Revamping Reminders

Revamping Reminders

Overview

The Challenge

The Reminder feature is crucial to how Kinsa drives ongoing illness episode conversations with app users, and is valuable to busy caregivers who want or need to stay on schedule when providing care. The team discovered a high number of user-generated errors on Android not seen on iOS, which led me to conduct an evaluation and determine how to reduce errors and improve the Reminder UX.

The Reminder feature is crucial to how Kinsa drives ongoing illness episode conversations with app users, and is valuable to busy caregivers who want or need to stay on schedule when providing care. The team discovered a high number of user-generated errors on Android not seen on iOS, which led me to conduct an evaluation and determine how to reduce errors and improve the Reminder UX.

Key Context

The Kinsa app pairs with Kinsa smart thermometers via Bluetooth, and offers health tracking and personalized medical guidance to empower families to respond appropriately to the first signs of contagious illness. Parents especially find the Reminder feature useful when managing fever and symptoms in young kids, which often involves medication dosing and monitoring on a regular schedule. The feature also contributes to greater retention among app users.

The Kinsa app pairs with Kinsa smart thermometers via Bluetooth, and offers health tracking and personalized medical guidance to empower families to respond appropriately to the first signs of contagious illness. Parents especially find the Reminder feature useful when managing fever and symptoms in young kids, which often involves medication dosing and monitoring on a regular schedule. The feature also contributes to greater retention among app users.

reminder-case-study-overview
  • My Roles: UX Researcher & Product Designer
  • Team: Product Managers, Lead Mobile & Backend Engineers
  • Tools: UserTesting, Mixpanel, Sketch, InVision, Zeplin
  • Platform: Mobile
  • Duration: 2 months (Spring 2021)

My Roles: UX Researcher & Product Designer
Team: Product Managers, Mobile & Backend Engineers
Tools: UserTesting, Mixpanel, Sketch, InVision, Zeplin
Platform: Mobile
Duration: 2 months (Spring 2021)

Evaluative Research

Before thinking of ways to improve Reminders, we needed to clearly understand which aspects of the current design worked well, and which caused friction and frustration. I conducted a formative evaluation on the existing Reminder feature on Android. This entailed remote, unmoderated usability studies in which participants completed tasks requiring them to use the Reminder feature directly or indirectly.

Before thinking of ways to improve Reminders, we needed to clearly understand which aspects of the current design worked well, and which caused friction and frustration. I conducted a formative evaluation on the existing Reminder feature on Android. This entailed remote, unmoderated usability studies in which participants completed tasks requiring them to use the Reminder feature directly or indirectly.

TEST 1: SET A REMINDER DIRECTLY

Screen Shot 2022-02-05 at 8.08.19 PM

User Story: "As a caregiver, I want to set a reminder so that I can remember to administer medication at a specific time.”

Target Audience: Adults (aged 25-65+) in the US (n=5)

Target Audience: Adults (aged 25-65+) in the US (n=5)

Main Task: From the home feed of the app, set a reminder to give your family member medication in a couple hours.

Main Task: From the home feed of the app, set a reminder to give your family member medication in a couple hours.

Key Results:

  • 5/5 said they would expect to set a reminder by going to the alarm clock icon in the top right corner when on the home feed
  • 4/5 generated the error message on the Reminder bottom sheet
    • 3 missed the Time field (it stayed on default)
    • 1 attempted to tap on the Time field to change (it reset) 
    • All 4 participants were unclear on why there was an error
  • 1 person inadvertently dismissed the Reminder bottom sheet at least 3 times, which made them vocally frustrated
  • 5/5 said they would expect to set a reminder by going to the alarm clock icon in the top right corner when on the home feed
  • 4/5 generated the error message on the Reminder bottom sheet
    • 3 missed the Time field (it stayed on default)
    • 1 attempted to tap on the Time field to change (it reset) 
    • All 4 participants were unclear on why there was an error
  • 1 person inadvertently dismissed the Reminder bottom sheet at least 3 times, which made them vocally frustrated

Key Insights:

  • User-generated errors occur as a result of not interacting with the Time field, which defaults to the current time. Since it isn't possible to set a reminder for a time not in the future, an error gets triggered every time the user tries to save without changing the time.
  • Generic error message copy doesn't tell users what to fix or what is causing the error, so they are likely to trigger it repeatedly
  • User-generated errors occur as a result of not interacting with the Time field, which defaults to the current time. Since it isn't possible to set a reminder for a time not in the future, an error gets triggered every time the user tries to save without changing the time.
  • Generic error message copy doesn't tell users what to fix or what is causing the error, so they are likely to trigger it repeatedly

TEST 2: SET A REMINDER INDIRECTLY

Screen Shot 2022-02-05 at 8.19.29 PM

User Story: "As a parent, I need to know when to check my child's temperature so that I can adjust care for them accordingly.”

