DIP2017: A chat with iWill Project: When mortality is the new norm (TH/EN)

What will happen if you are able to manage and sort out all the paperwork accumulated over a lifetime before handing it over to your loved ones when death comes knocking? LifeAlert is the answer to that question. As a web application that empowers you to live your life to the fullest, LifeAlert begins with document management, making it easier when it comes to transactions and enabling you to manage and store documents anywhere. You can save all your life resolutions as well as find information and services in the application. LifeAlert prepares you to live life freely without being a burden amidst the uncertainty of life.

As the world is becoming digital with people having more freedom to live, the processes and documents in their lives seem to be increasingly more complicated and multiplying based on the period and activities involved. Team iiWill Project designs LifeAlert to be an assistant in managing life from cradle to grave. This tool reduces the burden, time, and number of people involved in each transaction, allowing you the freedom to live life with fewer limits.

What is the social issue of the elderly that has become the proposition for your team?
Given the increasing number of the elderly, we see opportunities in creating a tool that helps manage things in life. Not only does this target seniors with families, but also those who are single or childless, who are also increasing in number. That’s why we think it would be nice to have a tool that helps manage documents and wills for the elderly.

What are some new insights that you gain from joining the Designing Impact Program?
We have learned the process of working and developing ideas. Going in, we only had a background in the content business, but not the technical knowledge. By joining this program, we have learned what are the possibilities and limitations of developing ideas to fit into the technology. We have gained knowledge in design thinking, further developing ideas within the scope of what we can do under the objective that we plan in the beginning.

Another new knowledge that we have received is realizing there are many agencies and organizations interested in doing business for the elderly in the fields of health and appliance design. It has been such a discovery for us to know that more than a few people pay attention to the future of getting old. It’s just that the idea may not be widespread now. So, we anticipate that with cooperation in the future, a wider network can be created.

What are the fun experiences you had during the program?
Joining this program is like running 100m without preparation. It’s both fun and challenging for us to squeeze out the stamina, endurance, and knowledge to develop our ideas. Meeting other participants of the program is a big plus. Being surrounded by those who have the same inspiration and dream to push forward together with the same vision is a bonus that we get apart from the work itself.

Another fun part that happened during the work process is opportunities to interview a sample group who struggled with paper clutter and other problems in life. Having seen how many people struggled with life management, especially in terms of documentation, it made us see the problems as well as the opportunities, which is both fun and interesting.

What are the challenges you faced during the program?
The main challenge is when we had to adjust our idea in the beginning. Our initial idea was to manage wills and documents related to death. However, after joining the program, we found out that Thailand has some legal and technological restrictions that do not allow us to move forward as planned. Instead, we needed to find other feasible alternatives to show how the product can be applied in real life. After trial and error, we changed from death management to microfinance management, including insurance documentation. We continued to explore and develop until we arrived at a website that manages documentation in each life stage – a documentation assistant that uncomplicates your life from the chaos of paperwork.

What is your team’s definition of designing impact?
It is about giving knowledge regarding death, how to manage your life, and organizing documentation in a simpler way. We think this will really make a difference, especially for each Thai person who has at least 40-50 documents associated with their life. This issue has hardly ever been addressed, so, we think that this product could make a real impact on people’s lives.

Another thing is about the chance to speak about mortality, life after death, and life before death. We can manage our lives before we pass away so that our family members will not find it difficult to access the information that we prepare. I think this is designing impact for everyone as we all die. We can die leaving the mess behind or having everything arranged. Our project is an attempt to manage life after death for everyone.