about

I’m a digital creative who is passionate about harnessing the power of emerging technologies and human-centered design to address complex global issues. 

Interests

As technology plays an increasing role in daily life, designers must think critically about how users interpret and interact with digital information systems.

In order to develop engaging, effective, and usable interfaces, designers and engineers must work holistically to understand how systems work in context with real — and fallible — human beings in control.

With emerging technologies continually pushing the boundaries of human imagination, designers and technologists are tasked with developing innovative solutions that keep pace with the ever-expanding limits of modern life.

The momentum at which technology is advancing provides an exciting opportunity for designers to broaden the scope of their creativity and evaluate how digital systems can be further integrated into our daily lives.

Rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data have allowed for the development of more capable, resilient, and transformative technologies.

Growth in this area offers the promise of making both real-time structured and unstructured data usable, especially in the design of medical and assistive technologies. 

Joe Nallen

career interests

Insulin pumps and sophisticated blood glucose meters have set a promising stage for advanced Diabetes management, but they only scratch the surface of technology’s potential to revolutionize care in this domain.

Digital innovations are reshaping the way people with Diabetes (PWD) manage their illness and go about their daily lives. Automated retinal screening, predicted population risk stratification, clinical decision-support systems, and mobile self-management tools have ushered in a new era of care that allows for greater accuracy, efficiency, and ease-of-use of medical technologies. Due in large part to these innovations, millions of PWDs have been able to achieve better control of blood glucose levels, reduce hypoglycemic episodes, and lower the number of Diabetes-related comorbidities and complications.

The possibilities for improved Diabetes care are endless considering the rate at which technology is becoming more adaptive and sophisticated. This notion is supported by a 2019 study published in The Lancet, which finds that “in the next five years, as many advances are expected in technology for Diabetes management as there have been in the past five years.”

Artificial pancreases, cognitive AI systems, and innovative mobile applications may seem like the nexus of progressive healthcare, but the availability of these technologies vary drastically depending on a person’s location and socio-economic background. For these technologies to make an impact at scale, a concerted effort between public institution, private industry, and NGO must be achieved to address barriers in Diabetes care around the world.

The success of these technologies is contingent upon several factors, chief among them being the availability and affordability of insulin products. In India, a region with nearly 100,000 children with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), the cost of insulin averages between Rs 3500-4000 per month. Vials of insulin can be very difficult to access in the country’s rural regions, largely due to poor supply of appropriate insulin products. On top of this, one Diabetic-related hospitalization can cost upwards of Rs 80,000.

Research funded by Medtronic and published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism finds that even when compared globally, India’s rural youth with T1D have higher rates of hospitalizations, lower appointment adherence, and poorer communication with their care teams compared to their urban counterparts. 

The report also finds that the number of T1D diagnoses is rising 3% per annum in India. The incidence of T1D throughout the country exceeds previous beliefs, with data from the Karnataka diabetes registry and studies conducted in Haryana and India’s southern states showing rates of incidence ranging from 3.7/1,00,000 to 31.9/1, 00,000. These statistics show the gravity of this global health concern and the need for policy that address barriers in Diabetes care.

A 2017 study from IBM Watson Health in Cambridge, MA found that 68% of mobile health app developers believe that Diabetes continues to be the single healthcare field with the best market potential for digital solutions in the near future. Moreover, the research finds that 61% of those surveyed see AI as the most disruptive technology shaping the digital health sector. 

Progress in this domain optimizes treatment for a variety of illnesses, yet several key challenges remain. Optimal care for those with chronic illnesses is often curtailed by the lack of real-time, important health information. This information is critical to making informed health choices, especially for patients with illnesses that require intensive therapy and management. 

A blog post from IBM states that 80% of health data is unstructured. These pieces of data include clinician notes, clinical trials, hospital records, discharge summaries, imaging and lab results, and device and sensor data — all of which play an important role in developing and adhering to a healthcare plan. Fortunately, engineers, designers, and healthcare professionals are evaluating how to digitize these data sources by tapping into the power of emerging technologies.

Take for example the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India, which has implemented automated retinal screening technologies to test at-risk individuals for Diabetic retinopathy. The hospital has deployed IDx-DR, a software that uses AI to analyze images of patient’s eyes taken with a retinal camera (Topcon NW400). A press release from the FDA explains that the images are uploaded to a cloud server and provide doctors with one of two results: 1.) “More than mild Diabetic Retinopathy detected: refer to an eye care professional”; or 2.) “Negative for more than mild Diabetic Retinopathy: re-screen in 12 months.”

