In a team of 3, we designed the core functions of a mobile app for elderly care coordinators based on provided personas: Inez, an elderly woman in her late 70s with slight dementia, Hector, a busy nurse who has a short amount of time each day to check in on Inez, and Rosario, Inez's daughter and primary care giver.

How Might We:
Create an app that allows Hector and Rosario communicate Inez's status descreetly without infringing upon Inez's independence and privacy?

My Role:
Designed and refined the app UI and visual cohesiveness.

Led the team in ideation, design decisions, and project management.

First, our final design of uCare! Then I'll show you how we arrived at this solution.

or jump to the process + design decisions now

Our final design and use case scenario begins with Hector taking pictures of Inez's meals throughout the week as he stops by to check on her daily.

From Monday to Thursday, uCare does not detect any abnormalities from Rosario's pre-uploaded nutrition plan, and relays the information to Rosario, which she sees when she gets off work.

On Friday, Hector stops by as usual and uses uCare to check Inez's meal that day.

Using object-recognition, uCare detected that Inez's meal today is lacking Vitamin C and A. uCare sends a notification to Rosario.

uCare suggests to Rosario foods high in Vitamin A and C, Rosario selects an option and sends it to Hector.

Hector acknowledges that Inez can eat the type of food Rosario suggested, and decides to grab them before checking on Inez the next day.

The next day, Hector stops by Inez's apartment and brings with him the foods Rosario suggested. He tells Inez that she should eat more of these foods for their richness in Vitamins.

As Inez goes to put away and prepare the foods, Hector sends a confirmation to Rosario that everything is ok.

With uCare, Hector can check and report on Inez quickly and discreetly, and Rosario can have a peace of mind when she is not able to check on her mother in person.

View Research Decisions


We brainstormed about the ecosystem of elder care coordination, and then we did guerilla research via interviews. Afterwards, we created exploratory scenarios and created 3 exploratory storyboards from them. Furthermore, one of our group members referred to prior knowledge due to relevant work experience.

We first wanted to get an idea of what we knew about the elderly care space, and with the addition of interviews we could pinpoint an area that we would like to design the app for.

Through the interviews, we found out that a major concern was having information option on the elderly's condition when caregivers are not physically present.

View Ideation Decisions


Storyboards and Exploratory Scenarios

We each created storyboards and scenarios based on the research we gathered and the personas provided to us.

Exploring broad possibilities helps us to formulate 3 distinct ways in which the uCare app could be realized.

Our favorite idea was a smart pill bottle that used a connected scale to detect the weight change of individual pills. It would signal Inez when she should take her pill, and the weight change would be sent to Rosario letting her know that Inez has taken her medications.

We presented our findings and initial ideas in class, and based on the feedback, we decided to rethink our design and focus it more on the care givers rather than peripheral devices.

We realized we weren’t taking advantage of the wide range of innate capabilities a mobile phone has. One of our promising ideas was using a smart pill bottle, which we decided wasn’t focusing on the actual app itself. We also realized the other features and tasks in our storyboards was too obvious and there were already a plethora of apps that can handle such tasks.

Back to the Drawing(White?)Board

We first listed some of the potential values our app could provide, we thought we could narrow our focus to revolve around diet tracking and meal planning. But we didn’t want to just stop there, so we began to explore other possibilities.

We looked up all the innate capabilities of a smartphone (Accelerometer, Object-Recognition, Camera, Sensors etc.), and listed out possible ways our app could take advantage of that. We brainstormed how these capabilities could be used by having a “Yes… AND…” brainstorming session.

We arrived at 3 possibilities of what our app could be, using a combination of innate smart phone functions below:

Accelerometer + Location to address a possible problem with Inez’s exercise and memory.

Light Sensor to address sleep problems.

Camera + Object Recognition to address macro/micro nutrients of food.

We discussed the pros and cons of each of these possibilities, and decided on the Camera + Object Recognition feature. We felt this was the most realistic and practical scenario for our personas. We then took a deep dive in listing out how this could work for our app.

After this brainstorming session, we wrote out a rough draft scenario (above) and then we created an updated final version of our scenario (below).

Read Scenario

To complement this scenario we drew a new storyboard to visualize how we envision the app to work.


Now that we have pin pointed the direction of where we want to go, we started to design our Lo-Fi, Mid-Fi, and Hi-Fi screens.


We focused only on the most essential screens that would best convey the core functions of the app in relation to our scenarios.

With only 3 weeks for the project, focusing on the meat of the app allows us to deliver the essential functions of uCare.

Laying out the lo-fi screens was very straighforward, because we all had a very good idea of how the app functions due to our detailed exploratory phase.

After this we created Mid-Fi wireframes and combined them with scenes from our storyboard/scenario to easily convey the interaction happening in each scene, and presented it to the class.

In this sequence, we are showing Hector using uCare's object recognition feature to get nutrition information from Inez's meals. This is then cross referenced with a diet plan Rosario has uploaded. If anything is detected as missing, Rosario will be notified and be able to send Hector a suggestion as to what to provide for Inez.

From the positive feedback we received in class, we then decided to flesh out the app into Hi-Fi screens.

Our final vision for uCare going forward

We envision that through aggregating daily pictures and nutrition data uploaded to uCare, uCare can provide diet and nutrition trends in the long term.

With long-term trends and data, the care providers can become better informed of the elderly's diet.

Based on the variations in the trend, care providers can decide whether further treatments are neccessary.

View Implementation Decisions

Here's a summary of what I personally contributed in this project:

What I Did

Created Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi wireframes and screens.

Led brainstorm sessions and tried to champion my own idea.

What I Learned

Sketching out Lo-Fi screens and testing out their relationships speeds up the implementation of Hi-Fi screens greatly!

My favorite idea is not always the best idea, my team and I took elements from each other's ideas and combined them into a much better product.