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BénéClic: Good work for a good cause

Published June 14 2021
Mélinda Rouxel, UX/UI Designer & Web Strategist
Mélinda Rouxel
UX/UI Designer & Web Strategist
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When CHU Sainte-Justine approached Alithya about developing a user-friendly mobile app for its Volunteering Service, the Alithya Digital Solutions Center (ADSC) quickly got on board and members of the Montréal and Québec City teams mobilized for the cause.

The CHU Sainte-Justine Volunteering Service team comprises 350 people who provide companionship and entertainment to sick kids. The team wanted to create a mobile app to streamline the process of matching children with volunteers, which had previously been done by calling or stopping by the Volunteering Service office. Volunteers play an essential role in adding a human touch to the care and service provided by the hospital. Alithya was thrilled to help CHU Sainte-Justine simplify this process by improving response time and accessibility for patients, families and healthcare staff.

The ADSC team's challenge was to create a responsive iOS and Android app for tablets and mobile phones, along with an online platform administrators could use for tracking requests.

Alithya's UX/UI design experts were very keen to design a user-friendly interface and experience for various types of users, both children and adults, with varying expectations and levels of technical experience. Based on the ADSC's agile approach, the project began with research, which enabled experts to determine the user groups' various profiles and needs. This ensured that every step of the navigation process would meet the expectations of all stakeholders, from patients and families to caregivers, volunteers and administrators.

In collaboration with CHU Sainte-Justine's administrators, the UX team set up workshops to gather information and analyze and describe each group's experience, taking various user needs into consideration. They then mapped out user journeys and created layouts of the app's various screens, making sure they suited the different features and coordinated with the development team.

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The success of the BénéClic project largely depends on communication with CHU Sainte-Justine's Volunteering Service team. From the start, the project required close cooperation and continuous testing with users: administrators, volunteers, caregivers and families. This approach gave CHU Sainte-Justine further opportunities to review expectations and make additions so they could better define the vision and objectives and achieve positive results.

The project also highlighted some related needs of CHU Sainte-Justine's Volunteering Service administrators, who oversee the process of matching young patients with volunteers. Alithya designed an online platform that allows administrators to track interactions from beginning to end, and to generate exhaustive reports and statistical analyses of the program. Besides implementing strong security measures and providing traceability to keep patients safe, the online platform offers high-level features, streamlined maintenance and well-documented support.

Between September and December 2020, the UX/UI teams enthusiastically lent their expertise in developing a visually stimulating user experience before letting the ADSC's developers contribute their know-how to the BénéClic app features. Collaboration with the team of graphic designers at CHU Sainte-Justine has made it possible to develop an application that reflects their pediatric clientele.

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The project wrapped up in February 2021, and BénéClic should be available for CHU Sainte-Justine to use in May. Expectations are high, as patients and volunteers will soon be able to use the app to be matched. Young patients can create a request by selecting their areas of interest, languages spoken and preferred hours. Available volunteers will then be able to directly and quickly respond to requests based on their own areas of interest and languages spoken. Patients can find the perfect companion and spend time with a volunteer who shares their interests, whether it be board games, video games, art, sports, music, reading and so on.

BénéClic will also make the process faster, ensuring sick kids looking for companionship and entertainment can do so whenever they want.

The development of the BénéClic app also helped the ADSC enhance their knowledge, by allowing its experts to gain new experience creating profiles for specific user groups. The ADSC also sees the backend of the online platform as a model that can be applied to other projects involving schools, daycares and so on. But the greatest value of the BénéClic project for Alithya comes from the team's feeling of doing good. Every day spent on the project was like a ray of sunshine. The ADSC team set aside its typical focus on improving its clients' profitability to support a good cause, which will have a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of kids at CHU Sainte-Justine.