Final rendering of Pulseband splash screen

Background: GE has engineered a breakthrough in the wearable industry with a new device called the Pulseband. Along with tracking heart rate, steps, sleep patterns and other vitals, the device is also capable of measuring a wearer’s blood pressure. While most wearables are geared towards people with active lifestyles, the Pulseband is uniquely designed for people who have genuine heart-health concerns.
Challenge: Our team was tasked with defining, prioritizing and fulfilling user needs for the GE Pulseband digital experience. Final deliverables included creating key screens & interactions for an iOS application as well as a marketing site for the Pulseband.
Approach: Our team used the Agile approach to divide the project into three distinct sprints based on Design Thinking: Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation.
For the inspiration sprint we developed a UX Research plan to pose research questions, identify possible methodology, and the desired characteristics of participants that would assist in providing insights to the design team.
Subject Matter Research
Our first task was to spend several days conducting research on the following: blood pressure, cholesterol, heart conditions, warning signs/symptoms, medications, treatments, risk factors and at-risk individuals. It was important to identify the right questions to ask in order to learn more about heart health. Knowing that the Pulseband is targeted specifically to people with heart concerns and issues, we wanted to ensure we were well versed in the subject of heart health.

- What are the leading causes of heart attacks
- What exactly do blood pressure readings mean and tell you?
- What are the symptoms of heart attacks?
- What can people do to prevent them?
- Who is most at risk for heart issues?
- What lifestyle choices can people make to have a positive effect on their heart health?

We discovered that men and women over the age of 50 are at the highest risk of having heart problems. Additionally, smoking, diabetes and drinking are all risk factors that can lead to serious problems. As we had initially surmised, diet and exercise are the best tools for prevention.
Competitive Analysis
We researched competitors in the wearable space to gain insights on what users expect and also attempt to identify any gaps in the current experience.

fitbit logo
jawbone logo
withings logo
Some wearable trends that we noticed:
- Devices that offered functionality to assist the user in altering habits also promoted sustained behavior change.
- When users were able to socialize their goals and accomplishments, they were more committed to achieving them.
 -A growing importance on providing contextual intelligence; users wanted meaningful insights and information at the right time.
The UX team decided to separate interviews into two categories: Users and Subject Matter Experts (SME’s). For the user group, we specifically targeted people who had previously experienced a heart attack or were dealing with an ongoing heart condition. Our goal was to understand how they dealt with their conditions on a daily basis and empathize with the challenges they presented.

During user interviews, we discovered some common themes. It appeared that people with previous or current health issues were still inconsistent with their habits despite being aware of their condition. Additionally, they weren’t always able to interpret medical data that was provided to them by healthcare professionals. When speaking with SME’s, we heard that

The data gathered from SME’s seemed to echo what we had gathered from our user interviews - Most seemed to believe that patients did not always follow or understand recommendations despite being aware of the possible ramifications. Additionally, they highlighted the importance of people taking ownership of their health by tracking their day to day symptoms and habits in order to focus on making incremental improvements.
Despite doing medical research and performing user interviews, the UX team wanted to get a bigger sample size of data regarding some of our initial assumptions. Specifically, the survey was focused on mobile usage among men and women over the age of 50. Interestingly, the highest daily app usage came from social sites and games. We were also encouraged to learn that 40% of respondents had already used health apps at one time or another to track steps & diet. This provided immediate validation that the Pulseband could be successful based on its target demographic.​​​​​​​
Affinity Mapping
At the end of the Inspiration phase the entire project team collected our research and used Affinity Mapping to distill our data into actionable ideas and themes:
Mood Boards
Our UI Designers created a Mood Board to begin providing inspiration for the Pulseband branding. This was created based on successful competitor sites and apps, data visualization techniques, color palettes and imagery consistent with our user base and compatibility with GE brand standards.
mood board
During the Ideation phase, the design team took all of the insights gathered from the initial research phase and began to flesh those out in the form of personas, mood boards, task flows, and an app map showcasing all of the applications functions and features. From there, the UX team began to create key task flows for the onboarding process, challenges, and BP readings. Wireframes and low-fidelity prototypes were then created to validate our design decisions.
Personas were pulled directly from our research during the Inspiration sprint, with the first two focusing directly on the target users. The design team also included a SME persona after discovering a strong disconnect in the way that health professionals are able to interface with patients outside of scheduled appointments.

App Map
The UX Team created an App Map to provide a framework for the Pulseband iOS application. The application would consist of three main sections:

1. The Dashboard would include all of the most current health data as well as the ability to take a Blood Pressure reading with access to challenges, reminders etc.
2. The “Health” menu allowed the user to take a more granular look at the data that’s been collected by the Pulseband.
3. The Profile menu would be a self contained area of the app where the user could manage any personal settings.
Task Flows
We sketched out key task flows and received feedback before creating formal flows in Axure.
Task flow sketches for onboarding, blood pressure readings and challenges.
We distributed the onboarding experience into two parts. The initial screens allowed the user to get into his/her dashboard without providing a large amount of information. However, in order to get more personalized recommendations and assistance, he/she would have to complete their profile.
onboarding task flow

Onboarding Task Flow

Research indicated that gamification was an easy way to boost user interest and accountability, so we included several “challenges” that would allow users to compete and interact with each other. If a user was able to successfully complete a challenge, they would be awarded a virtual trophy for their accomplishment.
Challenge task flow

Challenge Task Flow

Accurate blood pressure readings are an absolute must to providing users with helpful data so the UX team included a separate task flow for taking an accurate BP reading.
Blood pressure reading task flow

Blood Pressure Reading Task Flow

After validating our assumptions with wireframes and prototypes, the UI team began creating high fidelity versions of key screens for the Pulseband iOS app, along with a companion landing page for web and mobile. Meanwhile, we created prototypes with advanced functionality to showcase key task flows for the Pulseband application. Branding and style guides were then established to accurately communicate the look and feel of the brand moving forward. While the majority of the core functions were captured for the first iteration of the application, a product roadmap was also provided to detail future enhancements.
Pulseband Prototypes
Onboarding Animated GIF

User Onboarding

Profile Creation Animated GIF

User Profile Creation

Style Guide
UI Style Guide

Style Guide created by the Pulseband UI team

Hi Fidelity App Screens

Final App Screens created by the Pulseband UI team

Product Roadmap
Version 2
Android Development
Diet Tracking
Activity Tracking
Social Sharing
Additional Challenges

Version 3
User Portal on Pulseband website
Companion app for health professionals
Healthkit and Google Fit integration
Community feature with sponsored events & groups

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