Steady Health is a full-stack healthcare provider that utilizes patient data and personalized coaching to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar.
UX / UI Designer
Feb - Mar 2019
In 3 weeks, we designed the full user experience for Steady’s first mobile application, along with a refreshed visual language and an accompanying implementation guide. Steady launched its app in early July and currently has an average 5-star rating in the App Store.
Zack Meredith (Lead)
Josh Puckett (Mentor)
Sarah Jackson (Producer)
While there have been major technological advancements, diabetes care hasn’t really changed in the past 20 years.
Lack of Training
Diabetes data and technology has improved drastically in the past 5 years. There is a wealth of data from wearable devices, but clinicians don’t get any training in data analysis.
This data comes from a variety of different apps and systems. While these tools demonstrate a patient’s current health state, they don’t prescribe how or if they’re improving.
The traditional care model of quarterly visits has become less relevant as technology has advanced. Continuous data can be remotely collected, and patients can make their own adjustments.
Steady Health is a completely reimagined care model for diabetes, focused on data and experience, enabled by software.
The Steady Way
Patients first experience the service by downloading the app and becoming a member. Members then visit Steady’s physical clinic in San Francisco for a scheduled onboarding session where they’ll speak with an endocrinologist.
After onboarding, members begin a 2-week tracking period where they’ll use the Steady app to log things like food consumption, physical activity, insulin doses, and constant glucose monitor (CGM) data.
After this tracking period, they’ll revisit the Steady clinic to understand how the things they tracked impact their health. Throughout their membership, patients will receive continuous coaching and communication with their care team through the app and annual in-person visits.
Designing the Experience
The Steady team hired us to build upon their initial wireframes in order to design their first app. After creating a full interaction map to solidify the information architecture, we set out to create an experience that would enable its users to successfully manage their blood sugar through personalized care.
UX — 1 of 4
Home & Tracking
Users to track their information in 4 categories: Food or Drink, Insulin, Physical Activity, and Notes. All of these are accessible from the Home view. Users will often track multiple items per day, but are only required to track activity during the required initial 14-day tracking period.
It was important to structure Home so that users knew not to track all the time. Instead, we enabled maximum tracking only when the user was in a tracking period.
This would alleviate the consistent burden of an app like this from the users, making Steady unique from other tracking apps.
Start a Tracking Period
The use of the “Start Tracking” card places a lot of emphasis on engaging in a tracking period, but also takes up a considerable amount of screen space so that the user isn’t put off by an empty screen.
The added friction from the interstitial helps signify the change, ensuring that the user is ready. Please note, the tracking period also requires the connection of a CGM device that is typically connected during onboarding.
Edit a Tracking Period
Users can restart or stop the tracking period by clicking the Edit button at any time.
One Button to Log Items
The use of a single floating action button (FAB) instead of small tappable rows simplifies the logging process. A singular button also places less emphasis on tracking when not in a tracking period and avoids making the categories look like a list waiting to be completed.
After clicking the FAB to log a new item, the user can choose the type. A Food & Drink entry has the option for a photo upload, while the Insulin, Exercise, and Notes are text-based. Though autofilled, the date and time for all entries is editable in case these items were logged after they actually occurred.
Since people with diabetes tend to take insulin 15-30 minutes before meals, we recognized the potential to include a tracking reminder dependent on the amount of meals logged. For example, if a user has logged 2 meals but only 1 insulin intake, the insulin icon features a purple overlay and an in-line reminder appears.
But what happens if the user doesn’t have the Steady app open? We determined a series of push notification logic sequences in order to ensure that users were on top of their tracking while in the 14-day period.
Though overwhelming users with push notifications can potentially be a dark pattern, we felt it necessary during the short tracking period in order to ensure accurate CGM data.
UX — 2 of 4
The messaging screen closely mirrors that of the standard iMessage screens in order to create a feeling of familiarity between the user and their Steady care team. We want the user to feel like they’re getting personalized, attentive care from someone they trust. Users should feel like they’re having an actual conversation with their care team. Typing indicators, in place to show the user when others in the chat are crafting a response, further emphasize this feeling.