The IDx-DR software can screen hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world for Diabetic retinopathy. The technology offers a promising starting point for those keen on addressing global health concerns through meaningful AI applications. It also benefits two major stakeholder groups in the healthcare space: patients, by giving them more accessible and accurate screening technologies, and clinicians, by significantly reducing screening times and the likelihood of incorrect diagnoses. 

In addition to being efficient and effective, digital experiences must be engaging, exciting, and personal in order to make an impact. This doesn’t simply mean designing beautiful layouts and webpages, but thinking critically about what elements make for truly satisfying user experiences. Designers, developers, and technologists must consider key principles of design psychology, impact engineering, and Human Factors design to accomplish this task.

The power of the internet — and of digital technologies, more broadly — is sustained by the people who bring them to life. Technology, when deployed correctly, should ignite curiosity, imagination, and passion within its users. Only then is the true power of digital experience unleashed.

With this notion in mind, it is clear that end users are the most important stakeholders to consider throughout the research, design, and development processes. While this may seem obvious, current usability challenges of various technologies suggest there are several opportunities for improvement.

Take for example the challenges associated with insulin pump devices. In this context, an insulin pump users’ health is contingent on their understanding and ability to complete a series of tasks using the device. The design and engineering of effective medical technologies — including insulin pumps — requires Human Factors methods that identify what users need, what they’re capable of, and what their limitations are. To succeed in this pursuit, design thinking must understand the deep, complicated psychological relationships users have with their medical devices. Additionally, designers must understand how these technologies function in context — both in clinical and casual settings. When this knowledge is acquired, the data gathered must be used to determine how to present the right information at the right time — for this is the founding principal of meaningful experience design.

experience

Skills
  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • Drupal 8, 9
  • Atom
  • Siteground
  • Figma
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe XD
  • Canva
  • Content Management & strategy
  • Content Writing (event coverage, blog posts, on-page content, email copy)
  • Copyediting
  • Social Media Management (Hootsuite, TweetDeck)
  • SEO (keyword research, writing and optimizing metadata)
  • Google Analytics
  • Market research
  • Market segmentation & analysis
  • In my current role at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, I am responsible for a variety of creative and web-based projects that vary in size, scope, and function. The majority of my work is devoted to designing, developing, and managing several websites across the school. This includes creating low and high fidelity prototypes, working with external design agencies on wireframes and layouts, updating digital content regularly, and running web analytics reports to improve user experiences. The websites I manage cater to key stakeholder groups across the university, including prospective students, enrolled students, alumni, faculty and staff, and corporate sponsors. 

    The management and development of these sites requires a deep understanding of institutional objectives, usability factors, web standards, SEO, and a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript programming languages. I also bring to bear experience in copywriting and editing, which has proven to be a formative skill when writing on-page content. 

    In addition to my web-related work, I play a critical role in developing the strategy and executing inbound and outbound communication campaigns. These campaigns are developed in collaboration with The Fletcher School’s Central PR and Marketing (CPRM) department, admissions office, Institute for Business in the Global Context, and Digital Planet. I also design digital and print assets for marketing campaigns, events, and conferences, working with and managing external vendors when necessary.

    projects

    Application in Development

    About

    Shelf Life is a medical management application that offers mobile-enabled Diabetics with active health insurance a real-time overview of their insulin supply. Through the platform, users are able to quickly refill prescriptions and set reminders that will notify them when they are eligible for refills. The app also features a virtual health insurance card, which provides important and personalized healthcare information that is readily available on-the-go.

    Features

    Shelf Life’s algorithm considers several key data points when calculating inventory, including the user’s basal rates, insulin-to-carb ratio, insulin sensitivity/correction factor, and average daily insulin intake. Integrations with other Diabetes management applications, such as those connected to bluetooth-enabled insulin pumps and CGMs (continuous glucose monitors), can offer users a more accurate calculation of their supply.

    The user’s health insurance information can be uploaded manually or by taking a photo of their insurance card with their mobile camera. The mobile device’s Software Development Kit (SDK) is able to extract relevant information using AI-powered Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, allowing for more seamless data entry.

    Proposed Solutions

    In addition to testing blood glucose levels, configuring device settings, entering boluses, and keeping track of sugar and carbohydrate intake, Diabetics must tightly manage their insulin supply. Knowing the exact amount of insulin a person with Diabetes (PWD) has at their disposal is vital in effectively managing their illness, and the ease of this task varies depending on an individual’s lifestyle and ability. Considering the dozens of tasks a PWD must rigorously manage on a daily basis— and the emotional and physical tolls of the disease — insulin supply management can bear a heavy burden.

