Empowering patients to track their physical and psychological reactions to new prescriptions


At the Society of Woman Engineers (SWE) first Hackathon, I worked on a team of four other designers to prototype a mobile application that helps young adults keep track of the physical and psychological side effects of prescribed medications. 

Our prototype won the award for "Best User Experience" at the Hackathon. 

Problem statement

Spectrum was built to address the needs of adults who are prescribed medicines with side effects that include mood swings and depression, like birth control, antidepressants, ADHD medication, and hormone therapy.  


People with health concerns often trade one problem for a plethora of side effects.  Spectrum helps users keep track of those symptoms so that the patient can be aware of how new prescriptions are affecting their body both physically and emotionally, and so that they can share that information effectively with their doctors.  Spectrum is a daily dose of self-care that helps users reflect on the physical and emotional side effects of unpredictable medications.


Before we began our designs, we wanted to be really clear about the goals of our project.  We wanted to create a solution that: 

  • Limits disruption in the life of the user

  • Tracks physical and emotional state of the user

  • Helps the user understand and communicate their experiences to doctors

  • Promotes self-care.

Doctor recommends a patient to use Spectrum, and they use it before they go to bed to report their days symptoms



The group split again to brainstorm preliminary screens and functions before coming together to discuss our respective ideas. 


During this phase, we made decisions about what kinds of questions would be asked and added the ability for users to add medications to their account.  We also decided to display trends in calendar form so that the user could easily view changes over time.

Interface sketches showing home screen, daily reports, calendar trends, and a list of the user's medications


The next step of this project was to create wireframes for the screens of the mobile application.  Because of limited time, our group spent about an hour on this level of fidelity. 

Wireframes for Spectrum mobile application

Interface Design

We finished up this project by creating higher-fidelity interface design.  We chose cool colors to give the application a soothing presence. 

We combined our interfaces into an interactive prototype using the Marvel prototyping application. 

Future Steps

I found this project very meaningful and would love to continue working with this user group. 


If given the opportunity to continue this project, the first priority would be to conduct user research with young adults with new prescriptions or lifestyle changes.  I want to conduct interviews to support design decisions or inform new iterations. 


Afterwards, I would want to conduct usability testing with the target group to test the efficacy of the design.  


My team received an award for "Best User Experience" for our prototype of Spectrum.  I believe our solution was recognized for its social relevance and for the team's display of empathy for the user group.  


I believe that this project was strong because the team set clear goals for our solution that we came back to throughout the process.  This allowed us to create an effective solution that addressed the needs of an underserved group. 

Certificate for "Best User Experience" at the SWE Hackathon


I worked on this 10 hour project with a group of students I had not worked with before.  In order to create an effective solution, we had to rapidly establish group norms.  We did this by sharing food and academic advice, and by talking about issues that we were passionate about, which also lead us to develop our problem statement. 

aboone06@uw.edu | (971) 732 9246

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