Regina Gensinger


Thea, a community of trust

product-service system design

design ethnography


Thea is a community of trust for parents and parents to be. Thea supports the growth of a community of pregnant women, mothers, parents, and care providers. By providing multiple touchpoints, Thea offers the most important information needed during pregnancy and birth, as well as access to a community that connects people locally and digitally.




exchange semester @ MFA Umeå Institute of Design


Katharina Brunner, Prithvi Ranjan

my responsibilities

Research, Workshop , Analysis, UI/UX, Filming/Cut


Togetherness at a distance

Amidst the pandemic, we contemplated the meaning of togetherness at a distance and how we could create solutions for a healthier future.

[main research insight]

There is a lack of access to reliable information for parents to be.

After conducting an interview with Sanna, a pregnant woman, we learned that there is a shortage of available midwives and a lack of access to reliable information. This insight became our very own brief.

"I don’t really feel supported as there are not enough midwives. It’s so difficult to get reliable information, which causes a lot of stress for me and my pregnancy and I feel very insecure about my own and my babies health."
Sanna (29), Parent-to-be


Becoming part of a community

Our system design approach aims for the exchange of information and knowledge in a digital and physical environment, connecting mothers or parents locally while using professional expertise from further away to help parents make decisions with confidence. While our concept is currently aimed at pregnant women and parents-to-be, the idea can be expanded into various other directions.

The fundamental elements
of the user flow

Your first touchpoint

The first touchpoint for Thea would be through the Thea Kit, Social Media, or the Thea App. In the first step, you receive your kit from your care provider, which is meant to provide an equal start to your pregnancy by containing important information in a simple and understandable way.

Receiving the kit

In the kit you received, you will also find an invitation to join the Thea community. You can join the community through the Thea app, social media, or by attending a local community meeting.

Being part of the community

Through the app, you can see the latest news, organize or be a part of events, and connect with other parents-to-be, as well as with midwives, doulas, and gynaecologists.

Embedded in a service system

[user flow]

The user flow in detail

[your first touchpoint]

Receiving your Thea Kit

The kit serves as the main first touchpoint to meet Thea and aims to provide women with a more equal start to their pregnancy. You'll receive the kit from your care provider. It includes medical information, relaxation materials, a to-do list, monthly cards, and, most importantly, an invitation to join the local community.

Including partners

It was important for us to involve partners in the process and give them the opportunity to understand what is happening to their partner's body and how to provide support without being asked. Additionally, we aimed to inspire partners to prepare for the journey and birth process, as they may not know what to expect.


Connecting through the Thea App and joining events

The Thea App is the part of the service system that aims to exchange information and knowledge in both digital and physical environments.

Exchange of information and knowledge

Our focus is on providing a tool that allows you to register and connect not only with local communities, but also with a global network of specialists. All participants are required to join through a passport-connected process, which only allows certified profiles in Thea.

Meet-ups and events

Physical events take place in major cities, and you can attend them without using the app. However, the app provides an expanded and more flexible way to connect and share knowledge.


Spreading awareness through various channels

Another way to get to know about Thea is via different media channels.

The main idea is to share positive stories and real-life experiences related to the prenatal period. Social media can serve as an informative tool because it is accessible to nearly everyone.


Currently, Thea is focused on providing support for pregnant women and parents-to-be. However, the concept has the potential to expand into various other directions.


How we got there

[the course's focus]

Ethnographic Research and Co-Creation

The course and project are based on a co-creative process. Although Covid-19 prevented us from working in person, we were able to adapt to the given situation and learn new remote collaboration tools. Despite the challenges, we involved numerous participants in shaping the concept.

1. Ethnography Research

First, we gathered data where in life "togetherness at a distance" might play a role.

[A day in a life - diaries]

[health item questionaire]

[Journey maps while interviewing]

[Mapping insights]

"I don’t really feel supported as there are not enough midwives. It’s so difficult to get reliable information, which causes a lot of stress for me and my pregnancy and I feel very insecure about my own and my babies health."
Sanna (29), Parent-to-be

2. Co-Creative Exploration

To gain a broader understanding, we held a remote Co-Creation Workshop to explore the perspectives of those involved in pregnancy.

How might we explore the trustworthy relationship midwives or doulas have to future parents; to translate those factors to improve confidence in themselves; with a more accessible care system?

Remote exploration workshop

Next, we delved deeper into the topic of pregnancy. To gain a broader understanding, we first held a remote Co-Creation Workshop to explore the perspectives of those involved in pregnancy. We invited expectant parents, midwives, doulas, and gynecologists, and prepared various activities. During the workshop, we divided into three groups so that each could engage in the activities with a smaller group.

[pain & wishes]

Information overload

“There is way too much information around,I get overwhelmed if I just want to google some simple question.”
- P2

Unfiltered information

“Very often you find too many different answers to your questions and they are all very unfiltered and leave me anxious.”
- P5

Financial situation

“Many do worry a lot about their financial situation, also it’s those who wouldn’t really need it who use services, I think sometimes.”
- P6

Share experiences

“Mothers or pregnant women use the classes very often to share thoughts and experiences and to build a relationship.”
- P1

3. Co-Creative Ideation

We conducted a remote ideation workshop to formulate the main pillars for the design solution.

[defining the main pillars]

Creating a space

”I think I’d like to have the choice between physical or non-physical meeting space."
- P1
“Why not having a meet and greet every Saturday, where becoming parents can meet up and talk.”
- P2
“It is important to provide some space, either physical or digital. Space where they can exchange, inform, share, and so on.”
- P2
“Who is being connected, I would like to know, also how involved are midwives or other professionals?”
- P1

Care and share

„A platform to share thoughts and concerns, that is a bit more local. So you can build a relationship of care."
- P1
“I would definitely be there to share knowledge with other moms. I think that could be a good thing.”
- P2

Decide myself

”I can decide myself what I want, who I want to have close.”
- P2

Trust myself

“You have to trust yourself in order to help others to trust in themselves.”
- P1

4. Prototyping and User Validation

Together we started to prototype and shared our designs with our participants.

I get this warm feeling in my chest when I think of this is how the moms could connect.
Cia (49), midvwife


Thea is one of my favourite projects so far. It was a great learning experience, especially interesting because it required us to transfer ethnographic research and co-creation into a remote setting due to COVID-19. If I were to continue working on the project, I would like to focus more on the postpartum phase. Though the concept includes some ideas on this phase, I believe there is much more to explore in this challenging new era of life.