    Shelf Life aims to improve life for people with Diabetes by reducing the stress and complications related to insulin supply management. Through the app’s intuitive, personalized interface, users can quickly review their insulin stock and make informed healthcare decisions more quickly and easily.

    The adoption of mobile payments and mobile wallet technologies, which is expected to reach a market value of 4690.65 billion by 2025, has transformed how people engage with the economy. However, there remains an untapped opportunity for mobile wallets — integrations of non-financial cards and information. Shelf Life addresses this gap by providing users with a virtual health insurance card, which can be quickly accessed on-the-go. Linkages to insurance company websites and mobile applications on the app make important policy information easier to access, reducing the time spent searching for relevant information.

    Creative Development

    • Benchmarked and studied the design archetypes of similar research centers at competitor universities.

    • Identified target audiences and key stakeholders of Digital Planet and aligned brand strategy around these personas.

    • Developed a new branded identity, which included redesigned logos (created in Adobe Illustrator), new typefaces, color schemes/tonal hierarchies, and web layouts/content architectures.

    • Worked alongside Fletcher’s Director of Research, Dean of Global Business, and Director of Marketing in developing new style sheet and refining the creative strategy of the project.

    • Worked with and managed three members of an external design agency in India.

    UX & Interface Design

    • Developed wireframes for new site, and created three separate user flow diagrams based on the three target audiences identified in earlier research.

    • Developed information architectures and hierarchies based on the interests of the target user bases identified in previous research.

    Web Development and Management

    • Developed 30+ landing pages using combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on WordPress build system.

    • Wrote copy for 30 webpages on the Digital Planet website.

    • Developed backend tagging structure for all website content. 

    • Regularly updates website with new content, including research outputs, research analyst profiles, media-mentions, op-eds, and event promotions. 

    • Collects data on Google Analytics to measure impact, identify challenges in usability and interface designs.

    • Uses key data points from web analytic reports to inform the development of effective design alternatives.

    Website launch: August 25, 2020

    Project Involvement

    • Transferred content from the pre-existing Fletcher Connect website (former repository of information for students) onto the new platform.

    • Helped develop design and layout standards for the website with the Assistant Director of Marketing.

    • Wrote copy for various elements on the intranet site (i.e. pop-up notifications, discussion forum guidelines, on-page content).

    • Selected artwork and graphics for various visual elements.

    • Regularly leads information and training sessions for the myFletcher platform for students, faculty, and staff.

    Website launch: December 3, 2019

    Project Involvement

    • Worked with the Assistant Director of Fletcher’s Master of Global Business Administration (GBA) program in identifying web capabilities, project priorities, challenges, and target user base. 

    • Designed logo and favicons for the site using Adobe Illustrator; optimized all digital assets for web applications.

    • Identified existing content on other Fletcher web properties that could be repurposed on the new platform.

    • Helped develop backend tagging structures and content hierarchy in the main navigation menu.

    • Coached and trained Asst. Director on creating pages and writing content on WordPress.

    • Currently responses to all technical and system-related inquiries. 

    Website launch: August 28, 2019

    Project Involvement

    • Identified key priorities of the project, which included raising event awareness and registration; raising awareness of Global Research Fellowship fund and alumni support; assisting in targeted admissions campaigns with the Office of Admissions.

    • Structured information architectures and content hierarchies to accommodate the digital experiences of two target user groups: alumni and prospective students.

    • Worked alongside Fletcher’s Director of Marketing and Dean of Global Business in developing design alternatives and updating web properties.

    • Worked with Fletcher’s Office of Admissions to incorporate webpage links in various outbound email campaigns.

    • Developed and wrote copy for all pages.

    Shelf Life

    Mobile Medical Management Application

    Application in Development

    Shelf Life is a medical management application that offers mobile-enabled Diabetics with active health insurance a real-time overview of their insulin supply. Through the platform, users are able to quickly refill prescriptions and set reminders that will notify them when they are eligible for refills. The app also features a virtual health insurance card, which provides important and personalized healthcare information that is readily available on-the-go. 

    Shelf Life’s algorithm considers several key data points when calculating inventory, including the user’s basal rates, insulin-to-carb ratio, insulin sensitivity/correction factor, and average daily insulin intake. Integrations with other Diabetes management applications, such as those connected to bluetooth-enabled insulin pumps and CGMs (continuous glucose monitors), can offer users a more accurate calculation of their supply. 

