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Q Card Project

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The Q Card is a simple to use tool designed to empower LGBTQIA youth to engage in their health. One of its uses is to support those who provide their care. Q Cards started as a capstone feasibility study in 2012 and have continued as a small business. The problem was getting clinicians to adopt the Q Card tool and use it with youth without causing harm. I am working as a UX Designer on a two-person team. We synthesized research to identify common themes to best use the Q Card. By the end of the project, our team plans to design a product that provides an easy system for implementing Q Cards. 


6 months


Research and UX designer of educational tool design.


Our approach to the problem is to find out as much information as possible from the Q Card team to get started. This project is unique because a lot of research has already been completed. UW graduate students worked with our client for several years compiling valuable research. We are using a service design blueprint to meet our aggressive timeline for extrapolating common themes from this research. 

Project timeline breakdown in four phases: research, prototyping, detailed design, and follow-up.

Notes from initial client kickoff meeting.

“If we create an environment where people can be happy and can be successful, then the whole environment can be successful.”

– Angelica Ross, CEO, Transtech Social Enterprises 


The biggest challenge was condensing so much rich, high-quality research into a few themes to inform our personas, user journeys, and prototypes.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis for the Q Card training tool yielded results for mainly digital pdfs, videos, and large training toolkits that required internet access. Although I based my gender pronoun training research on these toolkits I also explored other healthcare training tool delivery methods to ensure our solution did not require internet access, had the lowest barriers, and complemented the existing Q Card in the healthcare environment. 

Accordion card healthcare training tool delivery methods to ensure our solution did not require internet access, had the lowest barriers, and complemented the existing analog Q Card in the healthcare environment.

Design Process

The project will conclude with a prototype for the Q Card Project to make a bigger impact on LGBTQIA youth. This prototype will create streamlined practitioner onboarding to use the Q Card. The project status is in the early research stages. After we define opportunities we will present our findings to the client, discuss the best option and move on to our design/test/prototype stage. We will design and test our prototype based on the best solution to ensure it meets the need. After the working prototype has been handed off to our client, the next round of UW graduate students will continue their next phase of research. 

Accordion Q Card How To card healthcare training tool sketch based on competitive analysis.

“The difference between a good experience and a great experience is how we bring our policies and practices to life.” 

– Beck Bailey, Deputy Director of Employee Engagement,
Workplace Equality Program, HRC Foundation


Learnings and Key Findings
I found out how much the English language is full of unnecessarily gendered terms. I learned a lot about non-binary pronouns and clinic patient intake that I didn’t know before. In my research about gender terminology I found that I was only familiar with about a quarter of terms used. Feel free to check them out here in Gender Nation’s crowdsourced glossary

In the future I would try to get into a clinic where the Q Cards are in use sooner to see what the physical space looks like. Where are they located? How are they advertised? I would also engage earlier in more interviews with people who are not in the LGBTQIA community. Interviews set out to find out common misconceptions and include those in onboarding to dispel them.


Success for the project would be an increase in knowledge and usage of the Q Card in the clinic that leads to a positive impact on patients. This could be measured in a pre- and post-implementation survey to identify the overall effect of the tool. If the survey results identify neutral or negative effects we can further iterate on the tool with their feedback to continue to refine the tool to meet our positive effect goal.

Project Outcome

Our work with the Q Card Project is not yet complete. We hope to contribute to the Q Card Project’s shift to a bigger moment through our prototype to support practitioners in empowering LGBTQIA youth to engage in their health without causing harm.

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