Smart Omix - Mobile

  • Role - Product Designer
  • Project Type - Mobile app
  • Duration - Ongoing/Launched
  • Team - Full-stack Developers, Data and Machine Learning Scientists, Product and Project Managers, Clinicians, Sales and Marketing

The Smart Omix Mobile App is the companion app to the Smart Omix Web SaaS platform for decentralized real-world clinical research. The app provides cutting edge research to anyone with access to a smartphone and allows participants to contribute seamlessly to clinical research and report their experiences using text, audio, or video. The information collected for researchers is tremendously valuable in contributing to groundbreaking health research that will help millions lead longer and healthier lives.

Why should we care?

The global clinical trials market size was estimated at USD 44.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2021 to 2028. Key factors that are driving the market growth include the adoption of new technology in clinical trials, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and demand from developing countries. Smart Omix focuses on the custom studies space as a way to democratize clinical research by lowering the barrier to participation.

Smart Omix Mobile specifically focuses on participant touchpoints,
giving anyone enrolled in a clinical research study a way to contribute to health research in a more accessible and scalable way than ever before.

What should we offer?

We learned from an earlier study we conducted on Myasthenia Gravis (MG) patients, 78% of participants were interested in an app to monitor flares and symptoms and that daily check-ins were a useful tool to track symptoms over time. This learning catapulted the potential for broadening the use of an app to monitor a myriad of other conditions as well. The challenge then became creating a mobile app that empathizes with the clinical study participant’s experience, and bringing what is typically done in an analog setting into a remote digital environment. 

First, we wanted to learn from competitors in the clinical research market about how they’ve addressed this challenge with a particular lens through empathy, engagement, and motivation. We decided to dissect the designs for Evidation and Apple Research, two leaders in the clinical research market, and learned
achievement is a huge factor in holding people accountable, and that people become motivated by contributing advancements to health science.

Learning from potential users

Based on previously conducted user interviews with potential users, we created an affinity diagram to converge some of the thoughts and ideas we had into research questions we wanted to address.  We learned that the most common motivations were health, money, and contribution to science and proceeded to create a venn diagram to further converge insights, observations, and findings into separate personas.

We ultimately landed on a single persona, Sophie Chan, who was a culmination of common motivations based on the venn diagram. Based on the user research, we identified a handful of challenges, including:

  • Time. Although Sophie only works part time, she spends a good amount of time juggling her health (appointments, blood draws, and rest time) which means she is time poor. How can we make it convenient for her?
  • Language. How do we curate the language to get the tone right and make the users feel safe and confident in answering questions?
  • Impact. The outcomes of the research may have a direct impact on the paticipants, even if it has a long lead time. How can we affirm this value of the data to the users? Is there a way we can show outcomes of trials or research?

Working with the product manager and developers, we drafted an initial list of basic functionality tasks paths that informed the initial informational architecture for the app and the basis of the initial UI.


The following designs address some critical edge cases brought upon by development and product:

Making the study state more transparent

Notifying participants that their study enrollment has closed upon being invited

Developers had identified a scenario in which users view study invitations at the same time enrollment has closed. We addressed this with a modal indicating that enrollment for the study has closed and an additional toast and badge notifying the user that enrollment has closed for a specific study.

A feed expanding on the different states that a study could be in

The initial iteration of the Studies feed was very simple and only included sections for Invited and Active. We later learned though that these weren't enough to categorize the complexity of the different states that studies could be in. As a result, we expanded the feed to include a section for completed and withdrawn studies, renaming Active to "Accepted" to better accommodate the range of states an active study could be in, and including badges to indicate such states.

Structuring the main feed based on priority and maintaining engagement

A feed showing a prioritized list of study tasks

The first iteration was a simple list of all available and completed tasks, but we learned that this feed would start to become overwhelming quickly as more tasks are available and completed. To address this, for available tasks , we would only reveal the most current tasks along with an indicator of adherence (i.e. how much of the tasks they still have yet to complete). For completed tasks, we would hide all but the recent completed task in a separate page so it doesn't take unnecessary space in the feed.

Accounting for system loading errors

Notifying users when a completed task can't be saved

This scenario was brought upon developers who pointed out that we needed to address the case for when participants can't save their progress on task due to backend problems. We learned that we needed a separate page that would act as a way to save the full task and create a separate page for the error itself. Giving participants the ability to refresh and exit was important to provide them actions to move forward with when something did go wrong. It was also an opportunity to be transparent about what it means to leave the flow before saving.

Next Steps

Gathering user feedback and analytics

To continue evaluate how users are interacting with the product. Analyzing usage patterns, user behavior, and feedback to understand what users like and dislike about the product and how it can be improved.

Evaluating business impact

Working with sales and marketing to evaluate sales figures, revenue growth, and customer acquisition, and document feedback for improvement

Project Takeaways

Creating products for participants in clinical research requires deep empathy

Unlike users of other types of consumer apps, participants in clinical research often come with complex health challenges that we have to be mindful of, and on top of that, not every participant or study is the same. This brings forth a huge challenge of creating a product that addresses all of this in a equitable and safe way.

Work closely with developers and subject matter experts to catch edge cases that are overlooked in the initial iterations

There are countless edge cases and they vary from domain to domain, so it's important to get constant feedback from SMEs and developers to make sure the designers catch things that may not be readily apparent.