Key role: Product Design Lead, UX/UI Designer
Responsibilities: UX Research, Branding, Wireframing & Prototyping, UX Writing, Visual Design, CMS Architecture, Content Management, Project Management​​​​​​​
Project Description:
Epixlife is a platform that makes a unique service of Epigenetic Testing available to everyone.

Project Aim:
Create a website and platform from where the final customer would be able to order the epigenetic test, provide his sample back and receive the digital test results, ensuring a high satisfaction rate.
The list to deliver:
- Strong brand identity
- eCommerce Website
- Sample pick-up service
- Platform for clients
- Ensure engagement (Blog, Social Media Strategy)

1. Empathize
Both quantitative and qualitative research was made to find out more about the possible Epixlife users. We already knew that epigenetic tests can help those who want to optimize their well-being, find answers to when are trying to lose weight, experiencing digestive disorders or health problems, or balance diet / improve sports nutrition.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic has only started, we have seen a huge possibility to offer the epigenetic test for those who would like to strengthen their immune system.

We have investigated the online resources to know the statistical data for those who have tried the genetic testing / alternative medicine treatments and visited the nutritionist consultation. After doing some research we have identified that the alternative treatments are mostly used between 30 - 69 years (mostly 50 - 59 years), more by women than men. Among those who are seeking weight loss are mostly women as well, 40 - 59 years old.
The common reasons for losing weight included: improving overall health, improving appearance/the way their clothes fit, being more physically active, to live longer.

Taking into consideration the statistical data we made a conclusion that our users would range from 40 to 60 years (30 years minimum). We have selected 8 people to have a user interview with, among them 6 women and 2 men, those who would like to optimize their well-being and ever tried genetic testing / CAM treatments / have visited a nutritionist / paid for the nutritional plan. Among the questions asked were:

  - Have you ever tried genetic testing / or any kind of testing that offers nutritional adjustments? How was your experience, was it useful for you?
  - Have you ever paid a visit to a nutritionist / nutritional plan? How was your experience? Did you follow the recommendations / achieved the results? If not, which obstacles did you face?
  - Have you tried any CAM methods? If yes, which exactly? How was your experience? Did it help, did you achieve the expected result?
  - Epigenetic test (explain the benefits): would you try it? How much would it possibly cost? If you would get it, what would you expect? What are your expectations?

Many of the participants tried many things from the list, especially those who were seeking a solution for a specific health problem (if not their own - for the family members).

1. Those who asked for help from a nutritionist were mainly trying to lose weight.
2. Those who tried the genetic testing were doing it because they wanted to solve a specific health issue, but they did not know how to implement the results received.
3. Those who tried the genetic testing also tried some CAM methods: acupuncture, and homeopathy.
4. They try CAM treatments because they are looking for the answers that clinical doctors cannot give.
5. Those who want to lose weight said that they would try the "epigenetic diet" even if the weight loss is not going to be significant.
6. Those who want to lose weight would use the epigenetic test until they reach the desired result, and if they feel better with it than without it, they might continue doing it afterward (the same for those who would like to solve a specific health problem).

2. Define
User personas
We have defined 4 main profiles for our user personas - Claudia (Alternative), Lola (Lose weight), Fernando (chronic problems), and Jorje (professional athlete). 
Claudia is kind of a hippie, she has an open mindset, she likes to explore new things, she has a lot of empathy and she cares a lot about her family, she wants her closest people to be happy and healthy. She tries to eat healthily and stay physically active, sometimes she joins the group classes pilates or yoga. Claudia is our fan user, she is the one who would continue using epixlife and would recommend it to her friends and family. She would mainly use our test to optimize health, prevent diseases or help her family members with their health conditions.
Lola is a second target user of Epixlife. Lola wants to lose some weight and she tried every diet on this planet but still, it is going really hard for her. She thinks that the valid reason for her obesity lies down in her genetics. She is very jealous of those girls that can eat anything they want and do not get fat. She would use our test to find out more info and find answers to her obesity and follow the diet plan made in accordance with her gene expression.
Fernando is another Epixlife user, he could possibly be the husband of Claudia, that is suffering from a chronic health problem. Fernando has tried everything he could and has visited a clinical doctor several times, but could not find a solution for his constant digestive disorders combined with temporal psoriasis. He thinks that an epigenetic test might help to have different look at his situation and propose a different solution.
Jorje is a professional athlete. He would use the epigenetic report to optimise his sport diet and make sure that his body receives enough nutrients to support muscle growth, strength, and having more energy during the training. We do not focus on this user too much, because it is a very specific profile, but we are still going to mention this type of test at our website.
Fernando. Chronic health issues
Fernando. Chronic health issues
Claudia. CAM - Caring about others
Claudia. CAM - Caring about others
Lola. Fatty - desperate to lose weight
Lola. Fatty - desperate to lose weight
Empathy Map
In order to understand the users better and see their point of view, we have used the empathy map and defined what are the pains and the goals for each of the users.

