Helping workers with chronic pain complete
their self-care routine

Mona Luo
Yazhen Zhang
Young Kim
Johnson & Johnson
UI & UX design.
Desk & User research,
Synthesis, User flow
Sean Ferry (J&J)
Roger Mader
Criswell Lappin
Sep - Dec, 2021
(15 weeks)
ABout project

My team worked with Johnson & Johnson, our sponsor, to tackle the issue of chronic pain in the US with product & service design in 15 weeks.

1st Place in Strategic Innovation in Product & Service Design Case (Fall 2021)

My Role
  • Set role and responsibility of each team member and led communication with instructors and sponsor
  • Conducted secondary research, 10 user interviews, and 3 expert interviews
  • Synthesized insights and turned them into viable design ideas
  • Created storyboards to visualize solutions
  • Crafted hi-fi user interface

Toogether is a mobile app for companies to motivate their employees to manage chronic pain with supportive communities and fun daily activities


We developed our product by following four phases — Define, Discover, Design, and Deploy

We moved back and forth among the four phases, as the design process is not linear. There were times when we needed to go back and redefine our challenge and when we shifted our research focus as we learned more about the topic.


Asking the right question: to narrow down the scope and develop a feasible problem statement

The challenge prompt from our sponsor appeared to be broad, as there are a variety of chronic pains and corresponding care routines.

Context Research

We decided to focus on workers who have chronic pain. Chronic pain associated with work has been a severe problem, and it needs the spotlight.

revised Challenge prompt
How might we help workers who have chronic pain complete their care routines?

*Care routines refer to pain management activities such as physical exercise, yoga, healthy bedtime habits, versus surgical and medical treatments


Further secondary research revealed the comprehensive aspects of science, sociology, economics, and technology regarding chronic pain


We conducted 10 qualitative user interviews to discover their needs and obstacles.

Interview highlights - Employees

We interviewed three industry experts to understand the market and explore opportunities from the company and product side.

Interview highlights - experts

To synthesize insights from primary and secondary research, we created an affinity diagram. We put similar findings to the same cluster and linked relevant clusters.

Our goal is to increase user’s engagement to keep them motivated to complete daily care routine

We aim to change behavior by uplifting users’ motivation and lowering the action threshold through social and monetary incentives

People only start to take their chronic pain seriously when it gets unbearable. However, their motivation goes up and down due to their work and life schedule and condition. When their pain gets better, the motivation goes down, and they abandon the healthy routine.

OUR solution
Join accountability groups based on users' pain
Receive tokens from their companies
Bet tokens when joining a group
Earn them back if a challenge is completed
charging motivation

To motivate users, we are using monetary incentives in combination with loss aversion effect

Storyboard & testing

We created a storyboard to demonstrate Toogether's use case and key features and tested with target users

We presented the storyboard to 4 people for their opinions. They expressed disapproval of having employees bet their own money to join challenges and were also concerned about the privacy issue. Therefore, we decided to have companies pay their employees tokens to join challenges, as employers would be willing to pay as long as the ROI is positive, and anonymize users in community forums.

FIVE-E ux journey
Information Architecture
Main Features


Easily log in with SSO and fill in a brief questionnaire about your chronic pain condition to get started

Find challenges that suit you

Customized sets of challenges are recommended based on your condition, each lasting for 2-4 weeks

Bet tokens to join challenges

Receive tokens from your company every month and use them to join challenge groups

Complete challenge and win the tokens

If you complete a challenge, you earn back the tokens you have bet and can redeem them for real money

Community forum

Connect with your colleagues anonymously to ask for advice and share your own tips for managing pains

Success criteria

The success of our product will be measured by below five criteria


We will target large companies which can provide Toogether as corporate wellness program to their employees and pay us B2B subscription fee

market size & revenue forecast

The total addressable market is estimated at $1.4B. We will start with 5,000 employees of Johnson & Johnson and grow our business exponentially.


User testing allowed us to incorporate missing points

Our original plan was to let employees bet their own money to join the challenge. While testing with users using our storyboard, we received negative feedback on employees being required to pay to use a corporate wellness program. It was a valid point that we missed to consider, so we changed our solution to let companies provide tokens for their employees. 

Guiding students to find and select best-fit colleges for their goals