Did you know that all direct cremation services are exactly the same regardless of price? Most people don’t. Austin Cremate helps at-risk users (those with recently deceased loved ones and low income) by educating them and providing easy-to-access information about funeral homes. Konsult was hired to define and ship the most critical features at the lowest possible budget. We successfully shipped the first version within a week. I was responsible for the interaction design and front-end implementation using Meteor.

Challenges

Designing a funeral software has two unique differences from other software:

  1. the user is emotionally compromised to the point of limited mental capacity
  2. “joy and delight” is not an appropriate emotion to evoke.

To communicate simply and effectively, I made ample use of size, spacing, and color contrast so the user can see the most important information at a glance. The questions and feedback link is also interspersed throughout the main content area so the user always knows where to go if they are overwhelmed. I used muted and simple visuals to convey a sense of timelessness, which provides a pleasant feeling without being inappropriately cheerful.

Another major challenge was the low budget constraint. We wanted to provide the client and his users the best experience, but knew they it would cost to much. We advised the client on how to cut costs without compromising the experience. To decrease turnaround and edits, the client stayed on-site with us for the first few days, so any design ambiguity can immediately be corrected. To decrease our workload and charge, we offloaded data-entry and branding, and infographics to the client, and designed the app to be highly skinnable.

In the end, we were able to ship under budget and received positive feedback from the client’s customers.

 

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