Building Better Period-Tracking Interfaces

A long look at fertility and period-tracking apps raises questions around how developers can make personal data interfaces better and empower women to use data for their own good.

Adele Major
Jun 28, 2018 · 22 min read

1. How might we personalize apps to take into account different cycles?

Clue screenshot — Apps get confused when nontypical data is entered

2. How might we make apps more inclusive?

Flo screenshot — You cannot turn off the “Chance to get pregnant” notice

3. How might we make data actually useful?

Apple Health’s “Year” view makes comparing your cycles over time fairly useless

4. How might we reduce the burden of data entry?

Multiple options available in P Tracker Lite

5. How might we ensure data is exportable?

6. How might we improve the look and feel of these apps?

Period Diary screenshots — “Ugly,” but at least the language is friendly and it has a supportive forum
Period Tracker screenshots — Note: “ugly” and with “pink flowers,” but we did think it was cute that the flowers bloom over time
Clue screenshots — The cycle view is useful, but the reminder…not so much
Apple homescreen icons for Period Tracker apps
This gets our unofficial award for Worst. Icon. Ever. [Period Logs app]

7. How might we optimize reminders?

8. How might we take a more holistic approach?

9. How might we use aggregated data to provide more context BUT also preserve your privacy?

Conclusion

Frontiers

Frontiers is a collection of stories from the engineers, designers, strategists, and producers of W+K Lodge that analyzes how emerging technology is changing the world.

Thanks to Jenna Simmons, Claire Greene Wilson, and Adriana Krasniansky.

Adele Major

Written by

Former EP at W+K Lodge, now Media Producer at Mojang. Film-buff, Murderino, dog lover, photographer. Red wine and Mario Kart enthusiast.

Frontiers

Frontiers

Frontiers is a collection of stories from the engineers, designers, strategists, and producers of W+K Lodge that analyzes how emerging technology is changing the world.