Connected Healthcare: Creating Curio, Pt. 2

The kid-friendly, cloud-enabled lung health tracker

Case study by Pushstart Creative

Curio is a connected, kid-friendly home spirometer that makes life better for families living with asthma. In our previous post, we explored how connectivity encourages consistent and accurate use, improves data collection and sharing, and ultimately, enables more in-depth analysis to guide treatment. In this post, we’ll look more closely at the design process that brought Curio to life.

Quality time with the kids

Having established our technical requirements, we started a design sprint to rapidly explore possible form factors. From the start, we focused on forms that met the ergonomic needs of our target audience — kids. Curating the plethora of possible solutions our team generated, we built rough models of the most promising directions.

Early block models

Then, we met with the harshest critics we could find to get some hands-on feedback: five to ten year olds. In-home visits are a great way to gather a wealth of data, fast. Spending time with users gave us real insights on child ergonomics, aesthetic preferences, and use patterns not to mention parent-child dynamics.

Making an impression

While technology and usability are key to the success of a product like Curio, the brand experience also plays a critical role. To develop Curio’s brand, we wanted to resonate with kids while building trust with doctors and parents. As with similar brand-building efforts, we worked from a set of core values and attributes then expanded into moodboards, color palettes, tone samples, and marks. Fun and approachable, smart and trustworthy were our watchwords.

Armed with a more holistic understanding of usability considerations and a cohesive brand focus, we leapt into a second design sprint. We filtered concepts on ergonomic considerations, brand alignment, and manufacturability to quickly narrow down to a select few. Selected concepts were moved into CAD for feasibility validation, then 3D-printed for additional testing.

It’s a family affair

In parallel, our interactive folks built up the companion app experience. After adjusting the user journey based on in-home learnings, we moved into wireframing.

Draft wireframes and screen layouts

Early layouts were tested as click-through demos, then refined per test feedback. Once the team was happy with usability, we set to work applying the brand vision we’d established for the product.

Because the Curio app would be used by both children and parents, we needed to strike a balance: being simple enough for a child to use, but robust enough to satisfy parental expectations. Throughout the interface, we worked to communicate with imagery and iconography, minimizing text to make things intuitive for children of any age or reading level.

Refinement at every level

So what’s next? Curio is moving into a pre-production phase where we’ll refine components for manufacture. Electronics will be miniaturized and cost-optimized while firmware is tested and improved. Curio’s housing will be subjected to final validations and some detailed refinements. Last but not least, the companion software will be developed into native apps.

Stay tuned!

Check out our latest projects at and follow us on twitter @pushstartcreate. Thanks for reading.

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