MEDMINDER - Ios app FOR MEDICATION
Many adults are becoming more involved in their parents’ healthcare. This responsibility ultimately becomes an added stress when parents are still living on their own, as it is hard for caregivers to make sure that their parents are taking the correct medications at the right times. Automatic medication dispensing devices are currently available to help ensure that parents/patients taking correct medications in a timely fashion, but besides a simple text message if a medication is missed, caregivers do not have a useful way to monitor their parents’ medication schedule.
With this project, I wrote a scenario that presents a situation of how a caregiver might use an iOS app to monitor a patient's/parent’s medication schedule. As this scenario includes settings, actors, goals, actions, events, and objects, it gives background information about the app user (caregiver) and addresses the situation at hand.
Ideation, Scenario-Based Design, Paper Prototyping, Balsamiq (Software), Interface Design
Snippet of Scenario...
Between meetings, Ashley quickly sets up the mobile app on her iPhone for both her mom (Figure 1) and dad (Figure 2). In the interest of time, she does not bother to read the instructions, but knows that she should be receiving relevant notifications on her phone about her parents’ everyday activity. She looks at her parents’ medical information and enters it, but spends a few more seconds setting up her dad’s schedule given that he has two medications and varying pill amounts (Figure 3), whereas Kay’s intake is simply one pill a day. Two days after setting up the app, Ashley realizes that she is not receiving notifications stating that her parents are taking their medication, so she wonders if the pill box features were falsely advertised. After calling her parents to verify that they are up to date, she checks the app settings and realizes that option to be notified when patients do take their medication is off (Figure 4). She switches this on (Figure 5). Later that day, she receives a notification that her dad took his medicine on time (Figure 6) and feels more relived knowing that her purchase is going to be a great help.
A few weeks pass and everything is going well; Ashley is leaving the island for a conference in D.C. She feels confident that her parents will be okay, but right as she gets off her flight and takes her phone off of airplane mode, she sees many notifications from MedMinder stating otherwise (Figure 7). Ashley is confused because this is unlike Kay; she expects more of this from Gilbert. After calling her mom many times and receiving her voicemail, Ashley begins to worry. Her sister Justine, who lives in D.C., takes a hold on the situation while Ashley is checking into her hotel and finds out that their mom has been at her close friends’ vow renewal all day. Instead of using MedMinder that day, she took her medication with her and has not been home since. Justine and Ashley tells Kay that she has to turn off the MedMinder pill box in cases like today to avoid family scares. Being “typical Kay”, she claims that she cannot figure out how to turn the pill box off, even after being shown where the off switch is, and keeps repeating such behavior. At this point, Ashley expects it and has a good laugh whenever she looks at her mom’s data log on the app (Figure 8).
With this, I used Sketch to recreate the prototype that I came up above and to transform it to a medium fidelity prototype. I used Protopie to create the app’s interactions. I have created a horizontal prototype, as my goal was not to make a complete prototype, but instead to quickly and efficiently create a prototype with interactions to acquire user feedback. The prototype was used usability testing sessions with two users who fit the persona that I have developed. These users represent caregivers who would use the app.
Ideation, Linear Prototype, Interactive Prototype, Sketch (Software), Interface Design, Persona Creation, User Testing
Before giving each user the medium fidelity prototype, I explained the following: What you are about to test right now is a medium fidelity prototype of MedMinder, an app that has been created as a tool that allows caregivers to keep up with the everyday medication schedules of their parents or dependents. The app sends caregivers notifications about both missed and taken medications, so that they can always be aware of what is going on with the parents/patients they provide care for. As a medium fidelity prototype, I am testing the screen to screen interactions, as well as the overall flow of the app given its current interactions. Please think aloud as you interact with each screen once you are given the iPhone. If you are ever confused about why something is not responding to your input, long press on the screen to ensure that what you’re pressing functions, as all interactive objects on the screen will blink blue upon long press.
User Testing Session #1:
User 1 is a 50-year-old female who works as a Senior Grants Analyst. Similar to my persona, User 1 has a busy career and takes on the most responsibility when it comes to her parents’ medical affairs. She also has three kids within the same age range as those of the persona, Ashley. User 1’s experience with the prototype started off kind of rocky, as the user was expecting full functionality. For example, when the keyboard was present on her phone screen, she wanted to fully input her user name and password and was caught up on the fact that there was no way use the keyboard’s keys to fill in the user name and password fields. After explaining more about the reason for the prototype, the user tried to bypass the prototype’s limited capability but still stumbled along the way.
User 1 Feedback:
- Good idea for younger generation people who are trying to keep up with parents that are far away and make sure that their parents are in fact taking their respected medicines.
- Liked that the patients’ pictures are associated with their names.
- Also likes the overall statistics/percentage in Past Records and the fact that the application provides the actual number of pills taken v.s. those that were supposed to be taken (37 pills v.s. 33 pills).
- This user wanted to know how many medications could be listed for one user and likes the thought that is unlimited.
User Testing Session #2:
User 2 is a 59-year-old female who works as a Middle School educator. She also has three kids within the same age range as those of the persona, Ashley. This user’s experience was smooth and straight forward, as she understood that this prototype is being used for testing and will not work as a fully functioning application just yet. User 2 interacted with the application as expected and thought the prototype it be really cool. “Is there a love button?”
User 2 Feedback:
- It is useful.
- Would actually like to use this app to keep up with her own medicine schedule, as she frequently forgets to take her medicine 30 minutes before eating.
- Enjoys the ability to be reminded.
- Likes the “actual counts” of what you should have taken on the Overall-Past Records tab.
- The app would be a great record keeping tool to share with the doctor.
- It allows the caregiver to be involved from a far so it would have been useful in taking care of her late father.
Video of App Interactions
Along with the app, patients have a physical medical device that holds their pills. I created the interactions for the MedMinder hardware's screen in Axure.