Travel Pals is a fellowship program that improves the transportation experience of Barnes-Jewish and Christian Hospital patients by providing dependable rides home from the hospital. It was created in collaboration with Patrick Buggy and Aiden Zucker during the 2014 Interaction Design Workshops at WashU led by Doug Powell. 

human-centered design, interaction design, presentation design


The Problem

BJC Healthcare patients struggle with securing safe and consistent transportation to and from the hospital.


We set out to understand the current patient transportation experience. Observation of discharged patients, research about current transportation options, and candid conversations with regular patients and their social workers helped us create an experience map that illustrates the holistic patient experience and a series of user profiles.

An experience map showing a patient's journey to the hospital and what they are thinking, doing, seeing, and feeling at each touchpoint.
Downloading after an interview with Maura, the Supervisor of Case Management at BJC.

Insights & Goals

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The Big Aha!

Our research showed that the bulk of a patient's pain points arise when dealing with securing transportation home from the hospital. This discovery led us to reframe the prompt: How might we design a better way for patients to get home?


After identifying three main pain points and shifting our focus towards the ride home, we used a combination of virtual and in-person brainstorming to fuel the ideation process. Striving for quantity over quality, we built many small ideas, embraced the absurd, and pivoted quickly from concept to concept.


We created prototypes of increasing levels of fidelity while continuing to test our best ideas. Being in a workshop setting helped us select and develop what became our final concept. Weekly opportunities to pitch our idea to a new audience accelerated the refinement process. We also worked with the BJC Innovation Team to test product feasibility.


We presented our process and final concept to the BJC Innovation Team, WUSTL professors and students, and numerous social workers and nurses from the BJC network. Click through our final presentation.

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Update 3.17.14
BJC Healthcare has chosen to continue iterating the Travel Pals concept. Check out the first Travel Pals car:


A huge thank you to Doug Powell, Abram Siemsen, James Macanufo, Maggie Breslin, Gabi Brink, Erica Kochi, Joe Meersman, Heather Corcoran, and the BJC Innovation Team.