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Design For Accessibility


Project Type



Jun - Aug, 2021


4 researchers,

1 Designer

My Role

UX Research, UX Design, UI Design, Physical Prototyping, Usability Testing, Hi-Fi Prototyping.


People taking daily medications experience a lot of difficulties managing their medication. We found that other team members and some of their loved ones experience similar difficulties in their families. On further research, we found the commonality of this problem and it piqued our curiosity for this accessibility and inclusive research and design project. 

How might we help people suffering from memory disorders  manage their daily medication better

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We created a holistic solution that consists of a medicine pillbox and a mobile reminder app that will streamline the tasks of storing, carrying, and consuming medicine.

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Conceptualizing the Problem

The Problem

The idea for this project stems from a personal experience of taking care of my grandfather suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's. Struggling with memory challenges, my grandfather found it difficult to organize and manage his own medication using a standard plastic pillbox.

We set out to understand how we can improve the experience of people who take daily medication, especially those who have memory challenges or those with physical dexterity challenges in the hands or fingers, by making their medication management easier.

Design Process







Literature review
Market Research


User Research

Contextual Interviews
Co-design Session



Brainstorming Storyboards

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Hi-Fi Prototype

Final Prototype


Lo-Fi Prototype

Physical Prototype
Usability Study

Understanding the Users

Market Research

The team conducted market research to analyze the current industry trends and available tools for medicine management. We researched about a wide range of products from the cheap and most commonly used pill boxes to expensive, fully automated pill dicpensers.

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Contextual Interviews

We engaged in contextual interviews with two participants who manage their own medications to learn more about their experiences. Each had different memory-related disorders and manage more than one prescription for oral medication. Both also utilize an AM/PM color-coded plastic pillbox. After collecting all the information about their daily habits, we performed affinity mapping to identify important themes in their behavior and the pain points.

Focus On User's Lived Experiences

We discussed the three key task scenarios that we would test with the users in each prototyping stage. Storyboards were effectively used to help the team envision user experience “moments” that our study participants experienced.

Scenario 1

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Filling the pill container with medications for the week

Refilling the medication pill box is an essential part of medication management. Both participants described having a process of refilling their pill boxes after a certain amount of time. We wanted to brainstorm around how this task could be made easier and understand the usability interactions with the prototypes.

Scenario 2

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Refilling the pillbox with new prescriptions and setting reminders

This task was related to how reminders are integrated into medication management. We wanted to brainstorm ideas of how an alarm could be part of the medication pill box itself and other ideas of medication reminders.

Scenario 3

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The process of extracting and consuming medicine from the box for the specified day

This task targeted the participant being able to locate a specific day, part of the day, and also be able to dispense the medication. This task allowed us to brainstorm around the physical aspects of the prototype in retrieving the medication as well as the usability of the labelling system.


Co-design Session

Gaining insights from the interviews, we conducted 60-minute co-design sessions with our participants on Zoom. To encourage critical thinking, we asked users to envision the three scenarios based on their lived experiences with medication management. For the participants to better understand the scenarios, we also presented storyboards and walked them through the user flows.

Design 1


- Reminders that play music when it's time to take medicine.

- Different days are color-coded for better identification.

- Integration with mobile devices for better reminders.

- Proximity reminders so they don't misplace.

Design 2


- Larger cubby holes.

- Sliding tray cover instead of small caps.

- Customizable number of trays based on requirements.

- Single-piece design, easy to travel with.

Concept Design

Research Findings

Key Insights

Gaining insights from our market research, contextual interviews, and co-design sessions, we engaged in holistic analysis to arrive at a few key insights. These insights will also act as our design goals for this study.


The design needs to be cost effective

"I can't spend more than $30 on a pillbox"


The design needs to be portable and durable

"I want to be able to throw it into my purse and not worry about breaking it"


Need for a smartphone reminder application

"The box is not always with me, It's stored on the bathroom counter. But my phone is always near me and I can hear my alarms on it better"


The pillbox needs to be trackable

"Sometimes I misplace my pillbox and cant remember where I kept it. Last week I had forgotten it at my sister's"


The design needs to be ergonomic and easy to handle

"I have tremors on my hands. It is very difficult to fill up and take out medicine from the pillbox when the compartments are so small"

Ideation and Concept Design

Physical Prototype

Our aim was to have a physical prototype that the users can hold and operate. We wanted to test out the ergonomics of the product by having the users perform activities like filling up the pillbox and extracting pills from the box.

