This project was created as a Designlab capstone project. The aim of it was to design a superior user experience for google.org’s new healthcare wearable and companion app for asthma tracking and management.
Asthma affects over 25 million people in the US alone and is responsible for 14.2 million physician visits each year as well as 1.8 million emergency care visits. The associated cost of treating this chronic disease is rising.
The best way to stay healthy and keep doctor visits and costs down is to monitor and manage asthma. So we created an easy and non-intrusive way of managing asthma in the form of a wearable that detects user’s breathing patterns as well as other health vitals and can inform the user when their attention is needed through an intelligent and user friendly companion mobile app.
Throughout this process I was trying to find the best ways to integrate the capabilities of the wearable technology with the companion app so that I could create a really great experience and ease the lives of these people a bit more. After researching each of the specs and their capabilities I found ways to utilize the GPS by using the user’s geolocation to collect data on weather, air pollution and pollen count. I also thought of using the accelerometer to let the user quickly report an emergency by doing something such as flicking his wrist. One major flaw I found was the lack of inhaler integration. The one thing all asthma users have in common is the use of an inhaler. It is crucial that they know where it is at all times and know how many puffs they have left. The current technology of the AMMA wearable has no way to connect to an inhaler. Adding a tracking chip should be looked into for future versions.
I created a prototype using Marvel and high fidelity wireframes. The users I recruited to test the app did not have asthma so that affected some of the results. Instead, all I could test for was usability and not the effectiveness for the asthma users. I found some usability issues, made changes and tested again. I also created some UsabilityHub click tests to gain some insight on how people perceived the app and if it was obvious where to click.
I wanted to create a clean and flat design using some Google Material principles such as cards and a floating action button. I also wanted to include modern illustrations to indicate the weather and environment since that is a big trigger to some. The colors, fonts and layout I chose are meant to give off a sense of calm and space.