    The user’s health insurance information can be uploaded manually or by taking a photo of their insurance card with their mobile camera. The mobile device’s Software Development Kit (SDK) is able to extract relevant information using AI-powered Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, allowing for more seamless data entry.

    In addition to testing blood glucose levels, configuring device settings, entering boluses, and keeping track of sugar and carbohydrate consumption, Diabetics must tightly manage their insulin supply. Knowing the exact amount of insulin a person with Diabetes (PWD) has at their disposal is vital in effectively managing their illness, and the ease of this task varies depending on an individual’s lifestyle and ability. Considering the dozens of tasks a PWD must rigorously manage on a daily basis— and the emotional and physical tolls of the disease — insulin supply management can bear a heavy burden. 

    Shelf Life aims to improve life for people with Diabetes by reducing the stress and complications related to insulin supply management. Through the app’s intuitive, personalized interface, users can quickly review their insulin stock and make informed healthcare decisions more quickly and easily.

    The adoption of mobile payments and mobile wallet technologies, which is expected to reach a market value of 4690.65 billion by 2025, has transformed how people engage with the economy. However, there remains an untapped opportunity for mobile wallets — integrations of non-financial cards and information. Shelf Life addresses this gap by providing users with a virtual health insurance card, which can be quickly accessed on-the-go. Linkages to insurance company websites and mobile applications on the app makes important policy information easier to access, reducing the time spent searching for relevant information.

    Digital Planet

    Website launch: June 3, 2020

    • Benchmarked and studied the design archetypes of similar research centers at competitor universities.

    • Identified target audiences and key stakeholders of Digital Planet and aligned brand strategy around these personas.

    • Developed a new branded identity, which included redesigned logos (created in Adobe Illustrator), new typefaces, color schemes/tonal hierarchies, and web layouts/content architectures.

    • Worked alongside Fletcher’s Director of Research, Dean of Global Business, and Director of Marketing in developing new style sheet and refining the creative strategy of the project.

    • Worked with and managed three members of an external design agency in India.

    • Developed wireframes for new site, and created three separate user flow diagrams based on the three target audiences identified in earlier research.

    • Developed information architectures and hierarchies based on the interests of the target user bases identified in previous research.

    • Wrote copy for 30 webpages on the Digital Planet website.

    • Developed 30+ landing pages using combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on WordPress build system.

    • Wrote copy for 30 webpages on the Digital Planet website.

    • Developed backend tagging structure for all website content. 

    • Regularly updates website with new content, including research outputs, research analyst profiles, media-mentions, op-eds, and event promotions. 

    • Collects data on Google Analytics to measure impact, identify challenges in usability and interface designs.

    • Uses key data points from web analytic reports to inform the development of effective design alternatives.

    More Projects

    Website launch: August 25, 2020

    Project Involvement: 

    • Transferred content from the pre-existing Fletcher Connect website (former repository of information for students) onto the new platform.

    • Helped develop design and layout standards for the website with the Assistant Director of Marketing.

    • Wrote copy for various elements on the intranet site (i.e. pop-up notifications, discussion forum guidelines, on-page content).

    • Selected artwork and graphics for various visual elements.

    • Regularly leads information and training sessions for the myFletcher platform for students, faculty, and staff.

    Website launch: December 3, 2019

    Project Involvement: 

    • Worked with the Assistant Director of Fletcher’s Master of Global Business Administration (GBA) program in identifying web capabilities, project priorities, challenges, and target user base. 

    • Designed logo and favicons for the site using Adobe Illustrator; optimized all digital assets for web applications.

    • Identified existing content on other Fletcher web properties that could be repurposed on the new platform.

    • Helped develop backend tagging structures and content hierarchy in the main navigation menu.

    • Coached and trained Asst. Director on creating pages and writing content on WordPress.

    • Currently responses to all technical and system-related inquiries. 

    Website launch: August 28, 2019

    Project Involvement

    • Identified key priorities of the project, which included raising event awareness and registration; raising awareness of Global Research Fellowship fund and alumni support; assisting in targeted admissions campaigns with the Office of Admissions.

    • Structured information architectures and content hierarchies to accommodate the digital experiences of two target user groups: alumni and prospective students.

    • Worked alongside Fletcher’s Director of Marketing and Dean of Global Business in developing design alternatives and updating web properties.

    • Worked with Fletcher’s Office of Admissions to incorporate webpage links in various outbound email campaigns.

    • Developed and wrote copy for all pages.

    artwork

    I work with a wide variety of media, including acrylic inks, paint, pen and ink, gouache, among others. 

    stay in touch

    E: joenallen06@gmail.com | P: (512) 785-8156