MiBox Case Study

As  a team, we were interested in designing for healthcare, so we listed out possible areas of interest. After having mapped it out, we realized we were particularly interested in chronic pain and the communication of pain to health professionals.


The communication of pain levels and how that is perceived by doctors is dependent on a lot of factors—and gender is a big one. Whether it’s just physical pain or emotional anguish, personal tolerance and gender influence how medical practitioners treat patients. We though it best to pick a type of chronic pain we had access to and were interested in designing for-migraines.

Migraines interested us for a number of reasons-they are an invisible illness and they are really prevalent, yet so many people don’t understand them. People who’ve never experienced one can’t see visible, physical symptoms and say, “You look fine!” Dealing with these social situations is often as uncomfortable as a the physical pain for chronic migraineurs.

To start understanding migraines more comprehensively, we sent out a survey asking suffers a variety of questions: what their symptoms are, what they do to help their migraines, how often they see a doctor, and how it affects various parts of their daily lives. The surveys included  a mix of multiple choice questions and free entry text fields.

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We received 84 responses and collated them to find patterns. We were able to conclude the parts of people’s lives with which migraines interfered most-social, family, health and work. Many of our respondents claimed that they had to forfeit their social life due to their migraines, that they felt that they were a burden to their family. Their medical expenses were extremely high, and some also had lost the ability to work.

We focused on the employment element, because we felt that if we found a way to help migraine sufferers stay employed, it would have a ripple effect where they would make enough money to pay for treatment, feel like they were contributing to their family and would generally feel better about themselves and their productivity.


09_CaseStudy_Page_06_01.pngWhile considering the policy, legal, and human resources ramifications, we imagined personas and scenarios. We found ourselves getting too deep in one area too early on so we decided to take a step back and look at four primary areas of interest: social, family, health management, and employment. Before settling on another firm direction we decided it would be best to perhaps come up with some solutions and scenarios that targeted all of our areas.




12903614_1003135203105581_1985793883_oWe drew up various scenarios, each looking at a different problem that was brought up by our survey respondents.We used these as provocations to test usefulness and desirability with migraine sufferers. We concluded from this that people appreciated products that help avoid triggers or deal with symptoms and liked the idea of being able to try out such products. They thought it would be helpful to be able to connect with other migraine sufferers about their experiences/treatment and they liked the idea of having access to expert opinions. 


Our next concept was to create a “migraine-safe space” in which sufferers could interact with one another, seek treatment, as well as  get some work done. We used a ‘make tool’ with a migraine sufferer to help us figure out what might be in such a space. She used notecards to show what she felt the most important features were and then used paper models and cut outs to show how she would divide the space.

Using this as the basis, we detailed the features –
1. There would be a cafe for migraine sufferers and their friends to come have a social meeting in an environment that was trigger free and only healthy/non-migraine inducing food would be served.
2. There would be a quiet meditation room
3. The space would include an area that could host speakers and group discussio
4. An additional facility would be an equipment lending desk to try out various remedies.



We found ourselves running into a lot of issues with the fact that it was a space. How would it be paid for? Why is this migraine exclusive? Would people really make an effort to come to such a space? Would they come here when they have a migraine instead of going home? Would non-migraine sufferers want to use the space or be in the cafe?



So, we asked ourselves, “Does it really need to be a physical space?” We thought perhaps we could provide a similar service in a manner that maybe didn’t necessitate creating an entire physical environment.We looked at our old proposition and decided what most important aspects were-giving people a platform to try out new treatments and a way for sufferers to share their knowledge with one another. We began to map out how this may play out across a combination of digital and physical space.


Thinking that this didn’t need to be in a place, our service morphed into a model where users could sign up for a subscription service and receive larger products and equipment and monthly-trial sized items to try, so they could truly find what helped their migraines. It could cater to each individual’s needs and would allow a sufferer to do so from his or her own home. We did a rough, quick prototyping activity where a user was given a description of our service and presented with a box of items. They were then asked how they felt about the box and what they would expect to happen next. This gave us insight into the flexibility users wanted when creating their box as well as the importance of our explanation of the process.


When we had a general sense of our service flow and proposition, we began branding our service-after having brainstormed some names, we settled on MiBox; a fusion of “migraine” and my (possessive) box. We made style tiles and then chose on a single branding theme. We chose colors that were soothing and represented a tranquil, healthy atmosphere.

