The problem/opportunity:
Hygieia needed to deliver an innovative medical solution (d-Nav) to patients in a way that worked for real world patients, not just a design that impressed executives. A visually appealing design, or even an award-winning design, would mean nothing without passionate user adoption.

How Menlo helped:
Hygieia hired Menlo to challenge industry assumptions and their own internal assumptions about the end users and discover a design that demonstrated user adoption before completing the product engineering. As part of this project, Menlo's High-Tech Anthropologists®:

  • studied existing user behaviors
  • created multiple prototype products
  • tested the user experience and user success of those prototypes
  • evolved the product concepts that had demonstrated success with the target users

The rest of the story:
Hygieia wanted to greatly improve the lives of insulin-dependent diabetics through the introduction of a new approach to blood sugar management. This would require a new device, a new scientific approach, and a compelling user experience. Menlo collaborated with Hygieia to create a handheld device that helped patients create a historical record to share with their physicians, and construct action plans that better fit patients' lifestyles.

As Menlo’s High-tech Anthropologists® identified different potential user communities, Hygieia chose to target "Manuel", a persona (a prototypical user profile) who was a 52-year-old native of Costa Rica and beginning to see diabetes affecting his job performance as the primary user of the device.

Through user research, Menlo discovered that users desperately wanted to get their diabetes under control, but they needed help in doing so. Users were embarrassed about having to use their glucose meters in public, so they recommended designing the device to look like a cell phone. Menlo wanted to make sure that people like Manuel were able to record their diet, insulin intakes, glucose readings and carb counts all in one place. The solution had to be uncomplicated so that users could easily understand how to manage their diabetes based on the readings from the device and best share the information with their doctor.