This case study was completed as a Capstone for DesignLAB's UX Academy. The goal was to design a superior user experience for google.org’s new healthcare product line. My role was to provide strategic and human-centered design direction to ensure the technology would serve their customer needs.

My Roles: UX Research, UX Strategy, Interaction Design, Prototyping, User Testing, and UI Design.

SCOPE


PROBLEM

Asthma affects more than 25 million people in the US alone, is responsible for  14 million physician visits each year as well as 1.8 million emergency care visits. The associated cost of treating this chronic disease is rising.


The best way to stay healthy and keep doctor visits and costs down is to monitor and manage asthma. The product creates an easy and non-intrusive way of managing asthma in the form of a wearable device. This device detects user’s breathing patterns as well as other health vitals. The wearable can inform the user when their attention is needed through an intelligent and user friendly companion mobile app.

SOLUTION


EMPATHY MAP

I began my process by researching similar applications and solutions for our problem. The current products and services that existed seem to be on opposite sides of the cost spectrum and not contain the interactive features we are proposing. Given this understanding of the market and the competitors I concluded there was indeed space for our solution. Next I wrote a research plan that would include in-person interviews, online surveys, as well as some secondary research. After interviewing two of my friends in their mid 30s who I knew had asthma problems it seemed to me that their symptoms were not extreme enough to dignify a comprehensive management system. In order to gather data from a larger and more diverse group of people I decided to go online and explore asthma related sub-reddits where I could find first person accounts of those who suffer. I typed up the questions from my interview script into a Google Form and posted the survey. After a few days, I had received ten responses and from this, was able to get some insight into the daily life of someone with severe asthma and the specific things that cause them problems. Getting these first-hand accounts was a big help in my understanding and empathy for the users I would be designing for. With the purpose of further understanding, as well as documenting my findings, I then drew up an empathy map and sketched out personas to personify my findings and use them to design this application in a way that takes into account the unique needs of our users.

Project Plan

One of the very first things I did was to create this project plan that listed out all of my deliverables as well as an estimated time each one would take. Using this kept me on track while working through this 60+ hour long project.

Research Plan & Questions

  1. Identify the target market / customer demographics
  2. What are the key pain points associated with living with asthma?
  3. Understand features consumers value and prioritize
  4. Gain a better understanding of online competitors

Competitive Analysis

I choose of few of the most closely related products already existing and analyzed them while focusing on specific features and whether or not they were present. This also allowed me to get a sense of their UX and any unique solutions they may have come up with.

THE WEARABLE

A key differentiator for AMMA was having a wearable component so from the beginning it was essential we figure out how best to incorporate it with the overall user experience.

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While researching the current capabilities of wearable technology I found that we could incorporate geolocation data from the mobile device’s GPS and use this to actively update and log information about the weather and more importantly for us, about air quality such as pollution levels and pollen count.

One thing that we were unable to integrate into the AMMA experience was information from or about the user’s inhaler. Ideally the inhaler or it’s casing would be Bluetooth enabled allowing for meta data to be collected about its usage. Additionally, having the inhaler connected via Bluetooth could afford the user the ability to “ping” it to make noise in case of an emergency and it is misplaced. The wearable app would however for quick access to emergency calls as well as real time alerts about programmed triggers (such as high pollen counts).