Manage your diabetes


Home page for a personal diabetes management app, initially for US users. This was a conceptual design project for an early-stage diabetes startup.


Home screen for app


Breakdown of components


After syncing

Design Process

I spent some time diving into publications covering “a day in the life of a diabetic”. Some high-level things I learned:

* Most diabatics measure glucose before meals, and many also measure 1-3 hours after meals as well

* Depending on the type of diabetes or insulin resistance you have, you care about different metrics and thresholds for glucose levels

* A1C checkups are supposed to be done every 3-6 months, and doctors help patients set ratios for insulin/ carbohydrates so they can more easily inject before and after meals

* Many people use a combination of CGMs, continuous pumps, manual injections — but there’s no consistent solution that works for everyone

Then I reviewed some comparable apps across the health and fitness space for design inspiration.

I spoke with diabetic friends of mine and asked them about, among other things, their day-to-days and respective technology wants and needs. Some example findings:

Friend A (female, 23, type 2) wants as much data as possible. She uses a CGM but often has to recalibrate it, so knowing the most recent reading isn’t important to her. She’d love to know average glucose levels each day and also see trends for weeks and months — and longer so she can provide valid info during her A1C checkup.

Friend B (male, 27, type 1) uses a 24-hour pump but injects boluses ~4 times a day. He used to be a professional athlete, and he had to measure his levels at every timeout/ intermission. He had to switch monitors after getting kicked off his parent’s insurance, and now he can’t label pre and post-meal readings, so he’d like a mobile app to help with that. Also, he inputs all of his readings in an excel sheet so he can help out his doctor during checkups.

Then I moved to wireframing and prototyping work and iterated on the designs with potential users. Some priorities which emerged:

1. Simple filtering between daily, weekly, monthly+ for doctors visits

2. Glucose level averages, highs, and lows for each view (day, week, etc.) and easily accessible pre and post-meal totals

3. Trend lines for each view, including highs and lows.

4. Additional statistics below the fold regarding time-of-day and day-of-week glucose level averages

Some things I opted to deprioritize:

Readings per day: Both of my friends suggested that average levels were less important than knowing the amount of reading per day. Plus they said that CGMs are making “# of readings” less important, since these are now effectively coming in every 5 minutes. Given the low sample size, it might be something to explore adding back in if the client's customer base needs the information.

Current thresholds: My research indicated that this was highly personalized and something that’s tweaked with doctors once every three months. They’ll be very aware of the threshold levels but, if need be, can update them in a settings section. I still included loose visual indicators in the grey lines on the trends section/ graph.

Dedicated pre and post-meal section: I liked the functionality of the “Moves” app, and both of my friends indicated that this was less important than daily averages and trends.

Quick units updating: I think this can easily be solved in a settings sections. Otherwise we can add an icon to toggle units.

Possible concerns with the design:

Highly interactive home page mandates speedy data upload: The emphasis on filtering and swiping between days/ weeks/ months necessitates a highly-optimized front end & initial data pull.

Emphasis on additional interaction to pull more granular information: For example, tapping on the trend line to pull contextual information - or tapping on the main blue/ orange/ purple button to reveal pre and post-meal info. This poses a problem for first-time users. However, I believe that we can develop a simple onboarding solution for patients and providers which will allow us to pursue this cleaner interface.


Initial interview questions


Early home screen sketches with most important functions