Claudia - that her husband is not going to get a cure. If the treatment is trustworthy and effective. If he is not going to feel worse after it.
Lola - that it is hard to follow a diet. She does not have time for difficult recipes/meal planning.
Jorje - Losing the next competition. If his performance is getting worse. If he gets an injury.
Fernando - if there will be no result after following the recommendations.

Claudia - to see her husband healthy and happy, see him improve.
Lola - getting used to a new diet and lifestyle, losing some kilos, getting more confidence,
Jorje - having more energy, strength, and winning the competitions.
Fernando - improve health conditions, get more energy, less stress.
User needs... because
After we have sympathized with the user using the Empathy Map, we could define the needs of each of the users more precisely.
Claudia needs a method of disease prevention, a secret to longevity.
Fernando needs an alternative treatment, to see his health condition from another perspective, try something different from what he already tried. He also needs the support and 
Lola needs to try another way to get in shape.
3. Ideate
The first step to getting closer to the final solution was to create the mindmaps and draw everything that comes into the mind. In the end the ideas have spread down into 4 main categories:
1. Test - results from the epigenetic test (epigenetic markers, immune, cardiovascular, metabolic, intestinal systems, food sensitivity), result explanation, interpretation
2. Nutrition - foods recommendations according to test results, examples from practical measures on how much you need to eat of a certain food a day, shopping list, recipes, plates, weekly diet plan, calorie count
3. Follow-up - on days 30, 60, and 90 of the plan (required). Can be forms sent by email/ in the app/ in the platform/can be a check-up call with a nutritionist + track everyday emotions, sleep, food eaten, check if no of the foods introduced in the foods sensitivity list were consumed, check calorie intake if there are any digestive problems or no.
4. Goal - Improve overall health, lose weight, fight digestive/other problems, improve the quality of the skin, and improve sports performance.

The common solutions for the different types of needs would be:
1. Epigenetic Test that can tell you your needs at the cellular level.
2. Nutritional Plan with recommended foods, according to test results with the elimination diet to exclude the food sensitivities in combination with the weekly plan of recipes.
The common solutions for different type of needs would be:
1. Epigenetic Test that can tell you your needs at the cellular level.
2. Nutritional Plan with recommended foods, according to test results with the elimination diet to exclude the food sensitivities in combination with the weekly plan of recipes.

Success would be when the user follows the plan and:
- feels better, has more energy
- results are visible on body/skin appearance
- reached his initial goal (lost weight, improved sports performance, improved/solved health issues... etc.)

Failure would be when the client does not follow the plan and:
- does not notice any difference in well-being/ his appearance
- did not understand what to do/ it was too hard
- did not reach the initial goal
"How might we..."
In order to get more ideas we did the ideation session using the "How might we..." technique.
 "How can we...
- help the user to achieve the goal of improving health/losing weight/improve sports performance"
- create a diet for optimising overall wellness"
- create a diet for losing weight"
- create a diet to improve the sports performance"
The main solution is the diet based on the report results and adopted to the goal of a client (lose weight, gain muscle or improve wellbeing).
If the client wants to improve wellness, the diet would need to consist of a balanced nutritional intake, where the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins are calculated in accordance to average heathy intake for a specific body mass and age of the client + considering the foods from recommended foods nd food sensitivity sections.
If the client wants to lose weight, the diet would need to have less calories, and most likely less carbs and sugar. The diet should consider the recommended foods to make sure that there are enough nutrients.
If the client wants to gain muscle mass, the diet would need to have more proteins, and the "protein-rich" or "carb-rich" meals should be planned according to the training schedule (for example, cabs-rich meals before the training, protein-rich meals after the training).
In order to make sure that the client follows the recommendations, it is important to:
- provide the clear instructions on how to follow the diet plan (what to eat, how to eat, when to eat)
- provided a prepared food planning for the entire week
- give different options for recipes that would range from easy to complicated to cook
- regular contact with the nutritionist to check on the progress (follow-up day1, day30, day60)
- check-up daily the food consumed (selecting from list or uploading pictures).

Definition of the MVP
We have planned the MVP according to the needs of our main target users: Claudia (CAM, alternative) and Lola (lose weight).
As we needed to think about the way to prepare a personalized diet for a client, one way would be to develop a database of recipes and create an algorithm that would pick the right recipe according to test results (if it is developed good, there would be no need in nutritionist consultations) Another way, would be to use an already existing platform for making the diets, and the nutritionist would use it to provide the final diet plan to a client.
As the project had a soon deadline (5 months in total for development) and was going to be developed from 0 with the limited human resources, it was made a decision to make use of the platform DietaPRO to create the nutritional plans (Epixlife nutritionists would need to make the diet using this program, to be able to do it fast).

