SUGAR SAFE - OCT 2019
Redefining blood-sugar tracking
"Sugar Safe" is an app designed for people with diabetes to track their sugar levels, sync and maintain a history of blood sugar readings, and pick healthy food choices quickly and easily. The food journal syncs with blood sugar readings to help the users make critical connections.

Challenge

Provide a solution for diabetic people to manage diabetes and motivate them to lead a healthy lifestyle.
People diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes know that they need to keep track of their food choices as well as their glucose levels but it is so often an impotence on their daily life and routine tasks. people have troubles remembering to measure blood glucose and calculate meal glycemic load.

Project Specifics

Deliverables
User research findings
Low and high-fidelity prototypes
Usability evaluation report
Tools
Adobe XD
‍Illustrator
Photoshop
Team
Jessica Bentley
Lauren de Luna
RaviTeja Jorigay
My Role
As a UX Designer, I contributed to research, ideation, wireframes, prototyping, and usability testing. I led the team in conceptualizing the design and creating the low and High fidelity prototypes.
Food
Journal
Users can capture their meal and add to their photo journal. This will help them to track their food habits and analyze the fluctuations in blood-sugar level.
Food Journal
Users can log their Blood-sugar readings from the monitor by syncing or adding them manually. Meta data of the entry's date and time is recorded for matching it with the food had at that time.
Diet Store
Users can get personalized recipe suggestions based on their preference. They can then order the ingredients right away for an effortless shopping experience.

Introduction

Background
More than 30 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. It's no secret that diabetics face challenges that could affect their health on the daily basis. Health care practitioners want to encourage patients to self-manage their health and provide them with tools to help achieve optimal control of their diabetes.
Problem Space
Diabetes is a chronic illness that requires vigilant monitoring and management of glycemic fluctuations through medication, diet, and exercise. Patients diagnosed with diabetes are often challenged by the need to incorporate these various monitoring components into their daily lives.
Design Process
I collaborated with two of my classmates for this project in researching and designing the mobile application. The higher-level UX design process we followed is represented in the sketch below.

Research

Observation Study
We started our research by observing several people who had diabetes while they were in their natural environments. These observations gave us a direct insight into the actual behavior that people exhibit. Through this, we were able to sense the real lack of motivation and desire to track meals and follow healthy routines (such as existing apps) in order to critically manage Diabetes.
User Interviews
The insights gathered through our interviews were primarily related to difficulty and inconvenience with tracking food. As a team, we learned that people with diabetes generally know what they need to do in order to track A1C levels and food choices but there is a real lack of motivation due to inconvenience, annoyance, and even embarrassment.
Inconvenience with tracking
I hate taking notes. So tracking is just too time consuming and takes too much attention. I wish there was a way to do it, [that was] less time consuming.”
Making sense of the data
I have to consider how I feel in relationship to what's coming up on my machine (A1C monitor) in order to make an educated guess about how to respond. I’ve gotten better at it, but it was really hard to guess when I was first diagnosed.
Desktop Study
The Desktop study provided the team with an understanding of the severity of the problem and the current market of Diabetes related apps. Despite the availability of data tracking apps, It is difficult to monitor and receive recommendations that fit into a personalized and individual lifestyle. Once again, the fact of eventual motivation loss became evident.
Competitive Analysis
As a component of our process to develop a potential solution to the burdensome monitoring of Type 2 Diabetes, we investigated several other popular apps that are currently on the market in order to identify the positive aspects of each in addition to why they have not succeeded in solving the problem.
MyFitnessPal
  • Not specific to diabetes
  • Since the purpose is for weight loss, calorie counts and macros are very detailed
  • Difficult to sustain use
  • No place to track other important metrics such as blood glucose levels
  • Historic data is tracked, but not easily displayed
Glucose Buddy
  • Complicated interface
  • Tracks historical data, but only exportable via email
  • Only monitors blood glucose levels, does not integrate other tracking features
Research findings
Through several interviews and observations, we gathered primary data from people diagnosed with Type-2 to better understand the pain points they face. Several overarching themes began to emerge from the data:
Lack of consistent and accurate information available
Prevention, treatment, and diet information is conflicting and inconsistent
Lack of support and resources
Although the disease affects so many people, many participants struggle to find support and a community
Burdensome tracking processes
With so many different metrics to track daily, monitoring becomes extremely burdensome
Inefficient doctor’s visits
At many doctor’s visits, they are simply reading historical data captured by blood sugar monitors over a 6 month period

