Inclusive Design
School Project

Medication management ecosystem designed for seniors with dementia to ease the process of taking medicine

Project Philosophy

Be born to be assistive, not attractive.


Among the many household tasks which are necessary to support senior independence at home, medication management is repeatedly ranked one of the most crucial and challenging tasks for seniors with mixed dementia due to memory factors and physical coordination

MediGo underwent several ideation iterations before landing on its final form: a combination of physical dispenser and digital app solution designed for direct use by seniors with mixed dementia while involving the helpful support of family caregivers. It provides seniors with mixed dementia a solution that empowers their independence, supports their safety, and enhances their daily life enjoyment.


  • Aug 2022 - Dec 2022


  • Leah Shi
  • Flynn Tan
  • Iris Xu
  • Bo Zhang

My Role

  • Design system
  • Prototyping


  • Figma
  • UserTesting
  • Shapr3D 

Problem Statement

"How can we help seniors with mild mixed dementia manage their daily tasks and live independently?"

Design Process

Design System
Exploratory Research
In-Depth Research


We kicked off our project with the goal of empowering seniors with mixed dementia who want to live at home independently. This was a super broad scope so we planned to start off with a round of interviews to see what the issues are that are waiting for us to solve.

We wanted to gather insights from seniors with dementia, but we found it challenging to obtain their input because we were unable to connect with seniors who were interested in speaking with us within a short timeframe. As a result, we decided to talk to caregivers instead.

As a team, we conducted interviews with 5 caregivers in total and I moderated one of them.


It's impossible to design for seniors with dementia without considering their caregivers because their lives are interwoven with each other.

  • Medication management is a critical problem to be addressed.
  • It is important to consider senior people’s memory loss and degenerated senses, including mobility and visual.
  • Current caregiving solutions involve a balance of physical and emotional support and independent activities so that the senior can have some choice, dignity, and independence.
  • Safety and mental health of the seniors are the top goals for caregivers to help with seniors’ daily tasks and independence at home.
  • Caregivers find it challenging to know about seniors' needs and feedback.


Based on the insights we got after talking to 5 caregivers, we noticed that medicine management is a huge pain point that we want to target. From here, we finally narrowed down our scope.

Design a solution for seniors with mixed dementia to ease the medicine-taking process so that the independence of both seniors and their caregivers can be increased.

Design Strategies

Also, we came up with a set of design strategies targeting at the issues we identified after talking to caregivers.

  • Memory Loss
    Accessible Information
  • Degenerated senses
    High error tolerance for seniors
  • Lack of physical & emotional support
    Engaging & relieveing experience
  • Hard to communicate with seniors
    Set up a channel to connect
  • Cannot coordinate multiple tasks
    An integrated platform as a service
  • Imbalanced levels of independence
    High flexibility for caregivers

User Journey Map

We created a user journey map to visualize the current process that seniors and caregivers go through in order to manage seniors' medication. This map helped us identify opportunities to address pain points and create a better medicine management experience for both seniors and caregivers.

Phases of the journey we should touch upon

There are a lot of unhappinesses showing up throughout the entire journey but among the three phases we have identified, taking medicine is where the most challenges arise.

Create/Update the Medication Schedule
Take Medicine
Track/Record Side Effects & Biometrics


Crazy 8's

After seeing the pain points and opportunities, we conducted a brainstorming session to generate ideas using Crazy 8's method.

What we found in common
Physical Device
Mobile Application

User Flow & Information Architecture

We decided to combine user flows and information architecture diagrams to visualize the process of users’ actions, what screens they would interact with, and what information they would see during the interaction.

By creating this, we were able to visualize how our solution, consisting of an app and a smart medicine dispenser, can be seamlessly integrated into the medication-taking process for seniors and their caregivers.

Information we wanted to provide to support

Design System & Prototype


Deciding on specific screens and relevant information, we sketched low-fidelity prototypes and storyboards of interacting with the machine. We divided our work. Among these, I took charge of the physical taking-medicine journey.