Target Audience: Adults (aged 25-65+) in the US who are parents or guardians of a child 2-12 years of age (n=5)

Main Tasks: Imagining your child has a fever and cough, complete the triage flow to get age-specific illness guidance. From the Reminder card, set a reminder to take your child’s temperature in a couple hours.

Key Results:

  • 5/5 set a reminder without generating the error message
    • 4 people felt confident that a reminder was set because they saw the card automatically dismiss (2), or they saw the alarm clock icon changed to an active state (2)
    • 1 person called the process "a little awkward" without further explanation
  • 4/5 suggested an easier way to set a reminder would be buttons like "remind me in 2h, remind me in 4h" as opposed to doing the math themselves and using the Time field
  • 1 person inadvertently dismissed the Reminder bottom sheet when trying to select the Time field
  • 5/5 set a reminder without generating the error message
    • 4 people felt confident that a reminder was set because they saw the card automatically dismiss (2), or they saw the alarm clock icon changed to an active state (2)
    • 1 person called the process "a little awkward" without further explanation
  • 4/5 suggested an easier way to set a reminder would be buttons like "remind me in 2h, remind me in 4h" as opposed to doing the math themselves and using the Time field
  • 1 person inadvertently dismissed the Reminder bottom sheet when trying to select the Time field

Key Insights:

  • Users did not generate the error when setting a reminder through an illness guidance card, suggesting that the card has a priming effect that leads them to interact with the Time field
  • Users expressed a desire for easy one-tap buttons to set a reminder for specific intervals in the future so that they don't have to calculate which time to set in the Time field
  • Users did not generate the error when setting a reminder through an illness guidance card, suggesting that the card has a priming effect that leads them to interact with the Time field
  • Users expressed a desire for easy one-tap buttons to set a reminder for specific intervals in the future so that they don't have to calculate which time to set in the Time field

Strategy & Prioritization

After documenting and sharing insights from my formative evaluation with the Product Managers (PMs), I compiled a list of recommendations aimed at reducing errors and addressing the pain points I observed, including:

After documenting and sharing insights from my formative evaluation with the Product Managers (PMs), I compiled a list of recommendations aimed at reducing errors and addressing the pain points I observed, including:

  • Update the error message copy to be more specific and informative so that users know what to fix
  • Reduce sensitivity of the 'swipe down to dismiss' interaction on the bottom sheet to avoid unintended dismissals
  • Consider updating the Reminder card with easy one-tap buttons so that users can skip the Time field
  • Improve discoverability and usability of all input fields in the Android app (as they have yet to be updated to the latest Material Design system components put forth by Google to improve usability and accessibility)
  • Redesign the Reminder bottom sheet, focusing on time selection
  • Update the error message copy to be more specific and informative so that users know what to fix
    Reduce sensitivity of the 'swipe down to dismiss' interaction on the bottom sheet to avoid unintended dismissals
  • Consider updating the Reminder card with easy one-tap buttons so that users can skip the Time field
  • Improve discoverability and usability of all input fields in the Android app (as they have yet to be updated to the latest Material Design system components put forth by Google to improve usability and accessibility)
  • Redesign the Reminder bottom sheet, focusing on time selection

The PMs and I prioritized the recommendations to determine next steps, focusing primarily on lower cost, higher impact ideas.

The PMs and I prioritized these to determine next steps, focusing primarily on lower cost, higher impact ideas.

EASY WINS TO IMPLEMENT FIRST:

  • Update the error message: We changed the unhelpful message “Error creating reminder” to "Please choose a date and time in the future.”
  • Reduce bottom sheet sensitivity: I worked alongside the Android Engineer to prototype less sensitive interactions. It should take more effort to close the bottom sheet (which is a destructive action if the user has made any changes on the sheet). The user should be able to tap into different fields with ease and without fear that the slightest downward movement will result in an unintended action. We prototyped and played with a couple options on our own Android devices, and then decided which one to implement. QA confirmed that the swipe down to close interaction between Android and iOS were more closely match with this update.
  • Update the error message: We changed the unhelpful message “Error creating reminder” to "Please choose a date and time in the future.”
  • Reduce bottom sheet sensitivity: I worked alongside the Android Engineer to prototype less sensitive interactions. It should take more effort to close the bottom sheet (which is a destructive action if the user has made any changes on the sheet). The user should be able to tap into different fields with ease and without fear that the slightest downward movement will result in an unintended action. We prototyped and played with a couple options on our own Android devices, and then decided which one to implement. QA confirmed that the swipe down to close interaction between Android and iOS were more closely match with this update.