Ideation

Affinity Diagram
As a group, we discussed and wrote key findings and putting these findings up on a whiteboard to then group them by relevant category. We came to the conclusion that the best criteria for the right solution would be ease of use, the desirability of use, and reinforcement through use.
Problem Statement
The Affinity Diagram transformed the raw data into information we could use to begin framing our guiding problem statement. Through these insights we defined our design direction to focus on the user’s most pressing needs. The problem statement we followed is:
Brainstorming
Using the insights gathered so far and addressing the problem statement, we brainstormed numerous ideas that could address our problem space. We conducted 3 sessions for brainstorming. We had gathered numerous ideas from our first session, but a lot of them were not technologically feasible. The Brainstorming Session 2 exposed us to ideas from other people outside our group, which broadened our perspective on different ways we can approach the solution. The Brainstorming Session 3 was most productive, we had more consolidated ideas, most of which seemed structured and technologically feasible and qualified as stand-alone solutions. We derived the final three ideas on our third brainstorming session.
Personas
To classify the target users and understand their motivation better, two personas were created. Their characteristics and the main insights I got are based on the interviews and observations.
Storyboards
We created storyboards around the problem scenarios that Bob and Georgia would use the identified solutions.
Scenario 1: Bob using sugar safe products to control his Blood-sugar levels.

Bob recently downloaded the Sugar Safe app. Today he is ordering his first box of Diabetic friendly food

The box fully stocked with the ingredients needed to make healthy meals arrives. in 2 days

Bob and his wife have a great time preparing the first Sugar Safe meal with those ingredients

Before eating the delicious meal, Bob snaps a quick picture to add to his photo journal

At the end of the day, Bob reviews his meals and their effect on his blood sugar levels

When he visits the doctor next, she is impressed with his balance in the blood sugar levels

Scenario 2: Georgia uses the app to track her diet and stay healthy.

Georgia receives the alert from the app to check her blood sugar levels

She checks her sugar levels on a smart meter which syncs with the app

Her blood sugar is low, so she eats scrambled eggs to balance her sugar levels

Before eating the eggs, Georgia snaps a quick photo to add to the photo journal in the app

She is able to pick the kids up from school with no worries using the app fits into her busy lifestyle

She is able to analyze how her food choices from that day affected her blood sugar levels

Design

Low-Fidelity Prototype
We used a paper prototype to perform an initial evaluation of the product to understand the usability of the product. We created paper prototypes to provide tangible interaction with the features we had explored. The paper prototype focused on the 3 main features of the design solution: tracking food/meals, tracking glucose readings, and ordering food.

Splash Screen

Sign In / Sign Up

Image Capture

Picture Confirmation

Success Message

Photo Journal

Side Navigation Menu

Entering Glucose Readings

Glucose Readings Graph

Store Home

Recipes List

Recipes Details

Ordering Ingredients

Pictures + Readings

Reading's Details History

High-Fidelity Prototype
Based on the internal think-aloud session, we revised our Low fidelity prototype and developed the screens with a higher fidelity prototyping tool in order to elaborate on the user flows and concepts. We used Adobe XD to convert the paper prototypes to digital and interactive flows.

Evaluation

User Testing
After creating high-fidelity prototypes, we began working on usability testing. We conducted think-aloud sessions with the high-fidelity designs followed by two evaluation methods: Heuristic Evaluation and Cognitive Walkthrough. We created four tasks and performed think-aloud usability evaluations with-in our group.
Results and Findings
The overall experience of the app was well received by the users. However, several areas of the app were identified which needed further attention.
Critical Issues
1. The “store” feature was called out  for being less developed and less connected to the other features offered within the app.
Minor Issues
1. The connection between the A1C or glucose levels with the food that caused the increase or decrease was lacking a directness to help users draw these conclusions more easily.
2. Design a system where the app can push notifications at specific time to motivate the users to log their data.
Positive Feedback
1. Having the food log capture screen as the home screen is a good as it makes the process of logging quicker.
2. Having a store apart from the typical A1C level logging is helpful for the users to make healthy food choices.
This usability study confirmed that the basic usability aspects of the application are sensible and functional. The insights gathered were primarily about curating the language for continuity with the outside world as well as developing task flows in more detail.

Reflection

Next Iteration
There are many features and additions that could enhance our solution and further support those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. For now, we want to focus on the primary functionality of the solution, however, we have considering the following features that we could potentially integrate in the future:
1. Trivia game or points feature to gamify tracking processes and offer an optional additional form of motivation or entertainment
2. Adding professionals as mentors for helping the students
3. Generating in-depth reports to understand the student's problem areas.
Key learnings
Collaboration is the key
Being a designer you should be able to empathize not just with the users but also with the people whom you are working with. As they say, two heads are better than one, the more people involved, the more points of view you get, the better your product will be.
Long Term Vision while Designing
Always keep in mind that you are designing for the future. Your solutions are not supposed to meet only yesterday’s or today’s necessities but should also be able to tackle tomorrow’s concerns. The best way to achieve that is to think of each and every possible use case before hitting the blank canvas.