H-E-B Pharmacy Pill Reminder Case Study

Pill Reminder on Device

My role | 2019 - 2020

  • Design research
  • Journey mapping
  • UI/UX design
  • Prototypes

H-E-B is the leading grocery store in Texas. The H-E-B Pharmacy app (iOS, Android), helps H-E-B Pharmacy customers check prescription statuses, refill prescriptions, transfer prescriptions and locate and contact an H-E-B Pharmacy. The app was built by InMotion Software and had an average rating of 4.8 in the iOS app store and a 4.7 on the Google Play Store. While leading design on the project I also worked on:

  • Mobile FAQ pages
  • Drug interactions tool redesign
  • Solve the Line initiatives


Lots of people take medication or supplements daily, for example, prescriptions to treat chronic illnesses or birth control, but most people who who do skip doses. The most common reason for skipping a dose is forgetting to take it. Many people manage medication schedules for family members or pets and this can be tricky to keep track of without an app.

H-E-B Pharmacy would like to help it’s patients take their medication on schedule. Many competitors had added a pill reminder app features.


Pill Reminder Survey

We ran a survey about medical adherence (remembering to take your prescriptions):

  • 206 people surveyed
  • 29 H-E-B customers out of the 206 respondents
  • 18 - 65+ yrs of age
  • 66% Female / 34% Male
  • 64% Manage medications everyday
  • 62% Manage medications for others or pets

Survey findings:

  • 60% Forget to take/give medications a few times a year
  • 21% Forget to take/give medications weekly
  • Top reason for missing a dose is forgetting to take it (53%).


Pill Reminder Persona

Competitive analysis

Over 35+ pill reminder and pharmacy apps were evaluated. We noted the strengths and weaknesses of the products we tried out to inform our product strategy.

Pill Reminder Competitors


We decided to focus on creating an MVP (minimum viable product) with the following features:

  • Add reminder
  • Manage reminders
  • Display notifications
  • Respond to notifications
  • Persist data to on-device storage
  • Support simple adherence tracking
  • Simple reporting

Exploration and Iteration

Early wireframes

Early wireframes were turned into an Invision protoype and user tested with remote user testing.

Prototyping and User Testing

Pill Reminder Prototype 1

I designed a prototype with a single screen for setting reminders. The user could pick a day or days of the week or set an interval, select the number of reminders per day and add times and set a start and end date. This was turned into an Invision prototype and user tested. Findings:

  1. Some Missed the ‘Custom’ Button Entirely
  2. A Couple Users Weren’t Sure What the Controls Did
Pill Reminder Prototype 2

A few adjustments were made to the prototype:

  • The “custom” toggle was renamed “days of the week”
  • Reminder time was redesigned to look more like a button
  • checkmarks replaced alarm clock icons

The last round of tests confirmed that the new design helped us be more inclusive towards our struggling users while increasing the speed of task completion for everyone.

Hi-fidelity designs

Magic link onboarding

I used Sketch to design mockups. During the development stage Zeplin is helpful to answer questions from developers and make sure they have the assets they need.

We followed an Agile process and technical discovery by the developers was happening alongside the design process. There were surprising challenges in getting around the technical hurdles in setting a pill reminder in iOS and in Android that impacted the designs.

We delivered to internal beta testers an MVP that simply allowed users to create reminders, pushed out native notifications and collected user responses to the notifications.

Internal QA had already caught all major bugs before beta testers got the new feature, but we wanted beta testers to life-test the feature and see if it was useful. User feedback from beta testers suggested that users with multiple medications would appreciate being able to customize the image shown on the reminders so that the distinctive color or shape of the pill they need to take could help avoid mix-ups.

In later iterations we added a pill appearance menu that allows the user to customize the image shown in the pill reminder, along with a reporting screen that graphs adherence, and a note feature that allows users to note their feelings and potential drug interactions in the app.


Final designs

Results and what I learned:

  1. The pill reminder feature rolled out to H-E-B Pharmacy users.
  2. Testing the set reminder screen early and iterating fast to get to an MVP helped me learn more our users provide them with a better experience.
  3. I learned how to define a true MVP and the importance of providing users with meaningful functionality with each app update.


Pill Reminder MVP prototype: Invision
Pill Reminder appearance prototype: Invision
Pill Reminder dashboard prototype: Invision
Pill Reminder notes prototype: Invision

Download the H-E-B Pharmacy App:

iOS: App Store
Android: Play Store

#ui #interaction #mobile