Prediabetes affects 1 out of 3 adults in America, and 9 out of 10 of those with prediabetes do not know they have it. Without intervention, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. The potential for a public health crisis is astronomical. Fortunately, preventing prediabetes through simple lifestyle changes is entirely possible.
- Diane Korngiebel
- Shuyu Li
Class groups chose a project topic that fit under the general umbrella of healthcare. My group chose to focus on prediabetes, specifically pre-diabetes prevention. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is possible to avoid a prediabetes diagnosis by making a few simple lifestyle changes.
Our team decided to design a mobile app that helped users determine their prediabetes risk status via:
- ● A quiz (adapted from an online quiz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention diabetes website)
- ● Suggestions for implementing a healthier lifestyle: including better food choices, stress reduction, and physical activity
To encourage users to achieve their prevention goals, they would be able to track their health-related data and goal completion status (e.g., weight, time spent exercising, healthy food consumption) and access community support features connecting them to other users, family members, and friends. The app would also generate questions that users could choose to share with their healthcare providers.
After choosing our project topic we had to identify several key questions we needed to answer.
- ● Who were our target users?
- ● What was the central design question we wanted to answer?
- ● What research questions did we need to answer first?
Our target users were people who want to know their prediabetes risk level and take action to reduce that risk. The design question we wanted to answer was:
- ● How can support tools help people learn and manage their prediabetes risk?
design, feedback & iteration
With our personas created and research data in hand, we began sketching out the experiences that we wanted our users to have. These experiences included choosing tiered levels of activities that were comfortable for the user to participate in, a social component where users could interact with others and receive encourage ment and a motivation album where they could store things (images, songs, videos etc) that motivated them to participate in the intervention.
The next step in our design process was to create the initial wireframes for our mobile app, and develop them into a paper prototype to use in our first round of usability testing.
Not surprisingly, our user feedback revealed several problems with our prototype. The onboarding content was ambiguous and users were not sure what the purpose of the app was. Several input fields were presented in a manner that unclear, and the tiered activity levels caused confusion as well. It was also requested that users be allowed to skip portions of the onboarding process and return later.
It was my job to create a high-fidelity mockup incorporating user feedback and our latest revisions to the paper prototype. The design was built with Photoshop, and the InVision platform was utilized for creating interactions.
the final stretch
Due to time constraints, usability testing of the high-fidelity prototype was only completed with three participants. The final week of the quarter consisted of cleaning up our prototype, implementing additional user feedback, defining the final design specifications for the Lighten Up! app, and preparing our final presentation.
Our group was fortunate to have a researcher and faculty member on our team. Diane Korngiebel is a biomedical researcher and assistant professor at UW medicine. During the development of our app several of her colleagues expressed their interest and support for our design and the need for such a tool to exist. It is our hope to pursue further development of the Lighten Up! app and submit a proposal for grant funding in 2018.