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Pill Pal

Tolu Olubode
October 16th, 2019 · 2 min read

Overview: This project was completed as part of a design challenge at an undisclosed company.

Outcome: A simple and seamless pill intake reminder

Skill(s): Product Thinking, UI/UX Design, and Prototyping

Tool(s): Figma

Time duration: 3 days


01. What’s the story?

The end goal of this challenge was to design a solution to cue patients over the age of sixty to take their pills every day.

Since I was unfamiliar with the space, I spent some time understanding why this problem mattered. In this process, I learned that,

Non-adherence to prescribed medicines is one of the biggest obstacles to effective healthcare, impacting on patients, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare systems.

— The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Journal

I also learned that:

  • The total cost to the US health care system was about $935B.
  • 50% of the people struggling with medication non-adherence dealth with chronic conditions.
  • Medication non-adherence caused 125,000 preventable deaths anually.

While no one needs convincing of the value of taking medication prescribed to us, having this contextual information really drove home for me the importance of solving this problem.

02. Understanding the problem

Due to the time constraints on this project, I did a brain dump of questions to orient myself and carefully denounce or reinforce any assumptions I might have been making about the problem. I also relied on literature from scientific journals and experts in the space.

For my questions, I decided to fall back on a more fundamental way of exploring problem spaces, 5W and H. Featured below is a mind map of questions I generated during this exercise. I explored questions like:

  • Who is affected by this problem? Starting broad and then narrowing in
  • What is the context behind this problem? What larger problem is this a part of?
  • What are some of the problem/contextual constraints?
Question Mind Map

I also read literature on the subject matter from the The World Health Organization, The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Journal and the Boston Consulting Group.

To understand other products in the space, I also conducted a competitive analysis of Pill Pack, CareZone and Medisafe products.

From this exercises I learned that:

  • For older patients, the presence of a caregiver is crucial.
  • 24% of non-adherence cases are from forgetting, confirming that a need for this product existed.
  • I denounced my assumption about the effectiveness of a pure mobile app solution. For this product to truly be successful in the 60+ demographic I’d need to account for a lagging adoption in technology.

Honing my problem statement

Now that I had a personal understand of the problem, I refined the prompt into a problem statement that became my north star.

Patients over the age of 60 need a simple way to remember to take their medication and a seamless way to keep those that care about them updated.

While they may have the medication, keeping up a regular dosage is crucial to its effectiveness.

I went into the rest of the exercise with this in my mind

03. Mapping out a Solution

Exploring a Task FLow

Main Task Flow

Early Sketches

Main Task Flow

- Early sketches of home, explorations for adding a medication and adding a care partner

Explorations in Mid Fidelity

Main Task Flow

-Wireframes thinking about initial home experience

Main Task Flow

-Wireframes thinking about profile experience

Main Task Flow

-I spent the most time on the adding a a pill experience, testing various solutions. The three main ones are shown here.

O4. Final Design

Logo and App Icon

Add logo and App Icon here

Initial Walkthrough

Add a Pill Walkthrough

Editing a Pill Walkthrough

Laying it out

Main Task Flow

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