My work at IBM centered on healthcare and wellness initiatives. As one of the first dedicated user experience designers at the IBM Research headquarters, I led UX design on various projects and demonstrated how design methods could be integrated into IBM’s research process. Across numerous projects, I collaborated with a mix of external corporate clients and key internal business units. 

Due to the confidential nature of my work, I cannot publicly disclose most details of these projects, however the methods I employed are universally applicable.


The Future of Healthcare at Home

Much of the mystery around disease progression can be solved with earlier and better symptom detection. The Internet of Things, the connected home, and wearables are creating a link between clinicians and patient lives. 

Bots can be programmed to manage standardized and scripted work, freeing clinicians to focus on the situations that need care and a human touch.


Behavior Change Research

We explored behavior change and habit formation strategies, and how those could impact people’s lifestyles. I led a research study to test habit techniques and understand how people integrate new behaviors into their lives.

Collaborating with researchers, we took on the problem of monitoring. Whether it be monitoring food intake, blood pressure, or weight, it's always a challenge to measure and record consistently. We had two hypotheses about factors that could impact the weight monitoring behavior: (1) a digitally connected weight scale versus a manual scale and (2) a personal coach. 

We designed a mobile app for people to record their weight measurements and allowed for messaging with their coach. We found that the smart weight scale, which was integrated with the app, had a positive impact on adherence. To learn more:

Factors that Help and Hinder a Daily Weighing and Reporting Behavior
Late Breaking Work, CHI 2017

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 We considered different theories of behavior change including the Transtheoretical Model, the Self-Determination Theory, and Information-Motivation-Strategy Model. 

We considered different theories of behavior change including the Transtheoretical Model, the Self-Determination Theory, and Information-Motivation-Strategy Model. 


Service Design

My team’s products were developed with the entire healthcare ecosystem in mind. Leading the big picture, I used service design tools to explain our products within the larger healthcare context. 


Process

IBM Design Thinking was the foundation of my process:

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Focus on user outcomes
We drove each project from the end user perspective. Their experience is always first priority.

Multidisciplinary teams
We collaborated in teams of researchers, designers, engineers, and business subject-matter experts.

Restless reinvention
Research, design, prototype, test — we moved through these phases continuously, and often in parallel.


About IBM Research

The primary focus of IBM Research is on future problems and technologies. It is the largest industrial research lab in the world and credited with some of IBM’s best work including the floppy disk and Watson. I regularly conducted educational workshops for researchers and championed the importance of human-computer interaction and user experience

 

Photo Credit: © Andrea De Martin | Dreamstime.com