Each year, an estimated 1.5 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with type II diabetes. Often those newly diagnosed are not property on-boarded to, or equipped to cope with their disease. Diabetes requires changes and considerations to every aspect of a person's life. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated, frustrated, depressed, and afraid.
Though our research, we found that there were a few key components that helped newly diagnosed patients achieve condition improvement. These were addressing diabetic denial, incremental education, companion support, and an understanding of what factors throughout their day relate to their well-being.
Our team developed Good Day, an omni-channel experience meant to provide those newly diagnosed with type II diabetes, and their supporters, with an understanding of how little factors throughout their day can play a huge role in their overall health. Helping people understand what they eat and do, the timing, and its impact on how they feel.
Good Day also acts as a voice and chat-enabled companion that seamlessly engages and tracks these daily factors and provides insights to how a 'good day' is made for them through analysis, education, and forecasting. These insights are then delivered to the users across Amazon Alexa-enabled voice-based devices, FireTV streaming services, and iOS and Android mobile apps, and smoothly transitions from one modality to the next as the user moves through their day.
"(Going home from work) thinking that I could have accomplished more, but feeling that my energy was drained, so I'm not happy with my performance for the day."
Type II Diabetic, Research Quote
We decided that this problem was important enough to warrant building a cross-functional team and holding a design sprint to jump-start the efforts. The team was comprised of a product manager, product designers, an engineering lead, nurses, and doctors. We also recruited a diabetes-specific advisory board made up of diabetic patients and medical specialists, such as clinical psychologists and endocrinologists, to augment the team's understanding of the disease.
Empathy & Understanding
As part of the design sprint, we recruited and interviewed current type II diabetics, caregivers for people with type II, and providers who have diagnosed patients with the condition. We also mapped out the typical week of a type II diabetic, as well as the week of a caregiver, to understand the ebb and flow of emotions as they move through the necessary tasks to deal with diabetes. These efforts grounded the team and played a massive role in how we tackled the real-world problems of key players.
Ideation & Iteration
With all our notes and learnings laid out, we decided on a general direction of onboarding newly diagnosed type II diabetics to their disease. And began to ideate on the different ways we could solve the problem. Through sketching and storyboarding, we pin-pointed features that we felt needed to be part of any solution.
As we iterated on the ideas and fleshed out the storyboards, the team gravitated towards a solution built around improving the lives of those newly diagnosed through a combination of storytelling, contextual-interactions, and check-ups, and delivered using the Amazon Alexa ecosystem of hardware, software, and third-party library.
Prototype & Test
After mapping out the specific event triggers and associated system reactions needed to onboard those newly diagnosed, the team was challenged with a method of effectively testing the proposed solution. Through a combination of paper prototyping, chatbot prototyping, and live-action 'Wizard of Oz' testing, where we had someone sitting under a table acting as Alexa, we felt confident enough to begin detailing out the solution in more detail. Some changes we made after testing were limiting the times we auto-engaged with the user, changing the phrasings used in the system's explanations, and adding the idea of 'reflection points' where Good Day opens the door for a conversation with the user to act as a virtual companion and to provide an opportunity for the user to learn more about their disease.