SWEET PAL

The Sweet Pal is a reliable communication platform that helps people with similar life struggles connect with one another. This platform is designed for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, want to make friends, ask for advice, and/or find a safe space. The platform is also intended for the family members of diabetes patients who want to become better educated about the subject.

MY ROLE

Ideal Thinking, Researcher, Interviewer, UX Designer, UI Designer.

PROJECT TIMELINE

WHY THIS SUBJECT

My grandma, who is also my mentor, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when she was 30 years old. I saw how much she struggled with it. She only talked to her doctor about her health once a year. My family members and her friends were unable to provide many suggestions to her. I felt as though she did not have many friends to communicate with. 40 years after she was diagnosed, she passed away because of diabetes related complications. 

DEFINE PROBLEM

Among the US population overall, it was estimated that in 2018: 34.2 million people of all ages—or 10.5% of the US population—had diabetes. 34.1 million adults aged 18 years or older—or 13.0% of all US adults—had diabetes. Diabetes patients are facing numerous familiar daily struggles – including frustration over food choices, worrying about what others think and hiding their diabetes, financial woes that cut off access to meds and care, and just trying to get a decent night’s sleep.

The intention of this interface platform is to create a safe community for people who are diagnosed with diabetes. Users can communicate with each other and share their daily life with people who are in the same health situation as them.

RESEARCH

KEY SUMMARY:

  • Phobic disorders are more common in people with diabetes than in the general population;

  • Diabetics will encounter a lot of inconveniences caused by their condition in their lives, and these troubles will also increase their psychological pressure and make their condition worse;

  • Some family members are very worried about the health of diabetic patients, because some patients are unwilling to accept the fact that they are sick and unwilling to actively cooperate with treatment;

  • New patients are uncertain what they are going to face, therefore, they want to ask for advices from experienced patients;

  • Diabetes patients live under a social stigma that being accused they are the one who caused their own sickness. And this kind of social stress they are facing every day makes their condition worse.

PRIMARY AUDIENCE:

Type 1 or type 2 diabetes patients who are willing to make new friends, provide support, and encourage discussion with other diabetes patients through an app.

SECONDARY AUDIENCE:

Family members of diabetes patients who are looking for more information, suggestions, and social activities to aid in their diabetic family member’s physical and mental care.

PERSONA 1

PERSONA 2

INTERVIEW

USER RESEARCH SUMMARY

People who have diabetes often experience depression as a consequence of the change in their lifestyle and believe it will be helpful if they can meet and support each other on the platform I am going to design. For people who are diabete patients’ family, they want to help their family maintain a healthy mental and physical condition by getting suggestions from the Sweet Pal platform.

COMPETITORS

INSPIRATIONAL COMPETITOR

FUNCTIONAL COMPETITOR

TOPIC COMPETITOR

Connected in Motion is a community for people with Type 1 diabetes who share a vision: to create a culture of support & engagement in diabetes self-management through peer-based experiential diabetes education, sports, and outdoor adventures. It offers jam-packed weekends full of outdoor adventures, engaging workshops, great food and incredible people. It’s a chance to connect with like-minded Type 1s, get out and try something new and learn from each others’ experiences.

Bumble empowers users to connect with confidence for dating, networking, or meeting friends online. The app doesn't tell you much about people, but it makes it easy to swipe endlessly and start chatting. Think of it more like meeting someone at a bar casually.

FB Group Chat is a group that was created in Facebook to give patients newly diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 a safe space where they can ask any questions, search for information, and look for support.

OUR ADVANTAGES

  • Sweet Pal is specifically for diabetes users.
  • Sweet Pal provides more diverse and organized functionality to help users’ needs.
  • Sweet Pal protects users privacy, users can choose to be anonymous if they are not comfortable with showing their information.
  • Sweet Pal is specifically for diabetes users.
  • Sweet Pal provides more diverse and organized functionality to help users’ needs.
  • Sweet Pal  protects users privacy, users can choose to be anonymous if they are not comfortable with showing their information.
  • Users can filter out what kind of friends they want to match with.
  • Sweet Pal provides more diverse and organized functionality to help users’ needs.
  • Sweet Pal protects users privacy, users can choose to be anonymous if they are not comfortable with showing their information.

FEATURES AND OUTCOMES

TOP LIST

  • Friend Search;
  • Chatting Function;
  • Q&A section;
  • Community Section;
  • Recipe Sharing.

OUTCOMES

  • Provide a friend searching platform for diabetes patients;
  • Provide a safe community for diabetes patients to post their life and express their feelings;
  • Provide a place for diabetes patients to ask their general concerns and questions about their diabetes life;

NICE TO HAVE

  • Daily Post Section;
  • Doctor Recommendation;
  • Q&A answer checking
  • From doctors;
  • User Rating.

OUTCOMES

  • Doctor can help users check there is no misleading answers in Q&A sections;
  • Users can choose doctors who has good reputation and reviews;
  • Users can make friends with users who have better rating scores;

USER TESTING

Overall, all my candidates are very interested in my app. They went through 3 tasks very quick which means my layout design are not too difficult for users to execute. After reading the notes I took from them, I decided to make few changes.

CHANGES

TASK FLOW 1

Search for a new friend who is in her 20s’, has been diagnosed with Type 1 or 2 diabetes with a distance less than 50 miles, and send a pumpkin to Kelly.

TASK FLOW 2

Register an account for his grandma Mary who is 77 years old and has been diagnosed with Type 2.

TASK FLOW 3

Post the question “How do you handle injecting/finger sticks while out in public like at a restaurant?” in the Q&A section, mark it as see by everyone who is using this app and select Type 2 tag before post it.

MOODBOARD

HIGH-FI WIREFRAMES

Search for a new friend who is in her 20s’, has been diagnosed with Type 1 or 2 diabetes with a distance less than 50 miles, and send a pumpkin to Kelly.

Register an account for his grandma Mary who is 77 years old and has been diagnosed with Type 2.

Post the question “How do you handle injecting/finger sticks while out in public like at a restaurant?” in the Q&A section, mark it as see by everyone who is using this app and select Type 2 tag before post it.

TAKEAWAYS

I designed this product because I wanted to create a safe community for people who are diagnosed with diabetes.

During my user research process, I noticed that people who are from different age group and different diabetes type have different thoughts to this subject and the platform. Therefore, I think I need to either target on larger group and design more features, or narrow down my group and focus on fewer features.

During my user testing process, I realized testers often provide different feedback for the same tasks. Therefore, the more testers I find, the more valuable suggestions I will receive. This will help me build a more intuitive and user friendly product.

If I have more time, I will improve the following:

-Design all the other layouts.
-Upload the prototype videos.
-create an information architecture.
-create a storyboard.
-Make a video of how people use this app in real life.
-Design more user tasks.
-Find more potential users to do the usability tests.