Usability Testing

Lo-Fi Prototype

We created lo-fi prototypes for the medicine and tracking app that will allow features like medication management, pill box tracking and alarm reminders.


Testing Our Concept

Usability Testing Of The Physical Prototype

Our participants were pleased to see a working prototype. They were able to fill the pillbox with their own medications and gave us feedback on her interaction and experience. 


Filling the box

  • Easy and convenient to remove the entire tray to refill the box.

  • Usually purchases two pill boxes as the refill process is time-consuming.

  • Likes the idea of a more customizable box as pill schedules can vary.


Taking the medicine

  • The pull tabs, while convenient to slide out the tray, might hinder the removal of medicines from the lower trays.

  • Likes that the box is easy to grip and overturn in the hand.


Usability Testing Of The Digital Prototype

  • The participant is able to set up alarms for their daily medication with ease.

  • Participants are not confident tracking or ordering their medicine subscriptions with the help of the app and would prefer human intervention.

  • Participants recollect losing or forgetting their pill boxes and feel that the 'find' feature would be helpful.

  • Participants feel that matching color coding with the app and the pill box helps them better differentiate the medicines and would greatly reduce error.

Final Prototype
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Final Design Solution

Design Principles

Our final prototype stemmed from four main design principles


Dumb But Loyal


Easy To Use





Colors and Typography

The solution needs to create a feeling of trust and ease of use. The color blue is associated with credibility, trust,  calm, and focus. All these qualities are valued in the medical community and are often used by healthcare providers. We also used iterations of orange, yellow, and blue to color match the physical prototype and make it easier to identify between different doses of medicine.

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Logo Design

The product needs to exude qualities like trust, portability, ease of use. The bold words Medi and  Go, with the dot over the 'i' replaced by the '+' sign, create a design that users can easily associate with the product and its values of healthcare, portability and ease of use.

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Here you can see some of the icons and button designs, and some card layouts. My focus was on readability, understandability, ergonomics, and association to the physical pill box.

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Final Physical Prototype

Gaining insights from the usability testing, I could create an updated product design.

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  • Color-coding and nomenclature for differentiation between time and day.

  • The medicine trays can completely removed from the box to aid refilling.

  • The pull tabs are arranged vertically on the side of the tray to aid easy pill removal.

  • Ergonomic form factor for easy extraction of pills  by simply overturning the box. 


Hi-Fi Digital Prototype

Conducting usability tests on the lo-fi prototypes, we gained important insights from our participants on their experience of using digital apps for medication management. I could then create high fidelity prototypes incorporating branding and design systems into our digital solution.

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Log-in and Home screens

  • Sign-in with email or other accounts to create a MediGo account.

  • View daily medicine schedule and progress on the home page.


  • Create, edit reminders based on your medication plan.

  • Reminders with instructions to make medicine consumption easy

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Profile and Pill Box

  • Connect pill box to your smartphone via bluetooth and wifi.

  • Customize reminder tone and volume based on personal preference.

Reports and Find Pill Box

  • View weekly reports to monitor your progress.

  • Easily locate pill box in case of loss.

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What Went Well

  • Our interviews and co-design session were very helpful. These sessions made us realize that the solution needs to cover a two different touchpoints, storing and consuming medicine with our physical pill box and scheduling the medicine with our digital app.

  • Being able to test the physical prototype with the participant, and see her reaction, needs, and pain points helped us gain meaningful insights. 

What I Would Do Differently

  • If we had more time and budget, I could have had a bigger pool of participants. This way we could scale up the study to dig deeper into issues that more people with memory disabilities might encounter. This way have more inclusive outcome.

  • I would iterate to design for more than just oral pills and include other types of health aids and prescription medicines.

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