A wellness project | Timeline: 2 weeks/solo project
Despite the vast availability of personal metrics and health apps, people continue to struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The health and wellness industry has been experiencing immense disruption due to advancements in technology. Today's consumers are embracing wearable technologies and other activity-tracking products more than ever before.
For my 5th Ironhack project, I was required to conduct user research to understand people's relationship with mental, physical, and emotional well-being to develop a tool that will drive them to action. This is an MVP for a competition and the app should not try to solve all of the wellness issues people have at the same time. Each design should focus on:
ONE aspect of wellness that the designer consider important (backed up by user research)
To create a trustable platform that will assist both patients and medical providers through a single system of tracking and analyzing.
Problem & Solution context
Wellness is defined as an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward a more successful existence.
Health and wellness apps (also known as mHealth apps) are mobile application programs that offer health-related services on smartphones, tablet PCs, and other communication devices. There are many types of health and wellness apps focusing on various aspects of promoting wellness.
For this project, I was asked to reimagine how people can adopt and maintain a routine that enhances their well-being. I had to design a tool that can be focused on any category that relates to personal well-being, such as (but not limited to): exercise and fitness, eating/diet, meditation, time management, etc. The only requirement is that it tracks the user's progress and pushes them to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
I focused on telemedicine, lifestyle change (diet/nutrition/sport), health-related data tracking and started to conduct user research to understand people’s relationship with mental, physical and emotional well being to develop a tool that will drive them to action.
The omnipresence of the smartphone has spawned a massive market for mobile health and wellness apps. Healthcare-related mobile apps are becoming popular at an astonishing speed, as indicated by the fact that 69% of US smartphone owners track at least one health indicator using them.
In order to develop a tool that tackles chronic care, especially autoimmune diseases, I first had to understand exactly what it is, how different people experience it and how many were affected.
With a simple Google search I was able to find that there are approximately a hundred different illnesses in this category and since all their underlying biological and molecular mechanisms are quite different, it’s hard to pinpoint only one technology to solve all issues.
( Underneath you can see the results of a research made in 2018, in the US by Toluna Quicksurveys on behalf of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) to understand the level of education related to autoimmune diseases.)
I’ve conducted 2 interviews with people suffering from different chronic conditions (type 1 diabetes and SLE). Stress, anxiety, tiredness, unhealthy lifestyle were the main triggers for the autoimmune disease.
As a person who’s also suffering from a chronic condition, I wanted to make sure there’s no bias in my research. so I’ve decided to also send out a survey through social media and pain support groups.
A 7 questions survey was done using Google form. The questions were based on understanding needs and challenges while interacting with doctors and using tracking apps.
didn’t use any apps to track symptoms
need a symptom list
find communication with a specialist important
All this insight gathered from online research, interviews and survey helped me think about the app and define better the problem. People were having difficulties in being understood, having troubles communicating about their struggles and they were in need of something to help them organise and manage their day to day experience
As a school teacher, Tania wants to feel like she has a normal life, but at the same time, she needs to make sure that has control over her symptoms and medication.
During her user journey, the main touchpoints were early in the morning and right before she goes to bed after a long and tiring day.
Market positioning and competitive analysis
Many different apps on the market target a particular activity, such as fitness or a symptom tracker or track moods or offer therapy. So to narrow it a bit, I’ve decided to look into the apps recommended by AARDA (The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association), especially those that offered as many features as possible. I found a particular interest in TRACK + REACT, DOSECAST, MY PAIN DIARY, DOCTELLA and CARE CLINIC (this one was not on the AARDA list, but caught my attention while researching apps because it was the one that fit my objective the most). When developing a chronic disease management tool, you need to think about what the user really needs and not load the product with many features. You also have to assume certain costs and implementation limits.
I did some benchmarking to see the features, look and feel of the apps and by doing this I got some inspiration on what my app should have and after organising my ideas in an Affinity diagram I’ve used the MOSCOW method to prioritise the features I wanted to include in the app.
An all in one management plan based on the user’s individual needs and health goals.
I started sketching to explore multiple directions in the most efficient way possible. This helped me define what should be the user flow and to think about how I would only show the necessary information.
After getting my first iterations, I’ve tested it with a couple of users to see if the flow made sense and jumped again on the drawing board, by changing it according to the user feedback that I’ve received.