UX DESIGN FOR AN IOS MOBILE HEALTH APP
UX Design • UX Research • UX Testing • Copywriting
Clinic provides data capture from clinical research patients through electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) capabilities. The mobile health platform additionally engages patients by providing personal health and wellness data, task reminders, and educational materials to aid users in taking control of their own health and managing their daily tasks to advance medical research. I worked in collaboration with a medical client and digital agency as the in-house UX Designer and Lead UX Researcher.
*The app name has been changed for this case study to respect nondisclosure requests.
Our task was to design an overall product vision showing the ideal patient experience. Clinic should benefit the medical research field as much as it does the clinical trials patients — with meaningful data being the driving currency of the platform that are derived and entered in seamless ways.
Increase Patient Engagement
Capture Accurate Insights
Educate Trial Participants
(1) Patient retention and trial adherence are compromised, likely due to a lack of engagement and motivation to stay on track in the clinical trials. (2) Conventional check-ins at medical clinics produce error-prone patient data due to sporadic "spot checks" vs. daily, (near) real-time data captures. (3) Participants are disconnected from the purpose of their trial participation and associated logistics surrounding them, including the timeline, scheduling and educational materials to inform them of their health conditions and contributions. (4) The current experience disrupts daily routines and an already-tedious user journey for patients managing life-threatening conditions, adding unnecessary cognitive load and time spent in logging health data.
How do we introduce a humanistic component in a sterile environment?
Doctors visits are typically considered dreadful and stressful experiences. Despite the type of visit (e.g. regular check-ups with a Primary Care Physician, a specialist appointment with an OBGYN for targeted symptoms), I generally have a consistent, pleasant experience the moment I'm called in by the Assistant to check my vitals. It's there that small talk is made and I'm in a quiet, peaceful space with one-on-one attention where I feel cared for. I wanted to transfer this experience into the app experience, so the design team and I decided to take the idea and translate it into a digital Assistant feature. The Assistant would be a reliable and helpful guide throughout the clinical trial, appearing at contextually relevant moments.
ASSISTANT ICON FEEDBACK
01 Generally preferred for the "flat" and "clean" illustration style. The association to the insurance company Oscar was referenced and users said it felt personable.
02 Similar to Assistant 01, users preferred this flat and clean illustration style. Some also favored this female Assistant over the male due to negative experiences they've had with male doctors.
03 Praised for the gender and race-neutral qualities, but overall feels too random and impersonal to have as an Assistant.
04 Feels "cheesy," "creepy" and reminiscent of Jimmy Neutron. Preferred by none.
05 Similar to Assistant 04, the style feels cheesy and reminiscent of Jimmy Neutron, however this particular Assistant was preferred by some for its realistic and non-cartoon style, but wished she didn't embody conventional features of being thin and white. Female and male users favored the female role.
06 Generally elicited positive and comforting feelings from the suggestion of a smile, but without eyes, it was confusing — a neither here nor there emotion, but one that leaned towards positivity. The smiley face is rewarding, acting as a simple cue of motivation. Also favored for its gender and race-neutral quality.
The consensus was to move forward with a flat illustration style that offered a range of gender identities, races, and a consistently happy and inviting smile on friendly characters.
Flat illustration styles performed best
Option for a female Assistant desired
Positive expressions provided comfort
Preferences were varied
UPDATED ASSISTANT ICONS
My interview approach covered three distinct groups of research participants: (1) Those with an existing health condition and have participated in clinical trials (2) Participants who do not currently live with a health condition, but have participated in clinical trials, and (3) People who aren’t specifically involved with clinical trials, but who can speak specifically about their daily habits and how motivation plays a role in their routines.
Participants with a Condition
Participant Habits & Motivation
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
“What motivates you to participate in clinical studies?”
“How do you define success in the context of setting goals?”
“What role does technology have in helping you achieve tasks and goals?”
How do we make dreadful tasks easy and motivational?
Simplified iconography serve as visual cues to ease call-to-actions. The Assistant is present to facilitate survey questions and to guide the user through the apps's functionalities. A motivational message (center screen) acts as the North Star, encouraging patients to make progress.