We began our research process by exploring physical spaces related to death, observing and noting the behavior of those people in them. These spaces included a variety of churches & graveyards.
Between all the locations, we found common themes regarding death and how people both discuss and digest the concept of dying. Throughout our visits, it was apparent personal views on death vary between person to person. However, the one common trend was the 5 stages of grief faced by those who lost a loved one:
Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance.
In order to gain further insight into this complex field, we conducted a series of interviews with who we believed to be experts in death. Consisting of members of pastoral leadership, a research doctorate, as well as medical professionals.
We learned that death and the process of dealing with the loss of a loved one is a deeply personal experience; and one that differs from person to person. These interviews were critical to our research, as we began to realize there would not be any one size fit all solution, which shaped the direction in which we would start developing our solution.
Primary User Interviews & Personas
With a better understanding of what the mourning process looks like from an outside perspective, we decided to focus more inward and get a better idea of the intense feelings and grief faced by those who were familiar with the process. Focusing on those who have recently gone through the process, we conducted a series of interviews aiming to capture exactly what they were going through, what helped advance the process, and what may have hindered the process.
“I was so busy trying to take care of everything I did not have time for myself to grieve”
“You never get over it. Just learn to deal with and try to have a functioning normal life even if they are not there”
These interviews served as invaluable to crafting our solution, as they highlighted common themes between both highs and lows shared by our primary users and how they aligned with each of the 5 stages. They also served as a basis for the primary personas we created.
After conducting the bulk of our research, we then compiled all the data we had gathered and began the affinitization process.
Following the standard process, we grouped together all common data points, and from there combined those into corresponding categories, as seen below.