Designing an end-to-end wellness app for managing asthma
About the Project
Google Aria is a service for individuals with asthma who want an easy and informative way of tracking their symptoms, preventing an attack, and dealing with an attack when it happens. Google Aria’s greatest value comes via wearable technology that allows users to track their vital and other signs that could contribute to asthma at any time.
The aim of this project was to design a new mobile application that pairs with the device to help asthmatic people and/or their caregivers manage asthma.
UX Research, UX/UI Design | 3 Weeks
ROLE & DURATION
This is a speculative project and is not affiliated with Google.
Asthma has a significant impact on the quality of life because of symptoms suffered, the amount of medication required, and the constant fear of exposure to triggers. The unrelenting pressure of managing asthma takes a toll on patients, as they feel that their lifestyle has to change dramatically and many have reported high levels of anxiety.
Taking a step back;
Learning more about asthma
I extensively use research to look, listen, and learn about problems. I started this project knowing very little about asthma so I had to conduct research to learn about asthma and how it impacts people.
While performing market research, I came across several asthma forums with tens of pages. I spent a lot of time reading about patients/caregivers' experiences regarding managing asthma which helped me to gain a better understanding of the problem.
Gathering qualitative data
As a designer, I know that the best products and services are grounded in user research. During the initial discovery phase, I needed to gather users’ perspectives to learn more about their needs and pain points regarding managing asthma. I conducted remote 1-on-1 interviews with six participants, who have/had asthma or are/were caregivers for asthmatics people.
A few key findings:
Identifying triggers and avoiding them is crucial in managing asthma. Also, asthmatic people monitor pollen count and air quality regularly.
Patients use breathing techniques besides their medication to not only manage asthma, but also to control their anxiety.
Caregivers of young asthmatic children need to monitor their caretaker's vitals to make sure that they are doing well.
Since caretakers and caregivers are feeling stressed most of the time, they believe there is a real need for emotional support where Asthma is concerned.
So far, I identified two general types of asthmatic individuals: those who became asthmatic as a child and those who are affected by adult-onset asthma.
From my research, I learned that asthma is more common in children and caregivers play a prominent role in managing caretakers' asthma.
Children have to take medication more regularly and can be prone to more frequent asthma attacks. Therefore, parents of children with asthma are feeling worried and stressed most of the time.
Considering caregivers concerns, these are the gathered insights from my research findings:
Identifying potential users and their needs
Based on what I learned from participants and by using data collected, I put together a set of 2 personas to represent the users’ needs, goals, and frustrations.
The first Persona, Jennifer, is a mother of an asthmatic child. Jennifer is stressed and wants to make sure that her son is doing well whenever she is not with him. The second persona, Nick, suffers from adult-onset asthma. He wants to have an active lifestyle despite having asthma.
My 2 years old son is too young to tell us when he's out of breath or feels bad.
- Mom of a 2yr suffering from asthma
I get so scared at night that he may just stop breathing during the night and I would not know it.
- Mom of a 1yr suffering from asthma
Creating user personas
Generating ideas and finding solutions
In this stage, I grouped/synthesized all the gathered data. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than creating order from chaos. Then, I brainstormed potential solutions keying off 3 primary ‘how might we’ questions:
How might we help caregivers evaluate whether their caretakers are doing well?
How might we help caregivers determine if caretakers are taking their medication when they are supposed to?
How might we help caregivers/ caretakers feel emotionally supported and less anxious?
I created a Product Feature Roadmap to help prioritize product features that best address the project objectives, the HMW questions, and product goals.
Then, I created an Application Map to incorporate features and content prioritized from the Product Road Map into the mobile app’s information architecture. It also helped me think about navigation, content grouping, and placement of content, functions, or features.
A clear onboarding process
My goal was to create a fast, easy, clear, and customizable wellness app that users could adapt to their needs.
Users can use Google Aria app for themselves or for managing someone else's asthma as a caregiver. Each account is accessible by multiple users.
The onboarding process allows users to add all the needed information for monitoring and managing asthma according to their individual metrics.
Customizable dashboard for monitoring asthma
Apart from the ease of use, the functionality and simplicity of the dashboard were crucial. The dashboard was designed with customizability in mind. Features can be deleted or added to the dashboard. My goal was to create something unique and clear that users could adapt to their needs. Users can monitor all the environmental conditions that affect asthma such as pollen counts, humidity, air pollution, etc. from their dashboard.
Notifying caregivers in case of an abnormal reading
The app is focused around two key use cases - monitoring user's metrics and environmental triggers and sending an alert when the user has trouble breathing. These features are designed by considering parents' concerns when they are not with their young asthmatic children. Google Aria app gets connected to a wearable device that tracks the caretaker's vital and activity. The app will notify the caregiver if the collected wearable data indicates that the caretaker is having difficulty breathing.
Sending medication reminder
People with asthma need to take medication regularly. Not taking the prescribed medication can lead to worsened asthma. Therefore, I designed a medication reminder within the app which allows users to keep track of their medication.
Tailored content for each user
Discover becomes the place where users can learn more about asthma management, try breathing techniques, and start meditation for reducing stress regarding asthma. Whether for a caregiver of an asthmatic child or a person who uses Google Aria to manage their asthma, the discover screen has useful content and exercises tailored to their needs.
To maintain consistency and ensure efficient design to dev handover, I developed a modular design system based on reusable components and their states, such as cards, list items, and controls. Every component can be rearranged and combined with others while maintaining design consistency and recognizable UI patterns for the user.
The logo was designed inspired by an inhaler. Theʻexclusion zoneʼ is a clear area that surrounds the Google Aria logo. To ensure that the logo remains clear, nothing should ever appear inside the exclusion zone
Hand-off current revised version of the prototype to developers using Figma’s spec tool.
Build out screens for additional features based on priority in product roadmap. Community screen will be the first piority. It is going to be designed to be a gathering place for people who wish to share their experience, solutions, tips, techniques, and insight about managing asthma and support eachother.
Conduct more research on what type of data is critical for caregivers.
Monitor for and adapt to changes in the market and user needs, motivations, goals and frustrations.