Livongo is a health tech company empowering people with chronic conditions to live healthier lives. They use data, clinical science, and coaches to personalize members' experiences to drive positive behavior change.
Diabetes management relies on patients monitoring their blood sugar levels, and checking these values several times a day. Simply put, the more frequently a patient is able to check their blood glucose, the more feedback they receive on how to maintain a normal level, resulting in fewer (and perhaps less scary) trips to the doctor.
Livongo was missing an opportunity to collect the context for each blood glucose level data point that was entered into their users' histories. Timestamps were not sufficient to tell the story of each user and their diabetes management. Livongo users need to know how their blood sugar level changes in response to food, physical activity, medications, illness, stress and hormones. Being able to apply some causality over time can inform the user and their coach about how to make healthier decisions.
So, how can we reveal context around Livongo users' blood sugar levels to offer more thorough insight to a person's diabetes management?
During my time as a product design intern, I delivered a new user flow for Livongo's blood glucose checking meter for their users living with diabetes. I joined the Livongo Product team, focusing on expanding features of the meter, with guidance from another product designer and Livongo's VP of Design. I worked closely with the clinical team to ensure that every design decision, image, and call-to-action was rooted in health insights. I worked with developers for the Livongo meter to understand the visual and functional boundaries of the device.
- Create a logical and friendly user flow for users to complete the entire blood glucose checking process.
- Introduce new iconography that can exist within the limited range of the meter.
- Streamline a new tagging system that falls within clinical and developer standards
I met with members of the Clinical and Member experience teams to discuss how our meter could capture key details they needed from our users. The Product team identified moments in the existing meter's flow where such interventions could occur.
We also researched comparable blood glucose checking meters by our competitors, and scoped out shared features and functions.
Together, we identified two categories for users to tag their blood glucose level to provide more comprehensive snapshots:
- The Meal tag: Before Meal, After Meal, Waking, Bedtime, No Meal
- The Explanation tag: Meds, Food, Illness, Stress, Exercise, Sleep
Still, as we begun digging into this list, we considered how these tags may not tell the full story of a person checking their glucose levels. How could we create a moment to reflect how a Livongo user felt with a blood glucose reading, in-range or not?
Many of Livongo's employees live with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and were able to offer their personal experiences with monitoring their blood glucose. I scheduled several interviews seeking to understand how their blood glucose checks have become a daily activity. They explained how easy it is to fall into self-judgment and frustration when they aren't able to maintain levels within a normal range. Blood glucose numbers can leave users upset, confused, and/or frustrated.
We then surveyed 5-7 Livongo team members with diabetes to narrow down a list of feelings they identify with in their own blood glucose-checking experiences. As the UI was developing for the two categories, I explored how feeling tags could exist within the now expanded flow.
Limits: Working with our Livongo meter was a journey into understanding our limitations. The Livongo meter stands out from the market because of its touchscreen interface--underneath the surface was a series of restraints to factor into the new tagging flows we were hoping to implement.
I sketched out several ways in which users could tag their blood glucose checks. An issue that emerged with previous versions of the Livongo meter was information overload. By adding more chances to engage with our users and collect information, we ran the risk of:
losing our users, who really just wanted to know their blood glucose levels and
unenthusiastic, rushed tagging that doesn't capture reality
With these two new moments of data entry, the user checking flow process took more time. An insight previously provided by one of our diabetes team members resurfaced, "every time a user checks their blood sugar, they are reminded of their diabetes." Were we putting Livongo's product interests before our users' experiences?
Outside of color, the meter's UI mostly existed outside of the other products that compose the Livongo platform, providing an opportunity to build an iconographic identity.
To combat the extended tagging flow, I explored visual, iconographic, and modern queues to aid or replace text options presented in our proposed solutions.
The Product team was interested in exploring how emotive, expressive emojis could influence the tagging for our users. I developed a series of emojis that could map to any of the Feelings tags determined by our clinical team. I also designed a set of icons that would accompany the Explanation tags flow.
We delivered a blood glucose checking and tagging flow that captured the tags defined and encouraged by clinical and customer experience insights. After the user inserts their lancet into the meter, the user is asked to provide more context for their reading arrives.
Users select a meal tag and up to 3 explanation tags that would be submitted to Livongo users' blood glucose history. This data gets uploaded into the Livongo cloud platform, where the diabetes coaches are available to advise on how to address the recent blood glucose level.
My time with Livongo ended right after the delivery of the above tagging flow, and before user testing began. Because Livongo is only available via insurance from employers, I have not been able to confirm further development in this project.
Throughout this project, I was committed to creating a space for an individual to reflect on their daily health. This was a journey of understanding how technology can transform a person's relationship with their condition to be filled with choice, intention, and accountability.