DíaLife: a better diabetes management tool

APP DESIGN

UX DESIGN

UX STUDIO

15 min read

Role

Role

Product Design

User research

UX Design

Prototyping

Timeline

Timeline

Apr 2023 - Jun 2023

Collaborators

Collaborators

Instructor:  Jason Levine,

Senior Design Leadership @Amazon

3 UX designers

Context

Context

Context

DíaLife, a product of the University of Washington's UX studio (Spring 2023), redefines diabetes management with an emphasis on safety and inclusiveness.

Challenge

Challenge

Challenge

Fluctuating blood sugar levels in diabetes can be life-threatening, requiring constant vigilance. However, traditional monitoring systems have numerous issues, complicating health management.

Outcome

Outcome

Outcome

We arrive at a diabetes management program that establishes a robust alert and reminder framework. This aids in alleviating the constant obligation for patients to monitor their blood sugar levels. Additionally, it offers meal and medication oversight, as well as educational materials related to diabetes.

Highlighted Features

Utilizing Inclusive Methods for Tracking Blood Glucose Levels

By employing versatile tracking approaches such as Bluetooth connectivity and manual data input, individuals can easily monitor their blood sugar levels. These methods offer the flexibility to switch between various devices and effortlessly compare the data obtained from each source.

By employing versatile tracking approaches such as Bluetooth connectivity and manual data input, individuals can easily monitor their blood sugar levels. These methods offer the flexibility to switch between various devices and effortlessly compare the data obtained from each source.

Easily switch and compare between multiple devices

Simply include extra glucose exam gadgets

Daily analysis summary featuring insights (across gadgets, pre/post meals)

Interactive medication and emergency reminders

Stay on top of personal medication schedule with timely notifications and convenient tracking options.  Never miss a dose or an important emergency check-in with reliable call/text reminders. Our advanced solution empowers users to efficiently manage medication and emergency situations with confidence and ease.

Stay on top of personal medication schedule with timely notifications and convenient tracking options.  Never miss a dose or an important emergency check-in with reliable call/text reminders. Our advanced solution empowers users to efficiently manage medication and emergency situations with confidence and ease.

Emergency notification 
(with default vibration)

Personalized reminders settings

Discover

Domain Research

Domain Research

Before delving into the user research stage, it was crucial for us to gain a clear understanding of the disease itself. To achieve this, we conducted a comprehensive literature review and immersed ourselves in a series of documentaries featuring diabetes patients.

What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition characterized by impaired regulation of blood sugar (glucose) levels within the body. Glucose, derived from the food we consume, serves as a vital energy source for bodily functions. The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, plays a crucial role in the absorption and utilization of glucose by cells.

Devices?

Devices?

Blood sugar monitors and continuous glucose measurement (CGM) devices are crucial for diabetes management. Monitors provide quick results via finger pricks, while CGM devices offer continuous monitoring with instant data, trends, and alerts. Some insulin pumps also include CGM features, and the choice of device depends on personal needs and medical advice.

Impact?

Impact?

37.3 million people, or 11.3% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. An estimated 28.7 million people – or 28.5% of the population – had diagnosed diabetes. Approximately 8.5 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed (2022)

Glucose monitoring methods

Glucose monitoring methods

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Analysis

The diabetes app market is relatively competitive, with several established players and newcomers entering the space. It is crucial to identify unique selling points or features that differentiate our app from competitors. Conducting market research, identifying gaps, and offering innovative features or solutions can help attract and retain users.

Insights

-Data Integration and Device Connectivity

Enable seamless integration with various diabetes management devices, such as glucose meters, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), etc. Ensure compatibility and reliable data synchronization between the app and external devices to provide users with a holistic view of their health data.

-User-Centric Design

Prioritize user experience and design in the development process to mitigate childish visual design, such as that found in MySugr, and complex graphs, as seen in Onedrop. Our aim is not to oppose users but to establish an authentically user-friendly and intuitive experience.


-Enhancing Blood Glucose Monitoring

The primary focus should remain on blood glucose monitoring as the core functionality. However, it is imperative to identify distinctive features by thoroughly examining the pain points of users during the research phase. By doing so, we can develop blood glucose monitoring-related functionalities that align more effectively with the specific requirements of individuals with diabetes.

Interviews

Interviews

To gain deeper insights into the expectations and challenges faced by individuals in their daily diabetes management, we conducted user interviews with five patients living with diabetes(3 with Type 1, 2 with Type 2). Through these interviews, we identified common pain points and compiled an affinity map to organize the issues they commonly encountered in their diabetes journey. The following are the key concerns and frustrations expressed by the interviewees:

Define

User Persona

User Persona

To better guide our design and enable everyone on the team to empathize with our users, we further synthesized our research and the interview results, and came up with the following personas:

Persona 1

Persona 1

Type 1, youthful, dependent, vigilant, technologically-savvy

Persona 2

Persona 2

Type 2, adult, self-managing, lifestyle-focused, progressive

User Journey Map

User Journey Map

To better guide our design and enable everyone on the team to empathize with our users, we further synthesized our research and the interview results, and came up with the following personas:

Design Goals

Design Goals

Facilitate enhanced monitoring and regulation of blood glucose levels for diabetes patients.

Assist in safeguarding the well-being and safety of individuals living with diabetes.

Introduce an all-inclusive diabetes management tool.

Distinguish our product from competitors and refine our unique selling proposition.

