top of page

About Buddy

Buddy is a first-of-its-kind AI and machine learning-driven platform aimed at predicting health challenges while providing support and data for seniors and their caregivers with health management needs. Acting as a personal health assistant for seniors, BUDDY’s complete spectrum of functions assist users with their day-to-day health management activities. Its suite of health monitoring solutions address the most critical health issues faced by seniors and their caregivers.

Artboard Copy.jpg
Group.png

Overview

When I first joined the Buddy team they were a very early stage startup that didn't have much more than an idea. No name, no branding, no platform requirements, just two very passionate co-founders who wanted to help the elderly live better lives. 

I went on to lead design within our remarkable cross-functional team, which successfully developed Buddy's cross-platform application. While at the company, the product gained notable recognition, being featured on ABC, NBC, Yahoo Finance, and FOX. Furthermore, renowned brands like Fitbit and Rite Aid expressed their interest in strategic partnerships with us.

Team & Role

My role was to create a cross-platform application that provided a great experience on desktop, iOS app, and apple watch app. Having had previous experience designing a platform from the ground up, I led a core team of 2 designers, while also working closely with the leadership and development team. I coordinated and led all facets of design including research, branding, design language, information architecture, user task flows, user testing, visual design, and prototyping. 

It All Began At Disneyland

To kick off the project the co-founders flew the entire team out to Disney Land to meet and discuss the platform. After many long meetings and brainstorming sessions, we decided on a name, the platforms that would be supported, and the initial features to include.

Users & Audience

We began to understand who would be using the app by conducting user interviews and surveys. We were able to pinpoint that Buddy's target users would include three separate user groups, family, elderly person, and healthcare provider. 

Through our research we also found that most elderly people didn't want to be in charge of setting up or managing the app, they just wanted to wear the smartwatch. This important finding led us to understand that the mobile and desktop app should be built with the family and healthcare provider user groups in mind while the apple watch app's primary user will be the elderly person.

Design Process

Please note the process I'm sharing below is an overview. Due to the enormous size, cross-platform functionality, and complexity of Buddy I'm highlighting the key components of our process.

With the use of our user research data and numerous internal full team brainstorming sessions, we were able to pinpoint the five primary features that best meet our user's needs. The five features included dashboard, schedule, vital recordings, alerts, and profile.​

Platform Architecture 

Once we had the primary features of the platform defined, we began to map out the architecture. From our user research, we learned something significant; users only wanted the desktop and mobile app to include full functionality. Our user data showed that the elderly user group, who would primarily be using the apple watch app, didn't want a complex experience. The wanted something straightforward that only focused on notifying them about essential alerts.​

You will find an example of the high-level platform architecture shown below.

Group.png

User Flows & Wireframing

Our user research indicated that the portion of the platform that would get the most use was the mobile app. This finding led us to begin building out the mobile app first. Once we had a high-level architecture in place, we expanded upon each component by using wireframing and user flows. A lot of whiteboarding was also involved.

 

At this point in the process, we found user feedback very important. The user feedback we received helped us flesh out the primary features and workflows of the mobile app, which include the registration process, dashboard, schedule, vital recording, alerts, profile, and many other internal screens. 

 

Below is an example of the registration process user flow and wireframe for the mobile app.  

Artboard.jpg

User Inteface

It was very important to the co-founders that we created a user interface that was colorful, fun, modern, and very unique. I love working with teams who want to push the boundaries of UI design because that's when you have the opportunity to create something industry leading.

 

I have found that the secret to creating a beautiful interface is consistency. To create consistency across all platforms for Buddy we began by establishing our visual design language which included color palette, typographic hierarchy, iconography, and image style. One aspect we used to give buddy a colorful, fun, and unique look was by creating a custom color palette and icon library for the vitals which you can view a portion of below.    

Group 6.png

Iterative UI Process

Crafting an optimal UI solution often involves an iterative process. It's about researching, creating, testing, analyzing feedback, refining, and then revisiting.

 

At Buddy, we embraced this approach, ensuring our solutions were finely tuned to user needs.

Dashboard Version 1

Through usability testing we found the following issues with our first version.

  • Too much data was being shown which was overwhelming users.
     

  • Users often didn't realize you could tap on the squares of data to advance to the next screen which displays more information.
     

  • We also found that users didn't feel like the dashboard was personalized to them.

Group 29.png

Mobile App UI & Strategy

The platform we started to design first for Buddy was their iOS mobile app. When designing the user interface for a large platform like Buddy, I start by focusing on the primary features. I choose a couple of wireframes from each primary feature and start the iterative UI process described above.

 

As I advance the designs though my process, the visual look of the platform begins to form. Once I have finalized my designs and established the visual look for a few key screens, I begin to expand it out through the remainder of the platform. I have found following this process to be very useful because it slims down on the time it takes to establish a visual look while also decreasing the time spent updating a large number of designs.

We followed my process and began Buddy's mobile app by designing the user interface for Buddy's dashboard, vitals, schedule, record vitals, alerts, and profile. Once we established the visual look, we expanded it out through the remainder of the app. You can view a few of the finalized user interface screens below.

Group 1.png

Desktop UI & Cross-platform Strategy


Developing a cross-platform application is indeed a complicated task. By initially focusing on the mobile app, we were able to learn valuable insights into user preferences and interface usability, insights which were invaluable when applied to subsequent platforms. Having already established a visual standard during the mobile application's creation allowed us to swiftly progress in producing the desktop user interface.


Throughout the desktop interface's development, we consistently refined and assessed our designs through a series of iterative processes, ensuring the  product met the needs and expectations of our end users. Below are some of the refined and finalized user interface designs we developed for the desktop platform.

15%22 Macbook Pro.png

Apple Watch App UI

Our user data showed that the elderly user group, who would primarily be using the apple watch app, didn't want a complex experience. The wanted something straightforward that only focused on notifying them about essential alerts.​ Focusing on our user needs we designed a simplistic apple watch app that is centered around alerts. You can view a few of the alert screens we created for the apple watch app below.

Group 8.png

Outcome

Our cross-functional team collaborated effectively to develop Buddy's intricate platform, earning commendations from both company leadership and users alike.

During my time at Buddy, the company gained significant momentum, being featured on ABC, NBC, Yahoo Finance, and FOX. Additionally, we attracted strategic partnership proposals from renowned brands like Fitbit and Rite Aid.

Reflections

My journey from the project's inception to its completion was truly enriching. This endeavor profoundly accelerated my development as a product designer. I refined my workflows, deepened my understanding of user testing and its applications, honed my project management skills, and acquired so much more. I have a passion for learning and growth, and Buddy played a pivotal role in facilitating both for me.

bottom of page