Oble

Helping families better manage asthma with smart technology 

oble-landing2

Role

Research, Ideation, 3D Design, Visuals, Prototyping

Timeline

October-December (3 Months)

Tools Used

Sketch, Principle, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Cinema 4D and Maya

As someone who personally battled with the effects of asthma in their childhood, I remember how hard it was to use the inhalers to treat the disease. When an opportunity became available to design an easier experience for this treatment, it felt natural to find a better solution to this long-lasting problem.

As someone who personally battled with the effects of asthma in their childhood, I remember how hard it was to use the inhalers to treat the disease. When an opportunity became available to design an easier experience for this treatment, it felt natural to find a better solution to this long-lasting problem.

The Problem

The process of asthma treatment is complex. Using an inhaler can be daunting as it is very specific, has several confusing steps, and the breathing technique is often unusual and uncomfortable to the user. This results in only 50% of users knowing how to use these inhalers properly. For children, parents have to purchase additional air chambers to assist them with taking the medication efficiently, making it very inconvenient. Additional problems of inhalers include social stigmas of carrying an inhaler, not knowing when an inhaler runs out of medicine, and parents having no way of knowing if their children are using their medication correctly. 

A design challenge emerged....

How might we design a product for childhood asthma that is easy to use, empowering to children, and helpful to parents?

How might we design a product for childhood asthma that is easy to use, empowering to children, and helpful to parents?

The Solution

Oble is an easy to use, friendly smart inhaler designed for children (aged 5-12) that combines  the standard inhaler with the spacer into a single product. With it's companion app, Oble can help assist children taking the medication more efficiently without any prior assembly, and is embedded with bluetooth technology that allows parents to track the device's usage and how well their child is doing on an everyday basis.

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The product is personalizable with different replaceable silicone animal characters and stickers, making it appealing for kids to carry around and also inspire them to regularly use their medications.

The accompanying companion app helps parents monitor their child's everyday Oble usage while tracking their breathing efficiency (tidal volume) and setting up alerts when the medication needs replacement.

iphone-mockup

Research

Research

To create our product we started with education and conversation. Talking to different parents, pharmicists, doctors and other involved parties helped us better understand asthma and the daily challenges that families face on an everyday basis. We then created a PACT analysis that helped our team get a better insight on asthma in general, and what issues we wished to improve upon. From this analysis and research, we established different user personas for our product. These helped us get a better sense of who were designing for.

After this research, we established ideation questions for what we wanted to improve upon with our product and companion app. Some of these questions include:

How might we design a product that is friendly, fun and approachable to children ages 5-12?
How might we help parents better manage their child's asthma?
How might we simplify the experience of using complex inhalers?
How might we use Oble to ensure children's safety is not being jeopardized?

Ideation

Ideation

We began the ideation process with our questions in mind and started to develop how this new product might look like and how it would solve these challenges. After several rounds of development and lots of feedback from parents, colleagues and professors, we created our final product sketches and I went to work 3D designing the final printed mold.

Physical Product

Physical Product

Our final product has a friendly tone and the removable silicon characters allow children to use their asthma medication without worry of being looked down upon. Instead of being embarassed about having asthma, they can get the right treatment confidently, whether at school, home or anywhere else they go.

artboard

How does it work?

A visual walkthrough of Oble and it's features

The App

The App

The Oble companion app is designed for parents to help administer their child's health. By tracking their breathing efficiency (tidal volume) with each use, the app also offers breathing practice to help getting better with using Oble, if the child is having any problems. A report can also be exported as a document to share with their doctor.

appmockup

4 Simple Userflows

4 Simple Userflows

Four user flows that show how the user experience differs from first time and returning users.  

Four user flows that show how the user experience differs from first time and returning users.  

Dynamic User Onboarding

A simple and delightful user experience for first time users when pairing their Oble with the app and creating their child's profile.

Quickly understand Oble's features

Information on different sections help users with get familiar to the different features that the app offers.

A better way to track and manage a child's asthma treatment

Easily compare weekly and monthly usage with detailed reports, as well as the efficiency of each use. Tracking this data can help both parents and doctors understand the severity of asthma better.

Easily improve a child's breathing efficiency through practice

Oble measures the volume of air that is inhaled with every use. This helps with tracking children's breathing efficiency with each use. Whenever the child is having problems using the device, a parent gets an alert so they can practice with them and get better results.

Promotional Marketing Video

Promotional Marketing Video

We created a short video to help quickly explain Oble to interested parents.

We created a short video to help quickly explain Oble to interested parents.

Reflection

This project was entirely collaborative, meaning every part of our final designs came from input from each other, our intended users, and the professional feedback of professors. It was a really great experience as we all had different skills and this allowed us to elevate our product higher than what we ever could of done alone. By working as a team, Oble became much more than just a single product but a full-on brand.

I personally learned so much throughout the course of the project, but I think the best part of this project was the opportunity to work on something that was meaningful and could impact real users. Asthma can be an incredible pain to deal with, and as a former user of inhalers I knew how difficult it was to use the products correctly.

The project is not with out its faults, but to design something that has lived up to the vision we set out for is the best I could of hoped for.

Key Takeaway

Collaboration is the key to great results. When you combine your best skills with others, you can evolve a product from good to truly compelling. 

Collaboration is the key to great results. When you combine your best skills with others, you can evolve a product from good to truly compelling. 

carsondavidyoung@gmail.com

carsondavidyoung@gmail.com

carsondavidyoung@gmail.com