Disease management at home
Prioritize shared goals
When designing medication monitoring elements, frame the task in a way that allows the parent & child to work as a team toward a shared goal or reward.
Be careful not to pit the child against the parent by creating traditional supervisor-employee type sign-off elements.
Generate virtual report cards
Many of the parents we spoke to strongly desired a mechanism to track their child's progress, a sort of virtual report card they could look at to see that everything was in order.
Although this type of element is likely to get good traction with parents, we need to be careful not to annoy the teen.
Because parent-child relationships are often delicate & prone to arguments & outbursts, solutions that encourage parents & teenagers to reflect on their behavior patterns and feelings toward one another may relieve some of the tension in the relationship, contributing to more honest communication.
Disease management at school
Accommodate diverse personas
Products & solutions should accommodate a spectrum of teenage personas (from shy, quiet kid to empowered influencer). Medication packaging solutions should allow for discreet opening & medication-taking procedures, so that the users don't feel like they are attracting too much attention.
Encourage participation in activities
Because chronically-ill teenagers yearn for the "normal kid" label, solutions that emphasize the inclusion of chronically-ill teens into school activities like class trips will be well-received by the target user.
Incorporate Nurse Vetting
For solutions which require the teen to participate in activities away from school, incorporate a vetting mechanism, e.g. this event is vetted by the school nurse as being safe to attend. This will help placate concerned parents and make them more likely to permit teens to participate.
Behaviors and relationships
Use anti-nagging elements
Nagging teens to perform care-related tasks will create a negative association with design intervention. Explicitly provide instructions to parents cautioning them against this, when they are interacting with monitering design elements
Gradually build confidence
For solutions that require the parent to transfer care management skills to the teenager, it's pertinent that each goal is broken down into approachable nuggets. This will encourage teens to build-up their confidence time & take the pressure off progress reviews.
Include siblings and best friends
Design elements that encourage interactions with siblings and best friends. Teenagers don't always want to share their thoughts with their parents (e.g after a fight). Siblings and best friends act as a secondary support system for chronically-ill teens to vent to in these situations.
Piggyback on planned milestones
Solutions that incorporate taking up care management responsibilities with their intrinsic motivation of living independently or going to college, for example, are likely to get positive results. Ensure brand messaging reflects your focus on the goal instead of the journey.
Connect them with mentors
Chronically-ill teenagers may have a warped view of how independent living works in the long-term and how to prepare for it. Connecting these teenagers with "successful" mentors who are doing well at college or away from home while managing their disease will give teens a boost.
Speak their language
Content design & brand messaging should engage teenagers. It may be helpful to incorporate funny memes or gifs or references from teen pop-culture to add humor & engagement to otherwise mundane learning tasks.