Lupus Self Care

Problem: Lupus patients have a complicated and debilitating disease.  It is important to keep track of symptoms to design a treatment plan with the doctor.  However, this can be difficult, especially during a flare up which makes it hard to function.


In a team of four with different specialties (psychology, industrial design, and computer science), we created prototypes of a smartphone app that will help people with lupus manage their day to day activities to control their symptoms and stay healthy.  The system will help people manage their diet, exercise, amount of sun exposure, and  track their symptoms. 





Process: We had lupus patients fill out a survey to learn more about how they currently deal with their lupus and what features they would like in a tool to help them manage their symptoms. We also interviewed Rheumatologists and lupus patients to learn more detailed information to inform our design. We completed usability testing with lupus patients at Grady Hospital in Atlanta using a cognitive walkthrough and exit survey.  We then implemented design changes on our interactive prototype based on results.  

Solution: Our final prototype well received and lupus patients were excited about an easier way to track their symptoms, which can be especially difficult while they are having a flare up.  


Using the results from a heuristic evaluation before testing with lupus patients, we were able to correct several confusing places in the design.  The ribbon on the home screen was moved from behind the icons to have less clutter.  We also added redundant word descriptions to each icon for increased clarity.








We removed the hamburger button at the top right and placed menu items on every screen at the bottom for easier navigation.  We also used only one button for adding symptoms and enlarged the calendar. 

Users were confused about which side was left and right, and also how to add a symptom.  We made the date smaller and added instructions, as well as Left and Right for the side of the body and outlined parts of the body to make it clear where they could tap.  









Users did not realize that the horizontal line was a sliding bar that they could change for the severity of their symptoms.  We swapped it for a picker that shows the next option so they know they can change it.