Sapient Iota tasked the service design class to come up with a service focusing on sustainable food sourcing that would improve a community’s health. In a team of three, we explored multiple problem spaces before settling on prediabetes.
I acted as the Lead Product Designer for the final interface. I also supported the project from beginning to end by framing primary research questions, synthesizing secondary research, supporting concept evaluation and generating boundary pushing design ideas.
In many ways this was a “wicked problem” with many challenges and no easy answers. We framed our problem statement as, How do you solve a health problem that people don't have (yet) but are highly likely to have in the future?
To inform our understanding of diabetes I modeled the space based on secondary research conducted from CDC and the ADA.
At an abstract level, the problem seemed easy to solve but of course that’s never the case. We had to understand the challenges people faced at a personal level. To do that we conducted extensive interviews with 7 people who either had diabetes or were predisposed to get it based on their hereditary factors.
After several passes at the data I discovered that for nearly all participants, despite voicing concerns about getting diabetes, they mainly wanted to focus on the current goal of getting to a healthier weight first.
To further synthesize our research and generate ideas I created two personas. These helped us illustrate the different opportunity and challenge areas,
Prior to settling on one solution we explored multiple ideas using storyboards for rapid feedback with potential customers. Based on that feedback we ideated on multiple possible and wacky future ideas.
Showing storyboards to potential customers helped us identify four major themes,
Surprisingly, people were ok with giving up control if it helped them achieve their goals.
That said some people still wanted some sort of forgiveness or “cheat days” especially if they were craving a certain food that they liked.
Participants expressed concerns about how their data is used, they didn't want their medical information to float in ether.
In busy moments, folks mentioned they were less likely to change their behaviors.
Based on people’s experiences with other services and apps I discovered certain favorable interaction themes,
Some people were very conscious of where the data came from and wanted to control the flow of information. They also wanted to do their own analysis and preferred to look at numbers.
For others the data was not as important as the feeling of feeling energetic - it was more about the outcome as opposed to tracking everything.
For other still, they saw games and fun experiences (one participant mentioned Zombie Run) as a way to make activities that were tedious (such as exercise) or very open ended (such as going on a trip) to be more exciting such as surfacing landmarks.
In our final solution we converged on a mobile app service that helps its customers eat healthy by connecting local food suppliers, doctors and insurance companies. We called it Sage due to the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties.
To understand how the service could work, I created a value flow model illustrating interaction from doctors, to food companies, to insurance, among other players in the health and nutrition space.
To illustrate the final mobile app solution we created a few key screens primarily to illustrate key concepts.
By automating the data feed from their doctor's office the customer is able to have their medical data on hand including the info they often forget about such as the list of foods they should eat / avoid or specific nutritional properties they should watch out for — most of this information is handled invisibly by the app.
Insurance provides discounts (based on actual medical outcomes) on future restaurant / grocery orders and this in turn ensures that the value stays within the system.
In the grocery delivery scenario, the customer gets their food chosen for them automatically. However they have can customize, for example they can choose a specific theme for a week, e.g. Mediterranean which would generate food and a list of easy to use recipes. Alternatively we give user the option to choose their own foods potentially replacing healthy items with unhealthy but that in the end will give them a smaller discount.
Since most people prefer to eat out, including those who still cook their meals, we incorporated a Restaurant meal search option. Current services such as Yelp primarily focus on efficiency (distance away from the user) and cost. We flip this formula around by showing only the healthiest options available.
To track progress and ensure they're on track we're surfacing key information such as weight - as an analog to blood tests which provide additional detail (e.g. blood sugar) but are typically not done frequently for those who don't have diabetes.
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A responsive redesign to help employees maximize their health and wellness benefits.