User-Centered Design of a Texas WIC ChatBot: Formative Investigation
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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves people at nutritional risk, including: - Low income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women; - Children from infancy to the age of 5. WIC provides: - Vouchers for healthful foods; - Health care referrals; - Nutrition education counseling. Enrollment has been declining. Most WIC participants use smartphones, and many choose to take their nutrition education classes from WIC online. While there is information regarding eligibility on the Texas WIC website, there is currently no way for potential participants to ask questions about eligibility and make appointments. We collaborated with Texas WIC to obtain USDA funding to investigate developing a ChatBot to meet this gap. Objective: To develop a WIC ChatBot prototype based on input from stakeholders and potential users. Methods: Compliant with the university IRB. Employ User-centered Design to the process of developing the WIC ChatBot prototype (Figure 1). The first step, reported here, involves concept generation based on the results of online group interviews and focus groups with: - Stakeholders in Texas WIC and cooperating states and territories: 1 focus group, 2 group interviews; n=7; - Texas WIC clinic directors: 1 group interview; 3 focus groups; n=13; - Texas WIC staff: 1 group interview; 3 focus groups; n=12. Participants were recruited via email and phone calls.