The MVP would need to obligatory consist of eCommerce web, payment integration, sampling kit, logistics service for sending the kit and sample pick-up, scheduling the sample pick-up from, instructions taking the sample (web and printed), test results in the platform, PDF of the results, result explanation, form to schedule a call with a nutritionist, integrate video calls (live to connect?), PDF with the weekly diet plan, shopping list, instructions for maximum calorie intake, recommendations on food choice, forms sent via email to check up on the progress at day1, 30, 60 and 90.
Additional features:
chat with the support team, upload pictures of the results, share with a friend and get a discount
Next level:
A food plan with recipes on the platform, a shopping list according to selected recipes, examples of the amount of food to be eaten to get enough of a certain nutrient (directed to optimize wellness), and examples of how much exercise should be made in order to burn more calories (directed to lose weight), food planning depending on the training schedule (required to optimize sports performance).
Company Vision and Mission
Once we knew the value proposition of the product, we could proceed with defining the company's values, its vision, and mission. To do that, we have answered 3 questions: why? how? what?
Why? Because we want to help people to live longer, happier lives/ make the world a happier place/ help to reach the best version of yourself.
How? Promote the culture of prevention where you can live according to your gene expression and minimize the adverse effects of the environment and stress on your body/ make epigenetic testing more accessible to everyone
What? Thanks to the nutritional Optimisation Plan based on the results of the Epigenetic Test you can do without leaving your own house.
Our Vision
We want to make the lives of millions of people healthier, happier, and longer.​​​​​
Our Mission
Our mission is to teach people to live according to their gene expression and make the epigenetic testing technology available to everyone to use it as a tool of prevention.
Final Concept of the Logo
It took many discussions to agree on the final company name and the logo but at the end the "Epixlife" seemed the best version, as it is combining "epi" (that could mean Epic or Epigenetics, Epigenomics) + "life" (as we help people to change their lifestyle, improve their lives and live according to their gene expression). 

The main brand colors consisted of Bright Teal, Light Blue, Pink, and Dark Blue. As we already knew that our target user personas are women, there was no problem to use the pink color as the contrast, which could be associated with women, beauty, or fitness, in combination with the teal and blue colors that give a perception of something technological, medical, "from the future".
4. Prototype
Planning the user flows
Before proceeding with making prototypes of the platform screens we have planned the entire user journey from the moment he discovers our product to the moment when he finishes his optimization plan.
User Flows
First, we focused on creating all the necessary user flows to complete the purchase, deliver and pick-up up the kit, register inside the platform, and deliver the test results. After that, we have been working on planning the user flows inside the platform (when the client first enters the platform, when he starts his optimization plan and when he finishes it).
`Example of the Flow: Register Kit 
Before proceeding to the actual designing of the prototypes in Adobe XD, we recreated all the necessary user flows with the paper prototypes to understand the entire picture and plan the number of screens and templates to be done. Once we had a clear idea of all the processes, we started working on the design components and screens in Adobe XD.
Creating the Design System
Style Guide
To make the designing process more efficient, we have prepared the Style Guide according to the Epixlife Corporate identity, using Poppins and Avenir Next as the main fonts, and proposed other web-compatible font options to make sure that the designs look good from any browser and operating system.
The colors were arranged in 3 groups: the colors used for the UI (buttons, icons, etc. on the website and platform), colors for the background and marketing assets, and colors for each section of the report (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, microbiome, interference and toxins).

Design Components
 the design components were mainly used for the website and the navigation across the website and platform (buttons, inputs, checkboxes, elements at the navigation panel), and then we're adding more components to it meanwhile designing the platform.
Testing with users
Once we had our first prototype of the platform, we gathered feedback from some people that have participated in the interview during the research process. A few things that they have mentioned were: 
1. In the Diagram with the summary of results they could not clearly understand the meaning and levels of the columns. 
2. Even though there is a list of recommended foods in each of the test result sections, they were missing a page with all the recommended foods gathered in one place, in order to see clearly which foods they can combine together and plan their next shopping list.
3. There were missing some guidance in the navigation to move across different result sections, and sometimes they were missing some results because simply did not get to that page.

Improvements made:
1. We have recolored the columns of the diagram using the traffic light colors to show the (from red to green) to show the level of the prioritization for each of the report sections.
2. Created another section with all the recommended foods from all the result sections separated into food groups: vegetables, fruits, meat products, milk products and eggs, fish and seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds, cereals, drinks, plants, other.
3. At the end of each of the report section we have added the block to proceed to the next section to make sure that the user check everything what is available inside the platform.

You may also like

Back to Top