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A location-based messaging app for building exercise habits.



A location-based messaging app for building exercise habits.


Role: Interaction Design, Prototyping, Visual Design

Teammates: Mike Cardarelli, Sophia Li

Advised By: Premera Blue Cross

Download Specification: .pdf, 20 MB

Sophia using Drop-In with a view of Mount Rainier

What can you do?

message detail screen

Retrieve a Message

record a message screen

Send a Message

activity history and goal screen

Maintain Healthy Habits


Why did we make Drop-In?


Caregivers are vital to the American healthcare system.

Unfortunately, they are often overlooked by insurance providers. Premera Blue Cross wanted to change this by exploring new ways to help the caregivers in their network.


Drop-In was inspired by our research into the needs of newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and expensive diseases in Washington and Alaska, where Premera provides coverage.

Everyone can benefit from daily exercise, but for type 2 diabetes patients, it is integral to successful treatment.


“I know what it takes to get to 10,000 steps a day, but walking for the sake of walking is so hard. Maybe I’m too goal-oriented.”

Interview Participant

People need motivation to start, and commit to, new exercise routines. Drop-In helps patients and caregivers motivate each other.


Our design response must directly address the needs of caregivers and patients.

It should be fun and useful for everyone else too.


How does it work?

animation of interacting with a map of available messages

Start with a map.

Maps are familiar, a little bit fun, and full of information people can relate to. Drop-In’s home screen is a map showing all the new messages near you.

animation of selecting a message from the map

Choose a message.

Tap on a message to see who it’s from, how long it will take to walk there, and the best route to take.


Then, get out there and collect it!

You can’t view a message until you travel to it and pick it up. Once found, messages can be watched again later from the inbox.

message destination screen

When sending a message, choose a recipient and a destination.

Users can set places they would like to have messages delivered to. Choose one of these areas so your friends can find your messages more easily.

map accessibility filters screen

But first, make sure they can get there.

Terrain and accessibility data from OpenStreetMap and Project Sidewalk can be overlaid on any of Drop-In’s maps. This helps you find the best routes to your messages, and helps you find good places to drop the messages you send to others.


Keep track of your progress.

Drop-In emphasizes consistency and progression, so it only keeps track of essential exercise metrics. But, it can integrate with many first- and third-party apps for those who want in-depth analysis.


To what end?

Empower caregivers to help patients develop and maintain healthy habits by connecting people.

Making lifestyle changes can be hard, but making those changes with others is often more successful. Drop-In helps people motivate each other by fostering personal connections.


Improve physical and mental health outcomes for patients and caregivers.

Regular physical activity is an essential part of the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes, and a number of related conditions. Reducing rates of the disease would mean better health outcomes for Premera’s patients and caregivers, and any successful intervention would have a significant impact on healthcare costs for everyone.