UX — 3 of 4
Though the Steady team had originally requested an additional logging widget on the Profile screen, we decided against it. Limiting logging to the Home screen avoids user confusion and establishes a mental pattern. In the Steady app, Profile gives the user access to their past activity and settings.
Care for You
Touches of personalization come through in the use of the profile image, large text for the user’s name, and the potential for a member badge.
Users can change CGM monitor settings, payment information for membership fees, notification frequency, etc. in Settings—located below Logbook.
View Past Activity
In Profile, users have the option to view all past appointments. The “Book new appointment” button leads to the Messaging screen, encouraging users to engage with their care team to book appointments in V1.
The Logbook shows all past logs. These are distinguished by type through their respective icons (or images for Food & Drink items.)
UX — 4 of 4
The Signup & Onboarding process is composed of 4 parts: marketing tour, sign up/sign in, membership purchase, and permissions. It was crucial that these screens were able to obtain relevant user data while not being too overwhelming.
The Steady Offer
We designed a carousel template that could incorporate imagery if the Steady team desired. The tour ends with a clear CTA for a user to sign up, while consistently offering the option for one to sign in if they already have an account.
Based in California
Since Steady only accepts members who live in California, we decided to filter out-of-state candidates up front. Rather than require users to give location permissions, users must input their zip codes. Candidates outside of California are gracefully denied, but given a clear CTA to learn more about Steady.
The Sign Up process also requires that users provide their email, full name, gender, date of birth, and phone number.
Password-Less Sign Up
In order to have a seamless sign up/sign in experience, we utilized a flow that incorporates a user’s phone number and temporary code. The standard iOS password autofill workflow was used to expedite the process.
Become a Member
After sign-up, a user must purchase a membership before moving forward in the app. Credit card information is collected by Stripe’s iOS SDK, but users won’t be charged until their first onboarding visit at Steady’s clinic.
Connect Your Device
From there, users have the option to link their Dexcom CGM trackers. They are also asked to provide push notification permissions as these are critical to great messaging and tracking experiences.
Future Onboarding Improvements
Future iterations of the Onboarding process could permit prospective users to be able to message the Steady team to clarify any outstanding questions. After signing up, users could also input their standard meal times or exercise habits so that Steady can send relevant, customized notifications.
Audit board consisting of One Medical, Airbnb, Parsley Health
UI — 1 of 2
Developing the Brand
Steady should err on the side of forward-thinking and experimentation. They wanted people to understand that they have a new approach elevating them above established healthcare platforms.
Steady wanted to communicate a level of quality but not luxury. One metaphor to describe the balance is that it should be “like railway first class, but not air travel first class.”
The brand should highlight that technology and data is an important differentiator for Steady, but not its driving force. Steady will always choose the solutions that fit patients best.
UI — 2 of 2
The simplified icons don’t overpower the actions or important states of the screen, allowing us to introduce a more friendly and human feel to a purposefully subdued interface. We aimed to avoid suggesting a particular type of food or exercise that might not relate to the user. While I had input on their subject matter and design, these beautiful icons were created by my colleague, Zack.
In order to maintain consistency throughout the app and enable Steady to continue to build upon our designs, we created an implementation guide. Our modular design system created recognizable UI patterns for our users and ensured an easy developer handoff. A preview is included below.
Steady Health uses personalized blood sugar management and continuous coaching to help diabetes patients reach their goals. As they launched in early July, they’re just getting started. Here’s some of the feedback they’ve received from patients so far.
Aida A, Type 1
The level of attention and the clear plans and expectations provided are a breath of fresh air...It’s like Diabetes Care Utopia.
Tim H, Type 1
Steady has been super helpful in improving my management. The tracking, deep dive and overall service enable me to stay accountable by helping me set goals and action items for myself. Their team has helped me understand my diabetes much better than before.
Ciara, Type 1
When I first started with Steady Health, my A1c was 7.6% and now it’s 6.5% the lowest in my 17 years of Type 1 Diabetes.