Welcome to Dexcom: The Troubleshooting Journey

Role: UX Designer, UX Researcher

Team: Katherine Ngo, Angela Zu, Michelle Duong, Tiffany Lau

Mentors: Karen Yeung, Katie Anthony,  Jessica Larrabee, Jazmin Fleming, Heidi Rataj

Redesigning the troubleshooting journey for customers who use Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring.

For 10 weeks, I was a UX Researcher and Designer for the Diabetes Design Initiative, which is under the Design Lab at UC San Diego. We worked directly with Dexcom to help improve the user experience. I spent the entire quarter working on a project that aimed to improve the troubleshooting experience for Dexcom CGM users.


What does Dexcom do?

Dexcom is a company that distributes CGM systems for diabetes management. CGM stands for "Continuous Glucose Monitoring", which is a device that tracks the user's glucose levels.


The Design Brief

Dexcom handed us a design brief that we would propose a solution to.

The Objectives

What would be most beneficial way to send a welcome series of content?

When and how does it get delivered?

The Business Goal

Reduce the number of "low-calorie" calls into Dexcom Tech Support.

"Low-calorie" = common tech support issues that can easily solved, such as signal loss or adhesion issues.


How can we show that Dexcom cares for users at all points in the troubleshooting journey?

The Process


The above diagram illustrates our design process. Throughout the project timeline, we planned and facilitated weekly meetings with our mentors/client.


Understanding the Users

To understand the troubleshooting experience for Dexcom CGM users, we conducted secondary research and user interviews. We focused on using the interviews to understand the users, these were our main findings.

They prefer short, simple blurbs.

In order to learn more about how users prefer to skim content, we asked them if they read Dexcom's user guide. 2/3 did not read the user guide, 1 read it but said it was overwhelming.

Daily onboarding emails would be ignored.

We asked the users if they would be interested in onboarding emails that gave them troubleshooting tips. 6/7 did not want the emails - they did not see value information that was relevant to them in that moment.

They go to multiple resources before calling tech support.

7/7 said they use multiple resources when they run into an issue. They call tech support when they cannot find a clear solution.

Customer Journey Map

Creating a journey helped with understanding which parts in the troubleshooting journey users needed the most support.


The Proposed Solution

Conducting research and interviews and then creating the journey map led us to identify the problem and come up with a proposed solution. We proposed that users need a system that helps them at multiple troubleshooting points throughout their journey. This specifically means that users need at least one solution at each phase of their journey.

Before Product

For the Before Product phase in the journey, we wanted to propose a solution that would focus on Preparation since this is the phase where the users would be learning more about their Dexcom CGM and waiting for it to arrive.



One Pager

The first solution in the system is a page on the Dexcom website, called the New Users Page. It includes a walkthrough of what the user can expect and a list of best practices.

We originally had the list of best practices be a list of troubleshooting tips, but after user testing and feedback, we reframed the section to be best practices because it made the section less intimidating and scary.


New Users Page

Guidance for new users

What's on the way?

To eliminate confusion and clarify everything before users receive the product

What's on the way?

To eliminate confusion and clarify everything before users receive the product


For the Onboarding phase, the solution would revolve around Introduction. The solution in this phase would make sure to introduce the right resources to the user so that they can become more knowledgeable and aware of how they can solve future issues.



App Walkthrough + Troubleshooting Page

The second solution is a quick walkthrough of the Dexcom app(when they first download it). One part of the walkthrough includes pointing out the Troubleshooting Page, which is another part of the solution. The Troubleshooting Page includes detailed explanations and solutions to the top issues people call tech support for.

Older versions of the solution included more detailed walkthroughs of the troubleshooting page, but through interviews and testing, we learned that onboarding walkthroughs should be short and simple. Too much information will become ignored and would be annoying for the users to click through.



Walkthrough of the App

Users go through a quick walkthrough once they download the app

Troubleshooting Page

Explanations and solutions to the common issues people call about

Chat Live with Tech Support

Can't find the issue you're experiencing? No worries, you can chat live with tech support!

After the First 10 Days

The last phase of the journey is After the First 10 Days. This is the phase where the user has used their CGM for 10 days and have experienced some issues. For this phase, we focused on a solution that would serve as a "check in", where users could experience support and attention from Dexcom.



Error Follow Up Notification

The last solution is an error follow up notification. When a user is experiencing the same issue over and over, the app will send out a notification that serves as a "check in", letting the user know that the app notices their issues and is here to help.


Noticing their Issues

The app knows if the user is experiencing a recurring issue and asks them if they would some tips

Learn More

Instead of providing only one type of solution in the notification itself, we provide a "Learn More" CTA so that the user can navigate to a page with more details and solutions.


20% decrease in low calorie tech support calls after 1 month

When we presented our solutions, we proposed a measure of success to Dexcom.

The Impact

Overall, our project was a success! Users responded positively to the solutions and Dexcom appreciated our consideration of the user journey. Here are some quotes from users I would like to highlight:

"[On the Error Notifications] Feels smart. Like it's being proactive about the challenges I am facing."

"[On the System] It feels like Dexcom is caring about you."



I learned a lot from this project - from working for a client to dabbling in the healthcare industry, this project provided a lot of knowledge and skills for my design career. Here are my main takeaways:

Work with the client, not just for them.

We needed Dexcom as much as they needed us, so it was important to treat them almost like another team member in our project.

Trust your research and work.

Don't depend too heavily on the client's ideas! There were times where we mainly worked off of Dexcom's brainstorming ideas and disregarded our own research. It was important for us to take a step back and frame our solution around the information we gathered ourselves.

Make the most of our time with the client.

Instead of simply giving updates during our weekly meetings with Dexcom, we made sure to facilitate activities and constantly ask questions so that we could get the most out of our 30 minute meetings.

Made with 💖 by Katherine Ngo.

katherinengo13@gmail.com  LinkedIn