The making of MediLog — Digital Nurse for lifetime

MediLog is an app which reminds you when to take your medicines and helps you complete your dosages effectively, without having to key in the details of your medicines.

I will take you through my 3 day Rapid prototyping journey.

TL;DR : You can watch my video presentation here, in case you are in hurry.

Stage 1: User Research

I interviewed 5 different people in order to understand the problems faced by them with respect to Medical needs. In my interviews I focussed on collecting their behaviours not just opinions. I recorded their flow and tried to listen more than I speak. The contextual inquiry into their medical needs helped me pull out the peoples medical need quite effectively. Since the topic of a medical need was quite personal and hard for people to share with strangers, I engaged people in small talk first, got them comfortable by asking about their day to day activities, their work and life. Once they got comfortable their thoughts began to flow and the words started flowing like magic. I captured as much information as possible in the form of audio recordings with their consent.

Once done with my interviews, I listened to them again and that is when I identified that most of the people I interviewed had similar issues and medical needs. This is when they turned from random people to my application users. And thanks to them, bit of research revealed that the scale of the problem was global. In US alone, more than 125,000 people die in a year due to non-adherence to the medical prescriptions.

Sample of my user research questions:

  • What is your name
  • Tell me something about your job?
  • When was the last time you fell sick?
  • What was the first thing you did when you fell sick?
  • How do you go about taking medicines?
  • Do you maintain medical details? (if No why?)
  • How do you share your medical history with a new doctor?
  • What do you do if you fall sick while travelling oversees?
  • Have you signed up for insurances? (if Yes why?)
  • How do you choose your doctors?
  • Do you keep reminders for taking medicines? ((if yes How?) (if no why Not))
  • How do you find out about epidemic outbreaks?
User Research Observations

Stage 2: Synthesis of data

In order to arrive at the problem statement, I needed to first translate the needs of my users into something tangible. I reviewed my recordings and wrote down my observations about users on post-its. I used different colour post-its for different users just to differentiate who said what. My observations were quotes from the user. Once all my post-its were ready, it was time to group them. Once I started grouping them on a whiteboard, I saw clusters emerge magically and I identified my problem statement. So this was Affinity mapping. Needs of the user emerged out quite seamlessly from this.

Conclusions or Patterns drawn from observations

  • Users forget to remember the medicine names and dosages — They are non adherent to doctors prescriptions
  • Choosing a doctor preference is based on proximity
  • Prefers to have a secure medical future so they buy insurance
  • They have a difficulty in keying in data
  • Users needed reminders
  • They face problems due to lack of accessible medical history
  • Some users do paper based tracking of medical records

Since I just had three days to arrive at a working prototype, I chose the most important medical need of having to remember to take your dosages timely.

“Remembering medicine dosage is a difficult task” was my problem statement. I also wanted to solve another user pain point of keying in the data themselves. So I researched online and found that softwares that doctors use also have data APIs to draw the information from their tracking systems and redirect it to the application I was developing.

Affinity map
Affinity map

Stage 3: User Flow

Once my problem statement was ready, I realised the task my user need to accomplish. I analysed my task and broke it into several discrete steps required, to accomplish it. I illustrated the movement of my user through the system via user flow diagram. I used JJG’s visual vocabulary to plot the diagram.

User Flow diagram

Stage 4: Storyboarding

In order to show some real world context of my application and involvement of user with it, I came up with a storyboard. This helped me think of real scenarios to depict the usage of my app, and the picture illustrations helped me explain my ideas better.

This is story of Jessica who falls sick and visits a doctor. Doctor prescribes her with a list of medicines based on the diagnosis of her illness. On seeing the prescription Jessica frets! She asks doctor how will she remember all the dosages. The doctor advises her to install the MediLog app with an access code and all the information will be at her finger tips. Jessica gets a reminder for the medicine she has to take and she completes her dosage effectively without a breach. She is one happy user now.


Stage 5: Wireframes

Once I was clear on how my user journey was based on the flow diagrams, I started sketching my wireframes on paper. I did multiple iterations of the wireframes based on continuos user feedback.

When I started designing the wireframes, I kept dwelling on my user research to ensure that my application is going on the right track. For instance one of my user stated that she cannot remember the names of the medicines and she refers to them by the pill colour or the bottle colour. So I incorporated it in my design by showing the picture of the medicine the user has to take. Its a well acclaimed fact that “Picture speaks a million words”. I also took consideration of the elderly when I designed my app and made sure the data or navigation is not inconspicuous.

The wireframe for login screen of my app had both login and sign up forms on same page. One of the user said that there are too many fields to enter in this page, though I had a clear separator and indicative word “or” in between the two. This feedback helped me iterate on my wireframe and redesign the login page with minimum call to actions. Another instance was of my homepage with collapsible hamburger menus, a user stated that it was not clear what are the functionalities available in my app. I happened to design “my account details” in the top header and an elderly user felt hard to use and find it. Hence I finally arrived with wireframes having minimum options and big buttons enabling every one to achieve their goals successfully.

Iterative wireframes

Stage 6: Prototyping

Since this was a rapid prototype with gradual feature roll out and given the time constraints, I preferred paper prototypes. Paper prototypes were quicker since I had my wireframes ready and it helped me clone the user flow easily. I used InVision for my prototyping . I took a series of images of my paper prototypes and uploaded on InVision and devised the flow.

Stage 7: User Testing

I was lucky enough to find users to test my paper prototype. This was quite insightful. I got feedback about few other relevant information regarding daily medicine details which would be helpful to the user and I included that in my prototype. Another valuable feedback was from a user regarding navigation in my app. When the user tried to go back to one particular screen, he could not navigate due to absence of a Back button. So I went ahead and included that in my prototype. Based on user feedbacks my prototype evolved and got better.

User Testing

The Mobile App

You can see the rapid prototype of my app in the InVision link below

My Presentation

You can hear me present my idea below:

Future Developments

Based on my user research and affinity diagram, I discovered few other things worth solving. I would like to enhance my app with them as well.

  • Search for nearest doctor
  • Trend analysis with graphical representation of illnesses

So here I come to the end of my journey on this app. Thank you for your interest in the workflow of my app. Please leave your feedback in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me :)

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