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Nurturing Connections: Okionu's journey towards inclusivity

This case study will focus on optimizing the user interface, information architecture, and search functionality of the Okionu platform to enhance user satisfaction and increase successful service connections.

I served as our Lead UX Designer / PM.


Since the company is in the early stages, their current site operates solely as an informational "coming soon" landing page. The task is to create a mobile adaptive site with a focus on user profile setup and dashboard for doulas to organize their client's many needs. 


  1. Establish the cultural tone for our users to continue to build upon safely.

  2. Implement personalized matching algorithms for better service provider recommendations.

  3. Enhance communication features to facilitate seamless connections between families and providers.


Assist doulas by allowing them to set their boundaries and build community by developing a thoughtful account set-up and dashboard while also solving for family expectations. 


  • Limited budget and time for build out; solution must be achievable with a high-fidelity prototype that can be shown to investors for seed funding.

  • Difficult to connect with founder early on.


Research Methods

  • User interviews with 20 doulas from diverse backgrounds

  • Heuristic evaluation of the current platform's usability and accessibility.

  • Comparative analysis of similar platforms in the healthcare and support space.

Topic Research

We researched the habits & necessities of doulas. It was insightful because we recognized we needed to be able to fit into their life seamlessly instead of just urging people to join solely for gaining new clientele. 

What is a doula?

Doulas are a guide and support system, not just for expectant mothers but also for families; they…

  • Provide emotional and physical support before and after birth

  • Can answer questions you might have about birth and pregnancy

  • Advocate for YOU and the experience you want to come out with

Plus much more!


User Interviews

Full disclosure: This phase provided to be a challenging maze, heightening our anxiety. 

Initially, we planned 15-20 minute interviews with doulas in the founder's network. However, their busy schedules led to a preference for a shorter email survey.

Despite four days of reminders, we received no responses. Time constraints forced us to pivot.

With our client's approval, we expanded our scope to include general service providers beyond the DFW area. Through focused interviews over the next couple days, we gathered invaluable insights, forming the bedrock of our archetype.

Ultimately, setbacks paved the way for success, proving our adaptability and determination.



Solution Statement

Design a system that allows our users to connect with local families who share their values and have compatible schedules. This solution will not only empower our users to enhance community engagement but also mitigate the risk of burnout.


Ideation & Concepts

After assessing the data we collected, we brainstormed several ways of how we could visually solve doula onboarding in a way that can also be translated for family onboarding.

Since this is intended to be a mobile-adaptive design with our users on the go, we sought out to design for mobile first.

OKIONU Mid-fi Landing Page

Initial Mid-Fidelity Landing Page

Design Guidelines

As a team, we agreed to focus on these aspects while sketching visual solutions. 

  1. Simple Set-Up
    Each user will have their own unique schedule, skills and habits. We want to bring in recognizable elements without inducing overthinking.

  2. Courteous
    The design should be accessible and beneficial to maintain peaceful use.

Lo-Fi Critiques

  • Our original wireframe concepts had a text input to set strict A.M. to P.M. hours of availability. However, according to our interviews, doulas don't have set office hours. I advised the team that we design something that allows for more flexible availability.

  • Recognizing that our doulas needed an area to keep their notes, training videos, and reminders organized - we agreed it would be more effective to design an account dashboard versus having just a provider profile page.

  • Providing an area for doulas to copy/paste reviews from past patients won't be trusted, so we need to revisit that. 

okionu lo-fidelity wireframes

Low/Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

Preparing for User Testing

We implemented the ideas that we brainstormed from our first round of internal design critiques that will better serve our user archetype and we began to prepare for usability testing.

onboarding intro mockup

ONboarding Intro.

Clearly state the intention of the OKIONU service to new users.

We found that healthier pregnancies and postpartum success are heavily based on acknowledging how crucial it is to care for the mind, body, and spirit.

OKIONU Waypoint Screens


Easy navigation - skip ahead to complete later.

The straightforward screens show what step you're at in the process and how much you have left as well as a brief description.

OKIONU mid-fi Personalization Screen


Find your perfect family by sharing your specialties, passionate topics, and skills.

We want them to have the opportunity to showcase their strengths.


Flexibility for doulas to meet families exactly where they are, to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Once matched, the two users can discuss what hours work best for them. 

User Testing Takeaways

Among the 6 users we tested, 100% of them said they thought our onboarding process was easy and that they would do it again.

  1. Landing page
    There was an 83% misclick rate when locating where to begin sign-up as a service provider.

  2. Profile photo upload
    83% of users tried to click the default avatar instead of the labeled "upload" button.


  3. Onboarding intro screens
    All users were clicking 'next' as expected, but they were confused about the content on the screen.



After taking into account the information we gathered from our user testing results, we were able to make iterations and design a solution that the OKIONU founder is extremely proud of that will surely fit into the doula member's lifestyle. 

If you hover over the frame below, you can select the arrows on the right test to test the prototype in full-screen!

What can I do better?

  • In retrospect, I could have proactively sought out and incorporated emerging trends and technologies in the healthcare and support space to ensure that our solutions were at the forefront of industry developments.

  • While I made efforts to understand cultural sensitivities, I acknowledge that there is always room for more in-depth research and immersion in the specific cultural contexts of postpartum families of color.


  1. This project revealed the vital role of user-centered design, which also revealed itself when relaying cultural nuances to my teammates.

  2. I noticed how small design tweaks, discovered through iterative testing, can make a significant difference.

  3. Effective collaboration and data-driven decisions were also pivotal for successful execution.


Ultimately, it reinforced the power of empathetic, inclusive design and highlighted the importance of adaptability in a constantly changing landscape.

Working closely with Jacqueline Clemmons (Founder of Okionu) was an incredible experience. I reinforced the importance of thinking ahead about potential obstacles and eliminating the fear of asking questions early and often.

Thank you for reading!

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