successfully piloted My Way. We continue to stay informed on the SRH sector, identifying partners and learning trends to support the initiative with.