Dexcom Share

MY ROLE: Sole UX Researcher & Designer

MY DELIVERABLES: UX strategy, product definition, software, hardware, visual, user manual & packaging design

2012-2013 Case Study

Project Background

Dexcom, a Type 1 diabetes management company with $100M in revenue, had a wearable sensor that wirelessly transmitted blood sugar readings to its OEM display device. Dexcom's innovation diminished the need for frequent fingerstick tests, greatly enhancing user convenience.

However, an unmet need remained. Parents and spouses of individuals with Type 1 diabetes desired a means to remotely monitor their loved ones' glucose levels, particularly when separated by distance.

The team's challenge was to develop an iOS application for remote blood sugar level monitoring within one year. Product definition or requirements were not provided.

As a newly onboarded designer at Dexcom, I lead design initiatives within a landscape where comprehensive user research was yet to be established. I defined the product, formulated UX strategies, designed both the app and hardware user interfaces, managed external design agencies, conducted user research, and crafted user manuals and packaging designs. These deliverables constituted a comprehensive approach aimed at realizing Dexcom's vision of empowering users and revolutionizing diabetes management.

First, Get User Research

Who is the primary user? Who else are users of this system? What motivates and frustrates them? What are their current workarounds?

This phase was so monumental on its own, I've written it up as its own case study.

Second, Create UX Strategy

The main objective of the business was to boost the sales of sensors, although the specific strategies to achieve this were left for us to determine. Through my research and the development of our personas, I was able to align them with the Tech Adoption Life Cycle. This framework helped us identify the target audience and understand how we could expand our customer base, with a particular focus on appealing to Dependent Diane. By tailoring our marketing efforts and product offerings to meet her specific needs and preferences, we aimed to increase the adoption of our sensors and ultimately drive sales growth.

Third, Communicate Vision: Product Tone & Personality

Here I transformed a Bruno Mars cover to symbolize the enduring and unpredictable journey that individuals with Type 1 diabetes face. However, it is important to note that one never has to face this journey alone. Dexcom stands as a reliable companion, offering support whenever it may be needed. Those who navigate this path are incredibly resilient and possess the strength to choose whether to travel solo or in the company of others.

Product Definition

From my research, I learned that the last thing a parent wants to do at the end of a day is fiddle with another diabetes device. I determined that what this app would ultimately be is similar to Microsoft's Network and Sharing Center, where the graphic informs if the Internet is working and, if not, WHERE is the disconnection.

(User story: As a parent, when I am putting my child to sleep, I want to know in under 3 seconds if the app is transmitting data to my phone, so that I can finally get some rest.)

Design for Accessibility & Inclusivity

Anticipating potential concerns from the FDA regarding users' understanding of transmission channels such as LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth, along with possible accessibility issues, I developed a solution that effectively addressed these concerns. This solution not only conveyed the current status of transmission channels but also successfully passed summative testing.

This home screen was intended to be understood by multiple segments (and this made the FDA very happy):

  • Users who are not familiar with diabetes (babysitter, teacher)

  • Users who cannot read, ie. a young child could tell an adult if Dexcom Share was working or not

  • Color-blind or far-sighted users

World's 1st Remote Monitoring System for Diabetes

I took the mandate, "deliver an iOS app for remote blood sugar monitoring within one year" and filled in all the user-facing details. I determined the user interface, information architecture, product tone, and copywriting.


  • FDA approval received without delays

  • Increased Dexcom awareness

  • I received several patents: hardware design, app interface, graphical interface, app icon, app display, multi-platform design