IDEAS TO EXPLORE NEXT:

  • Add easy one-tap buttons to the card: To identify what one-tap options would be most useful to our users, we implemented analytics to understand what intervals most people currently set reminders for. If, for example, few people set reminders 1h from now, but a majority set them for 2h and 3h from now, then we would prioritize the 2h and 3h options.
  • Redesign the Reminder bottom sheet: We decided it was worth exploring a redesign of the bottom sheet, specifically, alternative UI patterns for the Time and Date fields that improve discoverability and ease of use.
  • Add easy one-tap buttons to the card: To identify what one-tap options would be most useful to our users, we implemented analytics to understand what intervals most people currently set reminders for. If, for example, few people set reminders 1h from now, but a majority set them for 2h and 3h from now, then we would prioritize the 2h and 3h options.
  • Redesign the Reminder bottom sheet: We decided it was worth exploring a redesign of the bottom sheet, specifically, alternative UI patterns for the Time and Date fields that improve discoverability and ease of use.

Interaction Design

I designed the next iteration of the Reminder card that gets triggered during an illness episode. The button options (1h, 4h, Custom) were informed by analytics data gathered over a 30-day period.

I designed the next iteration of the Reminder card that gets triggered during an illness episode. The button options (1h, 4h, Custom) were informed by analytics data gathered over a 30-day period.
 

Next Steps Set Reminder V3 exploration gray bg
Next Steps Set Reminder V3 current vs proposed

I also hosted a cross-functional team brainstorm to gather ideas around redesigning the bottom sheet, focusing on time and date selection. This led me to a exploration and redesigned bottom sheet following several rounds of input from the PMs and Engineers.

I also hosted a cross-functional team brainstorm to gather ideas around redesigning the bottom sheet, focusing on time and date selection. This led me to a exploration and redesigned bottom sheet following several rounds of input from the PMs and Engineers.

Reminders-V3-WIP-sketch-file-gray-bg
before-after-redesigned-reminder-bottom-sheet-2

Outcome

WHAT SHIPPED:

  • Updated, more user-friendly error message
  • Reduced bottom sheet sensitivity
  • Easy one-tap buttons on the Reminder card for the most commonly set time intervals according to analytics
  • Updated, more user-friendly error message
  • Reduced bottom sheet sensitivity
  • Easy one-tap buttons on the Reminder card for the most commonly set time intervals according to analytics

WHAT DIDN'T:

  • Redesigned Reminder bottom sheet: At the time, business leadership decided to shift development resources, so there ended up being insufficient engineering time and resources to implement the redesigned Reminder bottom sheet. I still wrote detailed documentation for engineering handoff in case the team can revisit this in the future.
  • Redesigned Reminder bottom sheet: At the time, business leadership decided to shift development resources, so there ended up being insufficient engineering time and resources to implement the redesigned Reminder bottom sheet. I still wrote detailed documentation for engineering handoff in case the team can revisit this in the future.
Screen Shot 2022-02-05 at 8.44.42 PM

Impact

Updating the error message led to a 95% reduction in errors on Android. Hooray! Now both mobile platforms had minimal errors.

Reducing the bottom sheet sensitivity improved usability across all bottom sheets, not only for Reminders, but also for those used to save Temperature, Symptoms, and Medication.

The updated Reminder card doubled the number of reminders set this way, meaning one less worry for parents caring for their sick kids.

Updating the error message led to a 95% reduction in errors on Android. Hooray! Now both mobile platforms had minimal errors.

Reducing the bottom sheet sensitivity improved usability across all bottom sheets, not only for Reminders, but also for those used to save Temperature, Symptoms, and Medication.

The updated Reminder card doubled the number of reminders set this way, meaning one less worry for parents caring for their sick kids.

Reflection

During the formative evaluation, I witnessed firsthand how different the app can look depending on a user's accessibility settings. It was a great reminder that when designing for mobile, the ideal UI is not necessarily going to be what the end user sees, so it’s crucial to consider how accessibility settings might impact the UX/UI.

I would have liked to ship the redesign and monitored its influence over key metrics, but the reality of working at a fast-paced startup is that not every project will ship. I still learned a lot in the process and wrote documentation for handoff should there be an opportunity in the future.

During the formative evaluation, I witnessed firsthand how different the app can look depending on a user's accessibility settings. It was a great reminder that when designing for mobile, the ideal UI is not necessarily going to be what the end user sees, so it’s crucial to consider how accessibility settings might impact the UX/UI.

I would have liked to ship the redesign and monitored its influence over key metrics, but the reality of working at a fast-paced startup is that not every project will ship. I still learned a lot in the process and wrote documentation for handoff should there be an opportunity in the future.

Android – Reminder Creation Errors
Android – Reminders set via Reminders card

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© 2022 yumi morii

© 2022 yumi morii