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Evolution Of HIPAA Compliant Membership App.

Groundswell Community Project is a non-profit surf therapy program creating a safe space for all women who want to learn to surf.

Groundswell Community Project

picture of Groundswell Community Project participants joining hands and going into the ocean together


They approached me initially with a need to create safe spaces digitally to communicate between staff and participants. All the facilitators were accustomed to using chat apps like WhatsApp in order to solve this problem short term, so the Founder, Natalie Small communicated her need for a Members’ Chat App. The secured Membership App Concept turned into a HIPAA Compliant ecosystem. See the evolution below.


At first, Natalie was unable to meet or talk on the phone. She handed me some of the requirements through email and went through several rounds of conceptualizing this Chat App. However, we soon realized there was a bit of missing information. This is why Discovery Sessions are so important. Given the budget and the resources she already acquired, there was less of a need to purchase another Membership Platform, but more of an immediate need to unify and expand the set of tools she already had in solidifying a HIPAA Compliant ecosystem.
two competitors challenging each other through strategies of chess

Discovery Session

Once we reset the conversation and defined the requirements, we found some key details that helped connect the dots on what her organization needed.

Concepts and Wireframing

roles and functions of groundswell community project sample image

HIPAA Compliant User Flow Documentation

Applying roles to the user flows allowed the staff to really understand how to break these complex purposes apart and digest their responsibilities in a different way.


3d side view display of groundswell community project HIPAA compliance report

Wireframes and Interactive Prototypes

Creating sketches to convey elements and workflow and then translating that into wireframes to convey how those workflows interact. Then taking those items and making them live interactions in prototypes so the team could see them in action.

Customer Journey Mapping

After converting those wireframes and prototypes over to a Customer Journey Map. The staff could understand the path their audience takes when navigating through their ecosystem. This exercise includes items like how the participant was approached before entering Groundswell's digital space.

Userflow Implementation System

A system with focused roles to align with her team on consolidating capabilities and creating a separation of duties where overlaps were easily identifiable.

Customized Training

Going over how to use these technologies and what needed to be put in place to comply with HIPAA standards required a couple of online sessions.

The Results

Educating the team on how to use this system and what regulations need to be met to ensure the safety/privacy/security of their participants had a huge impact on staying true to how they wanted to support their community. They in turn have now created more budget to increase this security by seeking a third-party membership platform that can help them take this to the next step.



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