Sugar Safe

Diabetes Management app

"Sugar Safe" is a system for people with Diabetes to track food choices quickly and easily. The food journal automatically syncs with blood sugar readings to help them make critical connections. Sugar Safe also provides a food delivery service that sends people ingredients for healthy recipes. Using the Sugar Safe system allows people with Diabetes to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
My Role
UX Design
Lead UI Design
Adobe XD
5 Weeks
19ᵗʰ Sept - 24ᵗʰ Oct
RaviTeja Jorigay
Jessica Bentley
Lauren de Luna
Problem Space
The topic we chose to explore for this project was the management of Type 2 Diabetes. This problem space is situated under the IUPUI Grand Challenge in Precision Healthcare.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 415 million people globally and 30.3 million people in the United States diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes. It is estimated that nearly 50% of people affected report inconsistent compliance with monitoring and treatment plan prescribed by their doctor.

Through interviews and various types of observation, we gathered primary data from people diagnosed with T2 to better understand the pain points they face. Several overarching themes began to emerge from the data:

Lack of consistent and accurate information available
Prevention, treatment, and diet information is conflicting and inconsistent
Lack of support and resources
Although the disease affects so many people, many participants struggle to find support and a community
Burdensome tracking processes
With so many different metrics to track daily, monitoring becomes extremely burdensome
Inefficient doctor’s visits
At many doctor’s visits, they are simply reading historical data captured by blood sugar monitors over a 6 month period
It is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 adults are pre-diabetic and 90% do not know that they have it
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, and still may be underreported
Over the past 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes has nearly doubled
Problem Statement
Through these insights we were able to define our design direction to focus on the user’s most pressing needs. People diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes know that they need to keep track of their food choices as well as their glucose levels but it is so often an impotence on their daily life and routine tasks. As a team, we set out to design a solution responding to this challenge question:
Final Design Solution
These are the splash screens of the application with the landing page, Sign In/Sign Up page, and Onboarding screens to give the user an understanding of what the app has to offer by showcasing the key features of the application.
Photo Journal
In this section, the users can capture their meal and add to their photo journal. This will help them to track their food habits easily and effortlessly. They can analyze the fluctuations in blood-sugar level based on the food they had which would help the users to get better guidance from their doctors.
The users can log their Blood-sugar readings from the monitor by syncing or adding them manually. This will have the meta data of the date and time recorded for matching it with the food had at that time.
In the Store section, the users can get personalized recipe suggestions based on their preference which are in compliance with the diabetes diet and order the ingredients right away for an effortless shopping experience.
Design Process
Primary Research
Observation Study
The method of observation was valuable to our research because it gave us direct insight into the difficulties related to managing (type 2) diabetes. As a group, we were able to observe a total of 4 hours and 40 minutes at 6 different locations. We observed several people who had diabetes while they were in their own natural environments. Observation gave us a direct insight into the actual behavior that people exhibit. Through observations, we were able to sense the real lack of motivation and desire to track meals and follow healthy routines (such as existing apps) in order to critically manage Diabetes. Oftentimes, people say one thing but do another. By observing people, especially using a “fly on the wall” approach, our team was able to sense the real issues in our problem space.
The insights gathered through our interviews were primarily related to difficulty and inconvenience with tracking food. As a team, we learned that people with diabetes generally know what they need to do in order to track A1C levels and food choices but there is a real lack of motivation due to inconvenience, annoyance, and even embarrassment. Interviewing, as a method, gave us focused perspective as to what the daily challenges and concerns of someone with Type 2 Diabetes might be. A common thread across the interviews conducted by our team, was that managing Type 2 Diabetes is a long-term lifestyle change and requires time that most people simply don’t have. Another key insight from our interviews is that many elderly people that are diagnosed are uncomfortable using new technology that could help them in managing the condition. There seems to be a lack of awareness/education about the severity of Type 2 Diabetes and also the best practices for managing it.

I hate taking notes. So tracking is just too time consuming and takes too much attention. I wish there was a way to do it, [that was] less time consuming.”

I have to consider how I feel in relationship to what's coming up on my machine (A1C monitor) in order to make an educated guess about how to respond. I’ve gotten better at it, but it was really hard to guess when I was first diagnosed.