After we finished individual sketches, we made design critiques of each other’s work to provide new insights and improve our designs.

Take medicine - Medicine dispenser
Take medicine - Mobile
Revision needed

Here is the list of improvements we discussed during our design critique session that we plan to execute.

  • More detailed, rational machine model
  • More illustrations to support the understanding of instructions
  • More cohesive connection between the mobile app and the physical device to build an integrated ecosystem


Based on the team feedback, I iterated on the sketches to wireframes, as well as having a physical device mock-up with screens to better understand how it works and connects to the mobile app.

Medicine dispenser - 3D Model
Take medicine - Medicine dispenser
Take medicine - Mobile

Design system

Before dividing the work of converting wireframes into hi-fi prototypes within the team, to design with ease and consistency, I developed a design system, which includes content guidelines, color palette, typography, layout, spacing, iconography, and components.

Content guidelines
Use simple, clear, direct, and precise headings and labels
Avoid generic instructions and complexities
Use positive and encouraging language
Avoid using abbreviations and acronyms
Color scheme

I tweaked the color palette of our design for a set of tints and shades to make sure it passed the WCAG 2.1 color and contrast requirements.

  • Sans-serif font
  • Larger text sizes (and higher contrasts)
  • Avoid using multiple fonts

I used one grid style throughout the whole system. The 8-point layout grid systems we ended up with can help both designer and developer to work much faster on a project.


I used principles of 4/8 point: 4px / 8px / 16px / 24px / 32px / 40px and so on for all padding and margin between elements to make the design neat and clean. UI can also look logical (developers-friendly), attractive, and beautiful with this spacing system.


While I was picking up the icons that I wanted to use in the system, I wanted to make sure the icons were easy to read/identify to give seniors with dementia a sense of familiarity. 

To eliminate confusion, I wanted to add labels to every icon. The way I labeled the icons follows a principle, which is to start with a verb (“add”) and follow with a subject (“prescription”) so that users can know what to do next.


I built up a UI component library with a set of reusable master components to enable consistent design. It helps MediGo to scale effectively without requiring frequent additions or rework of design assets and files while maintaining a consistent UI system.

Hi-fi prototype

After I set up the design system, we, as a team, incorporated our visual elements into high-fidelity prototypes.

Take medicine - Medicine dispenser
Take medicine - Mobile

Outcome - A seamless medication management journey

Add prescription

Starting off with adding a prescription, a prescription can be added to the app easily in two ways: by scanning the prescription or by interacting with a voice assistant to input the necessary details.

Set up reminders

After adding a prescription, users can set up a reminder to remind them to take the medicine at the appropriate time.

Take medicine - Mobile

When it's time to take medicine, users receive a notification on their lock screen. They can dispense pills using their mobile device, and the app also provides step-by-step instructions on how to take the pills. Once they're done, users can track their symptoms and see their progress for each day.

Take medicine - Medicine dispenser

Similar instructions on how to take pills will be provided on the medicine dispenser, and it will also show how to interact with the machine to make the process less overwhelming.

“I especially love how the app is designed and its layout and visual aids, very modern, and everything is big enough so everyone can read it, including those with visual impairments.”

Lessons Learned

Accessible Design System

Accessibility should be integrated into the design process from the very beginning.

Physical Device Iteration

It's important to take the unique needs of seniors into consideration.

Seamless Physical and Digital Experiences

A connected ecosystem seamlessly stitches together physical and digital products and systems into a cohesive experience for users.

Next Steps

Usability Testing with Real Users

We were unable to speak with real users due to time constraints. Conducting usability testing with seniors would provide us with additional insights and allow us to iterate our design more effectively.

Physical Ergonomics of Physical Device

Ergonomic factors should be considered in its design in later stages to ensure that it is safe, efficient, and comfortable for users to operate.

Screen reader compatibility

Screen reader compatibility is another important aspect to consider when developing an application to ensure that it is accessible to users with visual impairments or disabilities.