Over the course of 3 months I lead a team of 3 focused on changing how Type 1 diabetes is experienced. Since no one in the team has Type 1, through the course of this project we established strong relationships with the community to ensure that we effectively understood the problem space and created solutions that stand as a landmark of what health tech should be.


Team lead, Research, Prototyping, Visual Design & UX

By: Taha Hossain, Carter Pang, Tobias Bölkow

Using: Sketch, InVision Studio, Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects

Working with the Type 1 Diabetes community to create a product ecosystem they value and love.


The technology people use to manage their blood sugar fails to understand how they feel in their daily lives.


From the very beginning to the end, this project was designed with a close feedback loop with the Type 1 community. What started initially as coffee chats turned into a long conversations on their daily frustrations. We were incredibly grateful to receive the opportunity to work so closely with our users to make something they truly loved.


How might we reduce anxiety for people that manage their blood sugar on a regular basis?


Understanding Type 1 and the people who have it.

Research with a purpose.

Whether it is to better understand the people we are designing for or just learning more about Type 1 – every bit of research was done with intention. We've committed early on to never do research in a silo and took full advantage of the relationships established early on to also conduct primary research.

Benchmark Analysis

Provided us a strong context of the current product market.

PACT Analysis

Helped us understand the various contexts of the technology being used.


Based on the real people we've met; helped us personalize the experience by using them as valuable reference.

User Journeys

Based on the real stories we've heard; helped us develop empathy for our users and understand their day-to-day.

MoSCoW Method

Made prioritizing features and managing scope much easier.

Designing for emotion.

Although diabetes is related to how people physically feel, we learned that the products they use to manage their diabetes have a significant influence on their emotional wellbeing as well.

Usability alone is not enough.

This meant that focusing on just usability and functionality is not enough. What is the balance between keeping the user informed vs. intruding their personal mental space? How do our users feel using our product? Since so much of how they feel daily is determined by the product – it should act less as a third party and more as an extension of themselves.


A disparate system that fails to consider emotional wellbeing as much as the physical.


A cohesive ecosystem focused on reducing noise and alleviating anxiety.


Engaging with an experience multiple times a day amplifies the smallest pain points.


No way of sharing data temporarily
Athletes mentioned that they would like to share their Blood Sugar with a third party (such as their coach), but only for a limited time.

Poor Interface
The current experience failed to present important information to the user without inflicting a negative emotional response.

Outdated Form Factor
We discovered that children were self conscious of using the devices and were reluctant to administering their Insulin around their peers.

Tedious Process
Users have to coordinate with two different devices (a CGM and an Insulin Pump) to administer their Insulin — making it difficult to coordinate.


A breadth of ideas focused on utility and emotion.


A strong foundation that guided our decision making.


Users have to keep track of important information so the experience should never be distracting.


Users are diverse and have a wide range of technical abilities that vary.


Users will be used to the current structure and switching to another platform should not be overwhelming.


Validating decisions through a feedback loop with the community.


Our overarching goal was to identify any gaps in our knowledge, overlooked issues and friction points with the decisions made so far. The DECIDE framework helped us prepare and guide our sessions.

Decide framework

Helped us prepare and guide our user testing sessions.


Adjusted the copy to sound less "medical" and formal to being more human.


Added microcopy that explained why needed certain information and how bolus was calculated.


Adjusted information architecture to highlight what's most important.

The product ecosystem

There when they need it. Unobtrusive when they don't.

The gluco app

Simple, familiar – and completely new.

The Gluco app syncs with the physical ecosystem to allow users to check in on their blood sugar, administer insulin and share their status with others.




Gluco informs the users without causing stress and anxiety by focusing on the information that matters most to them.

Fine control over history log

Highlights what's most important first




A simple and informative flow allows the user to calculate amount of Insulin needed. The user is then able to administer it into their body through the pump.

Calculates amount of Insulin needed

Notifies the user when to eat




A feature users really wanted, especially athletes, was being able to share data for a limited time with someone else. Users still have the option to share their data without a time limit.

Invite anyone to check in on the user

Limit when they can view user's data

Work with your user

Through this project we’ve realized that as designers of the product we are always at least a little bit biased towards ourselves. We worked hard to establish a meaningful relationship early on with our users and – although not perfect – this project provided insight into the value of what we do and the importance of making sure that we never lose sight of the meaning behind our work.



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I'd love to chat about anything.