Despite the vast availability of personal metrics and health apps, people continue to struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the gastrointestinal disease community.
Customers' pain points:
If you’re not familiar with gastrointestinal symptoms these are examples of what GI patients experience: heartburn, indigestion/dyspepsia, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and acid reflux.
What many don’t realize is that these symptoms can’t always be controlled. In fact, despite taking medication, some people aren’t sure when or if they will get better. This major concern along with the symptoms leads to psychological distress.
- Tracking the user's progress
- Push the user to commit to a healthier lifestyle
- Drive the user to action
- Deliver an updated UI
- Offer mental, physical, and emotional well-being
Design Thinking Process
What's the market gap?
The gastrointestinal disease community have a variety of application to help monitor their symptoms--this includes: Cara care, MyIBDcare, myChronsandColitis, myColitis. They offered features such as food and symptoms tracker, mood recorder, medication tracker and reminders, but lack guidance as to how patients could get better.
My competitors offered both personal discipline and physical guidance. While I was able to identify and understand the competitors, I noticed that the uncontested market place lay between personal discipline and emotional support.
To better understand the users' current mental model and what they were looking for as far as support, I conducted 6 interviews and distributed a survey on Reddit to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. I soon discovered that their concerns and frustrations surrounded the lack of reliable resources available to help them during their flare-ups.
“It's frustrating and gets disheartening at times that you don't know if or when you'll get better”
“I would skip meals and not go out with friends because of flare ups”
“I create and personalize my exercise that help me feel better, for example squats”
Subject Matter Experts:
After conducting user research, I got in touch with subject matter experts. They were key to determining and understand the different strategies and practices they've used to help their patients and clients’ develop a sense of well-being.
The relationship between diet, fitness, and emotional state can affect the digestive tract.
In order to synthesize the data, I sorted and grouped them into themes using an affinity map. It was clear that the majority of patients feel helpless during flare-ups and try to find solutions that align with the specific needs.
Susie represents the different user types that may use a gastrointestinal disease application to track their symptoms--age 25, careful of what she eats and rarely exercises. I made note of her main goals and pain points when it comes to her digestive tract.
I compiled a series of Susie actions into a timeline aligned with her thought and emotions during each phase. This gave me an insight on the design opportunities.
Although this was a solo project, given that UX is a team sport, this brainstorming session was collaborative. My teammate took the time to become well-versed of the biggest pain points and goals to help come up with the best ideas as a team.
The Minimum Viable Product:
I used the MoSCoW Method to prioritize features the users may need versus what they want or aren't necessary. To make sure the gastrointestinal disease would embrace the product I had to build smarter, by implementing a personalized touch to help the user before or during their flare-ups.
Take control of your flare-ups and optimize your emotions, Day & Night. Made with empathy for the gastrointestinal disease community.
When stress arises before or during flare-ups, patients want to use the Remedy app to follow personalized techniques so that they feel calm, confident, and in control. Additionally, users will have direct communication with their health providers via chat, and a personalized plan of action based on their condition.
Low to Mid-Fi Prototype:
I finally brought the data and value found in my primary and secondary research to life and tested my hypothesis through rapid prototyping. With the concept in mind, I created my low-fi prototype using my user flow to guide me.
Before moving on with Mid-Fi prototyping, I reached out to one of my subject matter expert to get her insight on my prototype. She had a few suggestions that helped with my chart and setting up a goal for the users. Once I gathered all the suggestions from my low-fi usability test and applied it to my mid-fi prototype, I was able to define a clearer vision of the application.
I conducted 5 usability tests for both low-fi and mid-fi prototypes to identify errors and make improvements based on my observation. I had quite valuable discoveries as well as requests from my users. Ontology seems to have been the biggest concern.
Additional Concerns to Address:
Will there be a login screen?
How will goals be identified?
How will patients understand the platform?
Visual Competitive Analysis:
I evaluated the visual designs of two of my competitors, to gain valuable insight on users expectations and the market that my application will compete in. I discovered that both Cara Care and My IBD, both lacked a sense of warmth in their UI design and pursued to build five brand attributes.
I created a mood-board based on my five brand attributes healing, helpful, relaxed, comfort, hopeful. This helped avoid misdirections and was used as a guide for the UI.
Atomic Design Inventory:
To use as the building blocks for creating the Hi-fi prototype, I created an atomic design inventory. These atoms helped me get a better sense of the UI direction I would used for the final prototype design.
A challenge for this project was deciding how to integrate micro-interaction into my UI The idea was to ad some interaction to the scale to take it to the next level. To ease the process, I defined the four parts of the micro-interaction model:
Trigger: Drag the ellipse to input the users’ number.
Rules: The number increases or decreases based on the ellipse movement.
Feedback: Confirmation of the number change.
Modes: Mode would be based on changes made to the scale by the user.
Opening my project up to my SME, my users, and my tester gave me access to new perspectives. I was able to experiment my way forward through desirability and usability testing, which eased the creation of the style guide for my Hi-fi prototype.
Always experiment your way forward and test your hypothesis. By using the data as a guide, I reduced the risk of designing useless/poor products.
Involving Subject Matter Experts into your process can help uncover new perspectives and design opportunities.
Given the time, I definitely would have design the Remedy app to be an all-in-one application for the GI community. This would have included:
Diets Diaries and Recipes Resources
Shared Stories & Memes