Remote Collaboration


Designing for Remote Use


COVID-19 has created both opportunity and challenge for people living with diabetes.

Our students undertook to discover these rising questions and improvement opportunities to patients’ continuous glucose monitors through a need-finding approach. Students swiftly adapted to the “new normal” video communication practices to conduct interviews, develop personas, empathy maps, and user journeys through weekly workshops with Dexcom stakeholders.  

Dexcom provided our team with key insight, support, and guidance throughout the design challenge. 

From Product and Customer Experience managers to Data Science and UX Design managers, their multidisciplinary experiences and expertise offered students mentorship that encouraged learning, constructive feedback, and dynamic designs.

“The design students developed some really exciting prototypes! They have come a long way and we’ve enjoyed learning with them.”
Alex Diener, Director of UXD, Dexcom

The first step was to listen, learn and understand.

The challenges of managing diabetes are complicated and multidimensional. It was important for our students to understand these challenges from multiple points of view. Students interviewed and learned from people living with diabetes, their families, and healthcare providers. These lessons filled in the gaps for their design approaches. 

“Thank you all for the work you're doing. It's both the big things and the little things that make living with diabetes every day a little better.”
Chris, Participant


Over several weeks, four teams met remotely to build on patients’ insights and define potential troubleshooting designs. 

Team Follow

Problem: How might we engage younger users and assert their independence?

Deliverable: A refreshing approach with playful interaction and strong visual design to encourage engagement and new users.

Members: Aaron Truong, Lillian Nguyen, Austin Labador, Amanda Lo

Team Clarity

Problem: How might we assist users through a pandemic?

Deliverable: A redesign along with added features for both patient and care team to support discussing glucose values in telemedicine

Members: Adam Gomez, Stefanie V Mendoza, Stacey Chin, Jiahao (Steven) Lou

User walking us through his journey with device.

Team Tech Support

Problem: How might we simplify users’ journey with technology?

Deliverable: A support funnel with tips and learning modules 

Members: Michelle Duong, Tiffany Lau, Katherine Ngo, Angela Zhu

Storyboard depicting a frustrating customer support experience.

Team Data Science

Problem: How might we use CGM data to facilitate diabetes management?

Deliverable: Experience-oriented design to create meaningful interactions with users

Members: Allison Patacsil, Tracy He, Samuel Huang

Data testing done with user.


Our design students and Dexcom stakeholders acquired first-hand exposure to users’ insight on managing diabetes thanks to a tightly knit diabetes community.

Students held interviews and user testing with over 25 participants ages 14 to 71, varying in ethnicity, gender, and level of experience with CGM. They worked remotely with healthcare providers: Endocrinologists, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Pharmacists. Students also collaborated with parents and their support networks, including care teams from UCSD Health Systems, on top of the defining support from Dexcom’s interdisciplinary team. 

Students mastered remote collaboration using Zoom, Figma, and Miro.

These applications allowed for rapid iteration and constant feedback. 

“DDI was an amazing learning experience! I’m so grateful to have worked with real industry professionals at Dexcom who provided wonderful mentorship and guidance that pushed me to grow immensely as a designer and researcher.”
Amanda, Design Student

CGM technology has revolutionized how users may receive support both online and offline, giving hope to people with diabetes. 

Our students experienced an opportunity to move the needle forward in the future of health. Together, with the support of the diabetes community, the future is very bright.