Mapping the patient journey

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Communicating Health Design
Thomas Jefferson University

︎︎︎ Information design
︎︎︎ Creative direction
︎︎︎ Research assistance
︎︎︎ Copywriting assistance
︎︎︎ Graphic design assistance
With the expert guidance of the Jefferson Pew Team, our group of four designers created an empathetic journey map that brings to life the typical struggles with opioid use disorder. This map will be used to address gaps in the opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment system in Philadelphia. 

Design team:
Malachi Atkin, Graphic design
Anushka Khurana, Copywriting
Shriya Patel, Illustration

Design advisors:
Dhwani Trivedi
Renée Walker
Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel

Subject expert advisors:
Tracy Esteves Camacho, MPH
Jeff Gillingham, MPH
Dr. Erin Kelly
Matthew Mackley
Dr. Megan Reed
Dr. Lara Carson Weinstein

1. Quickly becoming subject area literate

Our first step was to read the research and affinity map. After pulling out main themes, we constructed the personas which would be the backbone of the project. My persona, Roger, was especially concerned with the stigma of seeking treatment. Through secondary research, we found this was a key barrier to recovery for people who use substances in Philadelphia.

2. Determining an information design direction

The Jefferson Pew team was adament that the map should not be linear so after some sketching and brainstorming, a metro map structure proved to be the best design direction for this complex topic. Each of our personas followed a different “train line” color on the journey. Once they hit the OUD treatment system section of the map, their twisting journies were charted along an axis of recovery to recurrence.

3. Keeping the information structure intact

Getting from wireframe to final product required oversight. My role was to make sure illustrations, copy, and graphic design updates kept within the structure of my initial wireframe. In order to tell the story through American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) dimensions, we needed to make sure all content lined up in the appropriate columns.

We completed this project using Figma, Slack, and Zoom.

4. Presenting to the Pew Team

The final map we presented offered a combination of hand-drawn illustration for empathy and clean lines for readability. The map will be unfolded by The Pew Charitable Trusts representatives, government officials, and other viewers who are eager to understand the journey of people who use substances. This was a huge step towards making change in the opioid use disorder treatment system in Philadelphia.


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