Feelings Lab

The Story

Ayubo is a health and wellness tech company based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Their mission was inspired by the fact that 75% of Sri Lankans  die yearly from non communicable diseases ( heart diseases, diabetes etc), because of unhealthy lifestyles and they wanted to create a one stop app to help people adopt healthier habits. They were struggling with low engagement levels in their app and were at risk of being shut down by their parent company. They hired me as a service design consultant to help them identify the causes for low engagement and propose new solutions they could implement in their products.
Service design is still a very novel concept in Sri Lanka so I needed to sell the value of using design as a strategy tool as well as come up with tangible concepts they could implement easily to see quick results.

My Role

For this project I operated as a service & strategy designer. I collaborated with many different stakeholders in the business - from the CEO, CPO, CTO to the marketing and customer support team.


Expert interviews

  • General Practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Nutritionists
  • Fitness experts

User interviews

  • App users
  • Chronic illness sufferers
  • Young professionals
  • People who live outside the city
  • Users across different ages

Survey (1000 people)

Team Workshop


Users don’t understand the app’s value proposition and find it too complicated

It’s key to build awareness and education of healthy habits to combat NCDs while giving easy access to health experts.

Ayubo’s potential core users live in urban areas and are between 20-55

Social and community factors play a big part in influencing healthy behaviour.

Connecting different data is key to give a holistic view on health - it’s useful for users and doctors.

Ayubo’s holistic health strategy and health ecosystem differentiate it from other digital health services.


Identify their target users

Ayubo had fallen into the familiar trap for trying to solve every problem for everyone. To help them identify their target users,  I interviewed a a broad spectrum of people who lived in the city. This included people across different ages, health conditions and migrant workers. I created a variety of personas so they could understand the different needs people had and what a digital product could do for them. This exercise helped highlight how different the needs were for each persona and that it was not possible to cover all of them in a single app or even digitally. It became clear that there were certain personas the app was most useful for (young professionals and housewives) and that's who they should build the product for.

Define their value proposition & positioning

Part of the engagement problem was that customers didn't really understand what Ayubo did and how it was different from their competitors. Ayubo didn’t have a unified product descriptions or marketing messages across their platforms nor were they able to describe what they did internally, which made it challenging to have a focused product strategy. So I conducted a workshop with their internal team to really hone in on what their value proposition and make that uniform across all their channels.

Features to implement in the app

An onboarding experience for first time users.
The data showed that there was a big drop off after new users installed the app as they didn't understand what the app did. I proposed a new onboarding experience that highlighted the most useful features in the app and also help users orient themselves. I recommended a health assessment as part of the onboarding experience, so that Ayubo could use that information to personalise the content in the app.

Connect tracking data with user's health data
Ayubo was the only app in the market that had unique access to users health data (prescriptions, lab results, doctors notes) as well tracking data ( steps, calories, sleep) but they didn't really share the data back with their users. I proposed a new view that would connect both kinds of data so that users could get a holistic view of their health.

Personalise content according to user's health profile
Ayubo had a lot of content and community challenges in the app which could be very overwhelming to parse through. I recommended a new personalised view based on a user's health profile and friend groups.

Streamline expert access
It was very difficult to find and use the Telehealth feature in the app. Most users didn't know they could book a video appointment with a health practitioner so I recommended an easy access chatbot that would help direct users to the right practitioner and easily book an appointment.

My recommendations eventually led to a complete redesign of the app. The last time I touched base with the product team they shared that engagement had greatly improved and my proposed features in the app were highly valued by their customers. Most importantly they’ve put into practice user research and testing when designing new features.


Culture can impact user behaviour
Before this project, I had never factored in cultural norms when designing a digital product. During my research, I uncovered that gender norms and religious practices greatly impacted customers' health habits. I had to include this in my recommendations when deciding Ayubo’s target user base, the type of language to get users motivated about their health and what kind of health content would resonate the most.

Involving non designers in the design process
As there weren't any designers at Ayubo, I included members in the product and marketing team when doing my research and brainstorming solutions for the app. This really helped the team see the value of getting customer feedback firsthand and helped focus the teams efforts on what areas in the app first needed to be solved.