CapSoul is a pill reminder digital product that allows users to choose a range of options to set up reminders. It is designed for users who have a busy schedule juggling school, work and anything in between.
Setting the Scene
I designed a native iOS app to provide a solution for a medical problem that we all have encountered at some point in our lives.Once I identified the problem-space worthy of investigating, my job was to understand the nature of the problem through the lens of human-centered design. In the process, I talked to real people who were having the issue to better understand their goals, motivations, behaviours and pain points. I was able to get a sense of the problem space more deeply and empathize with my target audience. From then I was able to develop insights and discover an opportunity for a design intervention.
Below is a roadmap of my design journey starting with identifying the problem space to developing my prototype and ending with my key learnings from my design project.
Why is this a problem?
The more medications the patient requires the less likely they are to follow medication regimes.
Medical adherence is a growing concern to clinicians, healthcare systems, and stakeholders because there is evidence that non-adherence is prevalent and associated with adverse outcomes and higher cost of care.
There is no single method to tackle this problem, it will have to involve a combination of key players that includes the patient, social support, healthcare providers, and the health care system.
Medical adherence for patients with a chronic illness is extremely common, affecting as many as 40-50% of patients who are prescribed medications for diabetes or hypertension. In a study done in 2015, adults ages 45 to 64 were the most diagnosed age group. However new cases are showing up for diabetes type 1 and type 2 in people over the ages of 18 years old.
Research shows that about 50% of patients mentioned forgetfulness as one of the major reasons for non-adherence.
Identifying specific barriers for each patient and adopting personalized techniques to overcome them will be necessary to improve medication adherence. Patient engagement plays an important role in improving medication adherence requires the patient that is motivated intrinsically to succeed but patients face several barriers which are stigmatization, fear, lack of accurate information, and forgetfulness.
Understanding the Problem Space
My project goal was to create an application that allows people to better manage their medications
After finding information on medical non-adherence, I decided to set a research plan on how I would proceed to find more insights with real people who are dealing with this issue.
Discover individuals pain points, goals and motivation in regards to their treatment
Tools & Method
Qualitative method by conducting interviews via Google Meet
Individuals ages 20 to 35 years old, who are currently or has taken in the past prescribed medication
Location & Schedule
Interviews were held virtually on Feb 14 to 15 2021 via Google Meet
As I thought of my constraints, I knew I was not going to gather as much data. I decided to conduct an interview through video calls. There is no better way to find out an individual’s insights by just talking to them directly. I prepared a list of questions to ask but also to keep in mind that the discussion should be conversational.
Here are some of the questions I asked my participants
“What are some reasons you are forgetting to take your medication? Why?”
“Can you tell me about the overall experience of taking your prescribed medication? How did it feel?”
“What are your goals when it comes to your medical treatment?”
Taking a deeper dive
Insights I found after the interviews was that the #1 reason for medial non-adherence was forgetfulness
Once I had gathered my secondary research and set my plan, I wanted to dive deeper into the problem space and begin to discover the motives behind forgetfulness. Because of time constraints, I was only able to interview 4 participants over two days through Google Meet. The three most common themes I found were forgetfulness, managing side effects and motivation.
Forgetfulness played a significant role and caused uneasiness in some of participants daily activities
Managing side effects was more difficult than managing the dosages prescribed
The motives from the participants were that they wanted to improve their quality of life
*Hover over the boxes for more insights
Interview Findings Reflection
The most common medication among the ages 20 to 25 years old were to treat anxiety and depression
According to secondary research, medical adherence is common among people who suffer from diabetes and hypertension that suffered from these types of illnesses. Given the time constraints of this project I was unable to gather participants that suffered from these types of illnesses.
My participants' age group ranged from 20 to 25 years old who were mainly students that live busy lives. Most of them were taking medications to treat anxiety and clinical depression.
Forgetfulness was still a common theme in both my primary and secondary research. All participants' goals were to improve their quality of life and were eager to get better and seek help.
What I learned is that I could have catered my research more towards ages 20 to 25 years age range since these was readily available for me to gather insights from. In that case, I formulated my "How might we" question.
How might we help individuals ages 20 to 25 years old to set reminders on to taking medications so they are less forgetful?
Gathering my insights to empathize with my target audience
I created a representation of an archetype "The Busy Student" to help me know who my target audience is. This helped me identify who will be my primary users of my digital intervention. I summarized my interview findings, which helped me empathize with my interviewees' motivations, pain points and behaviours.
Archetype: The Busy Student
Goals & Motivations
Motivated to get better and have a healthier mindset
Looking for an effective way to remind herself on taking her pills
Wants to stay on top with her studies and keep up with work
Experiencing bad side effects
When she skips her pills she often feels wary and anxious
Sets alarms on her iPhone but sometimes find it very annoying
Looking for other alternatives to set reminders
Often forgets at least twice a week
"There was a phase when I set alarms to take medications and it just not very serious so I stopped. The alarm would go off and I would be annoyed of it."
Allow more options on how the individual like to receive their reminders
At this point, I have an understanding of my problem space and identified who my target audience is. I was ready to create an interactive prototype that will potentially help solve the issue around medical adherence. After reflecting on my interviews and deconstructing my data I found that my target audience was overall annoyed of being reminded. I wanted to make having reminders fun, interactive and delightful! What my target audience would like to see is having more options on how they would like to receive their reminders.
Selected Task Flow
1. User taps on medication
2. User updates their sound
A task flow was created to help me visualize the proposed sequence of steps the user would encounter when interacting with my digital product
Building the Design
With my task flow completed, I was ready to take my ideas and build out wireframes. Below are some of Before and After screenshots to showcase my process.
Warm, Positive and Optimistic
From my insights, I had vision of what the brand should be, so that my primary users can be feel welcomed, positive and optimistic of their health. My digital product would be clean, simple, and functional.
Illustrations plugin Storyset by Freepik
Putting it all together in action
After usability testing from my peers, feedbacks from my educations and the teacher assistants and countless iterations, I have made my final prototype. Below is a video of the prototype.
Marketing Responsive Web Design
I created a marketing website for my digital product. This gives potential users a tool to evaluate my work before they commit to downloading and trying it out.
Below is the view of the desktop marketing website followed by the mobile version.
*Click to expand image
Gathering insights from interviews
One participant who is currently taking medications and said that she would use an app like this in the future, and pointed out some things that would be beneficial for her treatment plan. This made me feel happy knowing that I have the potential to help someone with my new skills.
Design journey is a process
I learned as a designer you might not be satisfied with your work, and that decision-making is an important part of the design process. I found myself constantly making iterations. I learned to be okay with what I have because there are probably a million ways to do it.
Figma is like magic
Figma was the primary tool I used for this case study. I love learning new things and very much enjoyed using Figma, especially when I got to prototyping.