I came up with the following user stories to establish clarity as to what functionality and features would be useful to Noah. The goal was to keep them simple, concise and easy to understand. In order to set the necessary premise for my primary solution flow, I developed a secondary flow of adding a medication to the app.
Pillperk aims to provide a digital solution to the problem of adherence to medications for chronic disease patients who are young adults. The solution was designed to provide this segment of patients some level of motivation they needed to adhere to their medications and thus improve their health outcome.
There are times when I needed to take an antibiotic for seven days for an acute condition and four days down the regimen I have already missed one or two doses. This is just a week treatment. Imagine if I have to take the drug for a year. Non-adherence is quite rampant in patients with chronic disease conditions. This is because the medication has to be taken for a long time, sometimes, through a patient’s lifetime. Poor adherence to medication reduces its clinical effectiveness, increases the number of hospitalisation with an overall adverse impact on disease progression.
In my quest to proffer a solution to the problem, I engaged the design thinking methodology. I chose this method because it allows me to be creative with my solution and places the patient front and center. Design thinking has been shown to be the most promising approach for understanding patients' experiences. It leverages empathy, collective idea generation, rapid prototyping, and continuous testing to tackle complex challenges. I really wanted to know what this segment of patients want, how they behave, feel, and think, and why they don’t adhere to their medications while managing their disease condition. The best way for me to do this was to talk to them directly, so i decided to conduct one-on-one interviews with them.
I believe that forgetfulness is a major reason why chronic disease patients don’t adhere to their medications. I will know if this is true when majority of my interviewed participants express that they have been non adherent to their medications because they often forget to take them.
- Individual between the ages of 25-45
- Individual must have a chronic disease condition
- Individual must have missed their medications a couple of times.
Key Interview Insights
- Theme 1: Forgetfulness
Forgetfulness was one of the reasons why interviewees missed several doses of their medications.
- Theme 2: Side effects/ignorance of full medication information
Some interviewees were well aware their conditions could get worse if they stop taking their drugs and this serves as a motivation.
- Theme 3: Taking too many medications (polypharmacy)
Some interviewees mentioned they sometimes get overwhelmed having to take many medications at once.
- Theme 4: Lack of motivation
This has the most points from my affinity mapping. While most of the patients I spoke to do sometimes forget to take their medications, they recounted vividly times when they remembered to take the medications but just decided not to take them because they felt overwhelmed most especially when they do not have any symptoms.
- Theme 5: cost
Some interviewees highlighted how the price of their refills sometimes prevents them from getting the refills on time thereby missing some doses.
I created an experience map to help me see the big picture of noah’s journey and further understand his needs and pain points. I was able to identify the point of intervention which is when he became overwhelmed and tired of taking his medications. He wasn’t having any symptoms, so he felt there is no need to take his medications until all of a sudden the disease began to manifest again.
For my core epic, accessing motivation, I created a flow of how the user would journey through the task from screen to screen and what action the user has to take on each screen. This guided my thought process for the next stages of sketching and prototyping.
With the core task flow established, I began sketching interface options for the key screens using a UI inspiration board I curated from different apps with similar components as those i would love to have in my solution. This helps me generate a range of potential concepts and ideas that capture both the adding a medication flow and the motivation flow for the patient. I then selected the most compelling concept sketches and consolidated them into a refined set of solution sketches.
Referencing my solution sketches and UI Inspiration, I proceeded to translate my paper sketches into an initial set of grayscale digital wireframes and interactive prototype. I chose to design for iOS because this is the device most of my interviewees use as personal mobile device. I further added more visual to the content to the wireframes and tested with this version.
Testing and Iterations
I conducted 2 rounds of user testing with 5 individuals per round. In order to carry out my user testing I first created a non-prescriptive test plan that allows my participant to journey through the app without any biases. Using the design prioritization Matrix, I ranked the fixes based on the impact on usability of the design and effort required to fix them. I then proceeded to make iterations to my designs.
Motivating. Driven. Inspiring. Persuasive. Encouraging. Propelling. Faithful. Uplifting. Charged. Activating.
I had a little fun curating a moodboard. Based on my curated adjectives, I then extracted colors from the images and fine-tuned the hues, saturation and brightness.
I proceeded to sketch out ideas for the logo. Sketching is an important part of my artistic process as it helps me concentrate on the raw ideas I want to express. It also helps me generate more ideas more quickly.
Typography forms the foundation of a design just as much as colors and components do. I defined the typography system for this brand before creating the high fidelity design. This made it easier for me to maintain consistency across the interface and scale typography across multiple applications and devices, without complicating the handoff between designers and developers. I chose Poppins. Readability was one of deciding factor.
This is an healthcare app and patients needs to be able to read medication information clearly without confusion. I wanted some style, since the app was to be fun, but nothing too playful. I relied on Poppins varying weight for this. Poppins was designed to be incredibly versatile with lots of range in terms of tone. It is perceived as neutral when the situation calls for something a bit serious like health issue. It can also be expressive when the weights are played with.
Other Devices Exploration
I explored the possibility of when Noah does not have his phone at hand and it’s time for him to take his medication, he could get a notification on his watch that tells his it’s time to take his medication.