Develop

Brainstorming

Brainstorming

Following user research, our design team held a brainstorming session where each member shared their ideas. We grouped similar ideas on a whiteboard and provided constructive feedback. We then organized the chosen ideas on a Miro board. Here's a summary of our selected ideas. (The ideas ended with ✅ are employed in our final design).

Selected Ideas

Medication tracking & Management
· medicine reminders ✅
· medicine refill
· easier medication management✅

Summary of diabetes situation
· real-time glucose level tracking ✅
· report on daily/weekly/monthly basis✅

Integration of VAT
· add family members/doctors/caregivers to account

Build healthier meal management
· shake phones to randomize meal plans ✅
· provide meal plans for fixed calories/carbs
· healthier recipes ✅

Supportive community
· give access to learning more about diabetes ✅
· let users learn from experts and professionals ✅
· personalized everyday tips

Selected Ideas

Medication tracking & Management
· medicine reminders ✅
· medicine refill
· easier medication management✅

Summary of diabetes situation
· real-time glucose level tracking ✅
· report on daily/weekly/monthly basis✅

Integration of VAT
· add family members/doctors/caregivers to account

Build healthier meal management
· shake phones to randomize meal plans ✅
· provide meal plans for fixed calories/carbs
· healthier recipes ✅

Supportive community
· give access to learning more about diabetes ✅
· let users learn from experts and professionals ✅
· personalized everyday tips

Selected Ideas

Medication tracking & Management
· medicine reminders ✅
· medicine refill
· easier medication management✅

Summary of diabetes situation
· real-time glucose level tracking ✅
· report on daily/weekly/monthly basis✅

Integration of VAT
· add family members/doctors/caregivers to account

Build healthier meal management
· shake phones to randomize meal plans ✅
· provide meal plans for fixed calories/carbs
· healthier recipes ✅

Supportive community
· give access to learning more about diabetes ✅
· let users learn from experts and professionals ✅
· personalized everyday tips

Sketches

Sketches

Design critique feedback

Design critique feedback

  • Re-consider the tab bar alignment with user mental model, wording, and sequence.​

  • Consider removing the medicine refill feature since those types of medicine can be requested through the hospital portal.

  • Focus on the core functionality of being a diabetes management app.

  • Always display the user's carbohydrate intake goals.

  • Show the remaining carbohydrate/protein/dietary fiber quota for the day.

  • Reevaluate the proposal of VAT integration, taking into account the significant number of elderly diabetes patients who may not be tech-savvy.

Product Structure

Product Structure

Deliver

Glucose Tracking

Glucose Tracking

Monitoring blood glucose forms the core feature we established. Carrying insights from our brainstorming, we swiftly transitioned from blueprint layouts to the initial polished design. In this phase, our primary enhancements were from these viewpoints:

  1. enable hypo/hyper sugar warnings and notifications

  2. linked gadgets are located in the profile section

  3. incorporation of crucial emergency contacts

Medication Management

Medication Management

In terms of managing medication, we have simplified the user navigation and enhanced the UI design of the medication card, making it more approachable for users.

Meals Management

Meals Management

We've implemented significant alterations in our meal management system to include:

  1. introduction of a food log for convenient tracking of user's dietary habits

  2. clarification of button functions in the food specifications page to prevent user uncertainty

  3. display of detailed nutritional data, both in aggregate and proportionate forms

Supportive Community

Supportive Community

In striving to establish a credible online network for our users, we implemented features such as the workshop and the learning board. The primary modifications from the wireframes to high-fidelity prototypes include:

  1. revising our UX copy from 'webinar' to 'workshop' to more accurately reflect our objectives for this functionality

  2. refining the search function on the learning board and incorporating predefined categories to facilitate user navigation

But wait, why did we make all these iterations?

Usability Testing

Usability Testing

Post-creation of our prime high-fidelity prototype, five potential users were involved in a usability analysis. We facilitated their introduction to our application, set defined tasks, and prompted them to vocalize their thoughts.

Upon completion of their assignments, we pursued further queries and structured the collected responses. This methodology supplied crucial perspectives guiding our subsequent iteration. Emphasis was primarily given to the issues identified by a minimum of 3 out of 5 participants.

Medication card design

Medication card design

“When I saw this page, I thought that swiping right would switch to insulin. The design seems a bit deceptive.” - Tester 05

Meals intake process

Meals intake process

"Does the colored circle above the Meals tab represent the daily intake? It's not very clear without a percentage indication of how much it is exactly." - Tester 01

CTAs on the food details page

CTAs on the food details page

"I don't know the specific difference between these two options, and the indications are not clear." - Tester 04

Next steps

Upon concluding the showcase of our project in class, I contemplated whether our application distinctly emphasizes its fundamental operations. Despite introducing numerous functionalities for diabetes sufferers, my attention is centered on our unique traits in the fiercely competitive field. Such a perspective culminated in the ultimate version of Díalife.

Refine & optimize core functionalities

Refine & optimize core functionalities

Streamline registration process

Overall optimization of visual design

Overall optimization of visual design

Visual Design

Colors

Colors

Typography

Typography

Reflection

In the product development journey, various factors must be weighed. As a UX designer, it's crucial to address user needs while also considering market competition and technological feasibility. This holistic approach ensures a practical and user-aligned product.

For my ongoing learning, I'll focus on refining blood glucose monitoring and adding a rewards system to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Thank you for being here!

Let's grab a coffee! ☕️