Voice Enabled Migraine Tracker

(Research Process, User Centered Tasks, Wireframes, Prototypes, Testing)

Role: Sole UX Designer. This is a passion project. To see professional projects, please see GE & Hobsons Inc. case studies.R

Challenge: Accessibility for users who struggle to use a traditional screen interface to record information during a migraine

Solution: Researched user preferences for alternatives and designed an audio entry solution to ease the recording experience

Data Points about Migraines

Migraine is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. Approximately 1 in 7 people suffers from migraines. It is the most common neurological condition in the developed world. 

Migraines are different than headaches. Symptoms can include:

  • nausea and / or vomiting
  • visual disturbances (flashing lights, blind spots in the vision, zig zag patterns etc)
  • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • sensitivity to noise (phonophobia)
  • sensitivity to smells (osmophobia)
  • tingling / pins and needles / weakness / numbness in the limbs
  • temporary paralysis

Impact on a person’s life and well-being:

  • Severe migraine attacks (more than once a week) are classified by the World Health Organisation as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis.
  • Over a third (34.3%) of migraine sufferers face difficulties or discrimination at work because of their condition.
  • Approximately 1 in 7 people suffer from migraines.
  • Migraines usually begin during the teenage years, affecting twice as many women as men.

Source 1 and Source 2

Why track migraines?

Migraine is a very individual condition and triggers and symptoms vary tremendously from person to person; which is why doctors want patients to track migraines.

One of the research goals is to discover what users struggle with when it comes to tracking migraines. A feature we believe may address some of their concerns is the ability to record a voice note quickly and then sets a time the next day to listen to the note. This allows the user to add more detail to the tracker when they are feeling better.

Research Process

  • I tried out several migraine apps to dive deeper into the competitor’s methods. Analysis can be provided upon request. I also noted users comments about those products.
  • Designed survey questions and concept features to determine if it meets the needs of the target audience.
  • Recruited participants from migraine forums to take the survey.
  • Scheduled 1-on-1 interviews to delve into any questions that come up during the survey.

Survey Results

I posted the survey on migraine forums only. The key takeaways from the survey results are the following:

The top two reasons that prevented people from tracking migraines consistently: 1. Forgetting to track 2. Unable to track while in pain.

100% said that their doctor suggested they keep a Migraine diary. It is important. Tracking consistently is key to see patterns and changes over time.

66.7% wait to track when they are feeling better. However, 75.80% would record a voice note in the midst of a migraine.

Voice notes would help resolve the top two reasons that prevent people from tracking migraines consistently (forgetting to track and unable to track while in pain.)

Interested in the questions and percentages of the migraine study?

Below is a Persona I created from the research and talking to the users.

User-centered Tasks

User flow

I created user flows to show the process of completing a migraine session using both voice and manual options.

Product Roadmap

The product roadmap shows what the MVP product looks like and what features may be added in the future.

Early Paper Prototyping & Testing

Testing allows me to validate the designs. I like to get feedback early and often in the process, allowing me to improve the final design and reduce the need for changes during development.

Paper Prototype link

Remote Unmoderated Preference Tests

2 quick tests were posted on the Migraine forums:

Test results: Option 2 Green won. According to Usability Hub- “This alternative is performing better, and the difference is 95% likely to be statistically significant. This means that you can be confident that it is actually better, and not performing better due to random chance.”

Quick 2 question survey-Preference during a migraine:

Some users preferred the list while the others preferred the icons.

“ A- you only have to read in one direction, not two.”

“B, easier to see.”

More leaned towards A, but not by much. I decided to go with A, the list option.

I considered the users and future features. Instead of focusing on icons to make the UI awesome the time could be used to develop the voice recognition features instead. It also make the app stand out from the competition as no one else has this feature.

Mockups Set 1

Normally, I make grayscale wireframes as shown in the other case studies. The users made it clear that a dark background was needed, and they voted for green as the color choice. You may see some inconsistencies in the mockup, but I did it that way for testing to get feedback.

In Person Usability Tests

The big survey had the option for the user to include their email if they were interested in participating in further studies. I realized I need to simplify the dashboard and change the default screens.

Working Prototype

Using the feedback from the usability studies, I updated the mockups. See left for a working prototype.

Conducting user research and asking for feedback made the product more usable to people with migraines. Traditional UI would have missed the biggest issues causing them not to be able to track consistently.

View Working Prototype

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