Connected device for people living with HIV
For this project, my challenge was to create a system consisting of an mobile application and a sensor patch that monitors body chemistry painlessly. Using this system, how might it integrate into an HIV-positive person’s life and help them and their caregivers better manage the virus?
Project Length: 5 weeks
Skills: Systems Thinking, Digital Prototyping, User Research
Remote user interviews
I found it challenging to find research participants. HIV related stigma and discrimination still exist and many HIV-positive people want to remain anonymous. I found that Reddit has a strong and active HIV community and I reached out on this platform. I interviewed three participants via Skype. I wanted to learn their pain points when managing HIV on a daily basis but understand how they plant to manage the virus longterm.
I synthesized the data from my research and quickly learned that a partner in an HIV relationship plays a much greater role than I previously thought. I created journey map that documents how an HIV-positive person manages HIV on a weekly basis and how this affects his partner.
Before jumping into wireframing, I created a series of system maps including a product service ecology and a user conceptual model to better understand the ecosystem in which this connected device exists. These maps helped me visualize the fundamental purpose for a mobile application and wearable device and the different ways these components communicate.
With a strong understanding of the user needs and product goals, I started to brainstorm the UI of the mobile application. My research insights, journey map and conceptual diagrams helped guide the first iteration.
The first iteration shows very rudimentary wireframes. I explored different ways to break down information. The second iteration starts to feel more like an interactive application. Testing between the second and third iteration informed my design decisions.
+ Users had a hard time finding important information
+ People couldn't anticipate behavior when using buttons
+ Users commented that the application felt impersonal
Final Design & Learnings
The immune system of an HIV-positive person is constantly under attack by the HIV virus. HIV-positive people learn about their health 2-3 times a year when and if they see a doctor. This device aims to tighten the feedback loop between HIV-positive people and their health.
+ Now, patients can see how their lifestyle affects their health. If an HIV-positive person experiences an increase of HIV in their system, he and his doctor are notified immediately.
+ It is important for an HIV-positive person and their partner to communicate about their health in order to have a safe sexual relationship. This application will notify both people if their levels are unstable and should take precaution during sex.
+ With modern medicine, HIV is becoming easier to treat. Patients, however, must take their medication regularly. This device helps patients form the habit of taking medication on time.