Objective: The hellosmile clinics were searching for a way to engage and motivate patients and their caregivers to return for regular check-ups.
Process: hellosmile and the LAB’s design team determined that an incentive program would be the best way to encourage routine patient visits. The LAB team researched existing incentive models and spoke with community members to discover what amount, frequency, and kind of incentive would best encourage the desired behavior changes. Research showed that a combination of small prizes at each visit and the chance to win a grand prize was most effective in engaging patients and their parents. Prizes that were popular and encouraged physical activities (like gliders, soccer balls and a Nintendo Wii) were preferred because they best fit with hellosmile’s brand and mission. The next challenge involved designing the artifacts that would be used to implement the incentive program. A passport membership program was created to fully enroll patients and encourage behavior change. Realizing that the program can’t be implemented through objects alone – use of the main characters of the hellosmile clinics – the smile buddies (or dental assistants) to help encourage implementation of the program. Introduce children to the system – take their picture in the “tooth booth” on their first visit. Give them the passport (in it’s special carrying case) and later use it as a way to teach the child and their caregiver about the important facts of oral health care. Passports are stamped at each visit and becomes the physical reminder for patients and parents to return regularly.
Outcome: In the end, many observations and insights were combined into a series of conversations and incentives that are expressed through the design of the hellosmile clinics. The clinic spaces, toys, graphics, products, and interactions with patients all support the passport program.