Simultaneously, we created wireframes for the website which would be the main touchpoint of our service. We ran through the wireframes with a user to get feedback on the task flow and basic usability.


Then added our visual brand language, developed from the style tiles, and built an indicative site with Wix.


While the website is our main digital touch point, there are several processes that support it. We initially focused on the front end-flow and journey map, thinking about back end process, how they relate as a larger system, and channels through which our service would be provided. The stakeholder map helped us figure out persons involved, their roles, value exchange, spheres, and how they are brought together into a cohesive service.



Rather than using the blueprint and stakeholder map just to communicate how we envisioned the service to work, we viewed them side by side and were then able to really refine service.

03_Stakeholder map

In conclusion, MiBox is a subscription service that is a combination of digital and physical touchpoints. It’s a result of our exploratory and iterative research. Our flexible process allowed us to combine the best aspects of all our previous ideas into a service that really allows migraine sufferers to take their condition into their own hands and receive personalized relief at their doorstep.



Persona story

To think slightly different about the service blueprint, we wrote a user flow in the form of a narrative with the customer, Amanda, as the main character.

Amanda is a chronic migraine sufferer. She takes medication for her migraines, which she gets from her doctor. She’s aware that many people try alternative therapies for migraines. Her doctor often mentions different things she might try, both to prevent really nasty migraines and alleviate the pain on their onset. But there are just so many things to try, and she really has no idea where to start. Also, it can be costly (both with respect to time and money) to try treatments that may not prove to be right for her.

But now there is MiBox ! This service brings new remedies to Amanda’s door each month, specifically tailored to her migraines. When she first visits the website, she explores all the different options and views some infographics and a video that explain how the service works. She reads testimonials from other migraine sufferers. She decides to try it out, even if to get one box.

Amanda begins by filling out a questionnaire in which she details her symptoms, triggers, the various treatments she’s tried, and some of the different treatments she would be interested in trying the most. After this painless but detailed process, she connects her new account to her various social media and is able to connect with some of her friends who have migraines. She then is given a list of suggested groups to join, based on her symptoms, triggers, location, and other information collected from her social media.

Amanda then sees her suggested box. This may be a combination of samples and returnable items to try. She has the opportunity now to personalize her box swapping out items or adding items that she’d like to receive every month. When Amanda receives her box, it will have all the items she’s specified, as well as a gift or surprise item.

After ordering her box, Amanda waits up to a couple of weeks for her first box to arrive. In this time, Amanda fills out more profile details and create shelves of items she uses to treat herself. This could be anything from “Prescription Drugs I’ve Tried” to “Stuff That Helps Me Sleep” and whatever other categories a migraineur can come up with. Amanda is prompted to review these items with a star rating and any other details. She connects with her friends by viewing their profiles, shelves, and reviews. In her groups, she views the most popular items among those members and is also able to ask and answer questions forum-style.

When her box arrives, she opens it and is excited to try her new products. Over the next few days, she tries her samples and try-before-you-buy items. She reviews them and adds them to her shelves. When it’s time to build her next box, she can choose to receive full-size items of what she’s tried and liked. She can also choose to return or keep try-before-you-buy products. If she keeps the item, she’ll be charged after 30 days but will have up to 90 days to return the item.

Social media integration

Rather than building chat and group functionality on our website, we decided to leverage existing platforms. Other than that, we considered ways in which we wanted MiBox to promote social behavior.


  • Integrating facebook login to enable users to easily create a pre-filled profile
  • Creating a facebook page for MiBox
    • Update with posts about new product offerings, general migraine information/tips and tricks, migraine updates
  • Use facebook as a platform to form/moderate groups?
  • Advertising/Marketing



  • On our end, creating boards for users to follow which are related to various topics (treatments [related to various symptoms], wellness, alt therapies, migraine-friendly recipes, memes about migraines, etc.)
  • Showcase pins on our own site?
  • Use the “pin it” button on our site, allowing users to pin what they see right from our site
  • Create rich pins which allow users to see product info/pricing from our site right on the pin
  • Use Pinterest Analytics
    • Figure out what people like from our profile and what they save from our website
    • Figure out more about the interests of the people who pin from us/those who are in our audience
    • Learn more about demographics



too visually forward, maybe ads, but nothing else

On our site:

  • Reviews
    • Allows users to look at different people’s opinions on certain products
    • Could be sortable by different types of migraineurs (e.g. Only look at people who have scent sensitivity as a symptom or processed foods as a trigger)
    • Could tag reviews (e.g. good for insomnia, lessens frequency of migraines)
  • Profiles
    • Reviews are attached to profiles which contain some general details about the specific migraineur who posted the review
  • Shelves
    • Allows user to collect items based on types
    • Shelves could function as wishlists, whereby users could put items on these lists and share the lists with friends and family who can buy these items as gifts
  • Chat Parties
    • Interactive, live discussions with themes (e.g. mental wellness) – possibly run seasonally
    • Multiple chat rooms open with different sub-topics and experts fielding questions and sparking discussions
    • Product giveaways
    • Secret products/a secret box available for purchase
  • Sponsored AMAs
    • Experts from across the world on different migraine related topics (e.g. TMJ and migraines) brought on to answer questions live at a set time

15 minute prototype

Today in class, we built a quick and (very) dirty prototype of an interaction in our entire service – building a box.


Some details we got form our participant Saumya –
1. Expecting a ‘Check out’ button, not ‘Mail
2. Making it clear the first box is free
3. She wanted to ‘Refresh the box’
4. It wasn’t clear that you could replace items (maybe the items not in the box should be visible)
5. ‘Surprise’ threw her off. She wanted to find out what it was
6. It wasn’t clear how the items would be helpful for her particular condition
7. Question of more or less helpful
8. Would like more information of how its helpful

Mark Jones had some great feedback too
1. Consideration of biofeedback
2. What are the things you can do at home to manage your symptoms
3. Relaxation techniques
4. Integration of a broader pain management through an app?

Similar Services + Names

Subscription Services:

Le Parcel – for women and their periods
TreatMint – gifts for cancer patients


Goodreads, Amazon – reviewing products, rating

We also started brainstorming names:


We’re doing with MiBox right now (Migraine + Box), but other highlights include Apothecary, Spoonful, Remedy, Harbor…words dealing with navigation, the mind, remedies, health, trials/trying, retreats/oasis…

Quotes from Migraine Support Group

“Finally saw the neurologist! He gave me a preventive anti inflammatory since I am breastfeeding, a rescue med, and we are starting Botox
Share Botox stories please!”

“Has anyone tried lavender oil to help relieve migraine pain? I’ve used it in the past for insomnia, anxiety and burns. Thinking I might give this a try.”

“Wondering if anyone has tried or heard anything about the “Daith” ear piercing for migraine relief? I’m really considering it…”

“Anyone get any kind of relief with muscle relaxers? If so what kind?”

“I just read on another site about a “medicine” called Kratom that some people are using for chronic pain and as a sedative. Apparently it’s made from a leaf and has been known to relieve chronic pain, headaches, etc. Has anyone here heard of this or even tried it? If you’ve tried it, did you get any relief from it? I’m always leary when I hear about stuff like this because it’s not regulated so you don’t know what you’re getting. Any information anyone could pass down would be appreciated! Thanks so much!”

“Hi everyone has anyone ever tried a Spring TMS machine ? My neurologist has suggested it as one of my options and it is the one which I am seriously considering sick of takin medication and all the side effects that go along with it !!”


A New Service Proposition

Our most recent session began with us revisiting our current service proposition. We wondered whether the services we were trying to offer truly necessitated creating a physical space. Yes, we wanted our service to facilitate social interaction and an exchange of resources and information, but does this necessarily need to happen face to face in a physical environment? Is this something that could be done digital or through other touchpoints? Asking ourselves these questions allowed us to determine what the best parts of our service were and brainstorm different ways they might be delivered.

What we determined is that currently, “migraineurs” have lots of different triggers that might keep changing. There are also an overwhelming amount of treatments for symptoms—all of which can vary per migraine and migraine sufferer. This means that there are lots of recommendations for relief but no pathway towards a cure. So, our service now aims to help sufferers navigate the abundance of treatment for continued care and management.


Partial Journey Map


Proposition Mapping

We believe that with the proper implementation, this service can also create a support network for sufferers to connect with one another and learn more about their condition along with ways to manage or treat it.

Current Proposition:
A subscription service that allows people to try different forms of migraine relief in the comfort of their own home, while creating a support network for the users.