Mobile UX design for helping Type 2 Diabetes patients
Diabetes is 7th cause of death in the US. Keeping a record of Blood Sugar, meals and activities are vital for monitoring health conditions in Type-2-Diabetes patients. If people, specially senior citizens, don't find ways to easily record their health data, they might face some serious threats to their well being.
Designing an easy to use mobile application that helps senior citizens keep record of their Blood Sugar and other health indicators.
Hesam Andalib, Amir Mostafavi
Story mapping, wireframing, UI prototyping
Conducting User Research
Dell Medical School
Feb 2020 - May 2020
After doing some research on the subject, the design phase started with story mapping. By summing up our findings, we started wireframing and testing the primary sketches with potential users and employed the takeaways in the final stages of the UI design. Designing a Voice user interface was one of the key features that we added to this design to make the meal logging process more easy for the end user.
This project was proposed by researchers at Dell Medical School. They were dealing with the difficulties of using mobile applications for helping T2D patients of underserved communities for their health records.
30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes and these people need to monitor their blood glucose and be careful about their meals and activity level. Self-management mobile applications can help these patients to keep track of meals and blood glucose and help them to set personal goals, track progress and get feedback about their lifestyle.
For kicking off the project, we started with two research steps. Dell Medical School provided us with the result of their research and ask for simple solutions that enables elderly and underserved people use new technologies for tracking their health records.
Of people living with Type-2-Diabetes
First reading scientific papers and sources to get information about advancements and past experiences.
Popularity of features in existing apps for T2D patients
Second, Investigated 6 apps, half of which were direct competitors and the rest were general health monitoring apps.
We reflected the possible features in a Kano model to use in our story mapping phase.
After the research and competitive analysis, we started to synthesize all the data gathered and make use of it through story mapping.
We started with story mapping in order to have a roadmap for the design stage. We revised our story map two times during the project to make it more accurate and specific to our user needs.
The key takeaway from this process was narrowing down our users, their pain points and finding the focus and direction of our design.
The design process was aimed to start with wireframing and getting feedback from potential users. However, in the middle of th project, the COVID-19 pandemic started and the Shelter-In-Place went effective that made access to users very difficult. We decided to take as much as feedback from family members close to persona and continue to the next levels.
Help people over the age of 60, struggling with T2D
track their diet and health data comfortably
At this stage, we were thinking of designing a UI flow for the patient that is easy and simple to use. We also thought that on the other end, how will the doctors' UI look like based on the data gathered by the user.
we asked some of the old family members to take a look at the wireframes via a Zoom call and provide us with their feedback.
Based on users' feedbacks and collaborative discussions, we made some decisions to move the design forward. Two of the main challenges at this stage where as follows:
How might we make the feedback feature easy to understand?
Adapting the gauge form as our feedback element because everyone is already familiar with it
Fuel Gauges have been adapted to cars at about 100 years ago.
Mid-fi Design Output
We asked some of the old family members to take a look at the prototypes via a Zoom call and provide us with their feedback.
How might we make our design more accessible?
For a design to be inclusive, it must provide both dark and light theme for users.
Use labels wherever colors have meaning
During the pandemic, everyone had an eye on news. One news was shocking and sad but made an Aha moment in our design:
Employing VUI in the design for not tech-savvy users
The outcome of all the research and design iterations took us to a point of having a clear idea of what the final prototype should be to serve our users.
Home Screen in Dark and Light mode with Blood Sugar Gauge as default
Defining a Meal
Logging Blood Sugar
Design For iWatch
During one of the user testing for Mid-Fi prototype, the user raised a question that we were thinking of during the design process:
Enable Relative monitoring with smartwatch
What if I pass out an hour after lunch? How will this app help me?
This project started before the pandemic and ended in the pandemic. The effect of such conditions in designing UX projects that require constant feedbacks from users is considerable. Though I have been able to get feedback from some users remotely, I plan to get feedback from real users as soon as possible.
There were lessons in this project that I will remember for the rest of my life:
Story Mapping: Narrowing down the user base of complex applications can help finding challenges that can benefit other users as well
Looking for inclusivity and universal design can bring in creative ideas that originate in other fields of design
VUI: Being considerate about what is happening around us can expand our level of understanding and break our false assumptions.
UI theme: Designing consciously and backing up the design with research can help us build a solid foundation that can be applied in all the design works.