Secondary Research
Desktop Study
The Desktop study provided the team with an understanding of the severity of the problem and the current market of Diabetes related apps. Despite the availability of data tracking apps, It is difficult to monitor and receive recommendations that fit into a personalized and individual lifestyle. Once again, the fact of eventual motivation loss became evident. This motivation is in part due to the lack of patient-centered communication with doctors to maintain healthy food habits, physical activities, and routine data checks. The insights gathered narrow down to the specific problem of lack of motivation due to inconvenience with tracking food choices and other diabetes tracking data. In order to move forward in the design process, the team has chosen to pursue this specific problem in the re-design or update of existing diabetes data-tracking apps.
It is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 adults are pre-diabetic and 90% do not know that they have it
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States, and still may be underreported
Over the past 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes has nearly doubled
Competitive Analysis
As a component of our process to develop a potential solution to the burdensome monitoring of Type 2 Diabetes, we investigated several other popular apps that are currently on the market in order to identify the positive aspects of each in addition to why they have not succeeded in solving the problem.
● Not specific to diabetes
● Since the purpose is for weight loss,calorie counts and macros are very detailed
● Difficult to sustain use
● No place to track other important metrics such as blood glucose levels
● Historic data is tracked, but not easily displayed
Glucose Buddy
● Complicated interface
● Tracks historical data, but only exportable via email
● Only monitors blood glucose levels, does not integrate other tracking features
Problem Synthesis
Affinity Diagram
After gathering the data from interviews, observations, and secondary review, the research team externalized the disparate data through post-it note captures. We spent 2 hours as a group discussing and writing key findings and putting these findings up on a whiteboard to then group them by relevant category. The Affinity Diagram transformed the raw data into information we could use to begin framing our insightful challenge statement(s). As a group, we came to the conclusion that the best criteria for the right solution would be ease of use, the desirability of use, and reinforcement through use. Below is a photo of the process we took to reach these problem framing conclusions and criteria for the next step of ideation.
We conducted 3 sessions for brainstorming. We had gathered numerous ideas from our first session, but a lot of them were not technologically feasible. The Brainstorming Session 2 exposed us to ideas from other people outside our group, which broadened our perspective on different ways we can approach the solution. The Brainstorming Session 3 was most productive, we had more consolidated ideas, most of which seemed structured and technologically feasible and qualified as stand-alone solutions. We derived the final three ideas on our third brainstorming session.
Scenario 1: Bob has used sugar safe products and found that his Blood-sugar levels are satisfactory
Bob recently downloaded the Sugar Safe app. Today he is ordering his first box of Diabetic friendly food
The box arrives in two business days fully stocked with the ingredients needed to make healthy meals
Bob and his wife have a great time preparing the first Sugar Safe meal together
Before eating the delicious meal, Bob snaps a quick picture to add to the photo journal component in the app
At the end of the day, Bob reviews his meals and their effect on his blood

When he visits the doctor next, she is impressed with his progress. Her encouragement motivates Bob to continue using Sugar Safe
Scenario 2: Georgia uses the app to track her diet and maintain healthy lifestyle in her busy life
After dropping the kids off at school, Georgia gets home and receives the alert to check her blood sugar readings
She checks her blood sugar on her smart meter that syncs the data her new app called "Sugar Safe"
Her blood sugar was low, so she cooks some scrambled eggs to eat
Before eating the eggs, Georgia snaps a quick photo to add to the photo journal in the app. She loves the convenience
She is able to pick the kids up from school with no worries using the app fits into her busy lifestyle
After the kids are in bed, Georgia views her daily chart on her desktop. She is able to see how her food choices from that day affected her blood sugar readings
Information architecture
Prototyping is a critical step in the design process for many reasons. For one, it allows the design team to “learn by doing.” Prototyping as a method gives design team the opportunity to explore different user flows and aesthetic qualities before making more permanent decisions.
Low-Fidelity Prototype
We used a paper prototype to perform an initial evaluation of the product to understand the usability of the product. We created paper prototypes to provide tangible interaction with the features we had explored. The paper prototype focused on the 3 main features of the design solution: tracking food/meals, tracking glucose readings, and ordering food.
High-Fidelity Prototype
Based on the internal think-aloud session, we revised our Low fidelity prototype and developed the screens with a higher fidelity prototyping tool in order to elaborate on the user flows and concepts. We used Adobe XD to convert the paper prototypes to digital and interactive flows.
Live demo
Product evaluation
We conducted think-aloud sessions with the high-fidelity designs followed by two evaluation methods: Heuristic Evaluation and Cognitive Walkthrough. The overall experience of the app was well received by the users. However, several areas of the app were identified which needed further attention.
The “store” feature was called out  for being less developed and less connected to the other features offered within the app.
The connection between the A1C or glucose levels with the food that caused the increase or decrease was lacking a directness to help users draw these conclusions more easily.

On a positive note, the evaluative methods that we conducted confirmed that the basic usability aspects of the application are sensible and functional. The insights gathered were primarily about curating the language for continuity with the outside world as well as developing task flows in more detail.
Future additions
There are many features and additions that could enhance our solution and further support those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. For now, we want to focus on the primary functionality of the solution, however, we have considering the following features that we could potentially integrate in the future:
Trivia game or points feature to gamify tracking processes and offer an optional additional form of motivation or entertainment
Community support
Sponsor in-person meet up events based on geographic location
Virtual webinars
Centralized hub for other information sources
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