STAY IN THE BLUE
University of Michigan’s University Health Service (UHS) is a comprehensive healthcare clinic for University of Michigan students, faculty, and staff. Located on Ann Arbor’s central campus, UHS provides health-related resources and services to students and the broader University of Michigan community. As a part of its program on alcohol and other drug-related health concerns, UHS created a mobile app called “Stay In The Blue” to assist students with moderating their alcohol intake. The name of the app refers to staying in the “blue” zone (a color block on the app relating to a blood alcohol content of .06 or below. Different color blocks indicate different levels of intoxication) when drinking so that they lower risk while still having fun.
The Stay In The Blue app was originally developed and released by UM students, and although it successfully met their basic goal of helping students be more aware their blood alcohol content (BAC) levels, UHS quickly realized that this version didn’t meet all of their needs.
The original app quickly fell behind on the latest software platforms, and the design and UX needed some updates. The brief overview of feature changes UHS wanted to be added to the app included:
- An extended drink list, taking into account varying alcohol content percentages for craft beers and specialty liquors
- There wasn’t an option for adding/deleting a ½ drink
- Buttons and text were occasionally too small, which made the app difficult for inebriated users to use
- App workflow sometimes had too many “steps” to get to the option or feature the user was looking for.
- Lacked settings and options for transgender people when initially selecting the drinker’s gender.
- List of taxi services wasn’t comprehensive enough
- “Fun Things To Do” didn’t contain enough events or resources, and was difficult for admins to update.
- Adding Uber for rides in any city
- Was not compatible with the latest Android and iOS versions
Logic Solutions jumped in on the project to help with these app upgrades and enhancements, and to take the app to the next level.
- Mobile app for university healthcare clinic
- Assists students with moderating alcohol intake
- Enhancements and updates to existing app
- As of June 2017, Stay In The Blue has been downloaded 11,400 times
The app allows students to track their blood alcohol content (BAC), gives them tips to stay safer, lets them know when they are at or past .08 (legally drunk level), has UM policy information, tips to lower the drinking risk, and phone numbers to call a cab. Additionally, Stay In The Blue tells students how many standard drinks they’ve consumed, their BAC at any point in the night and provides an end-of-the-night report showing them if they are in the blue (preferred), maize, orange, or red.
The original version of Stay In The Blue already had all of the basic features that UHS wanted, and Logic Solutions helped to expand upon these existing features.
- BAC Calculator: User enters their gender and weight, then chooses the type and number of drinks they’ve consumed over time. The app calculates and displays estimated blood alcohol content. Logic Solutions helped to add instructions for transgender people on which gender to select in the app settings in order to provide an as-accurate-as-possible BAC reading. We also added the option to select and delete a ½ drink and a “stop drinking” button for when students wanted to stop the calculations.
- Colored Status Indicators: Over the course of the drinking, users are given one of four colored statuses: blue (recommended safe zone, for BAC of .06 or less), or the more risky zones of maize, orange, or red. At each color level, Logic added a series of rotating safe drinking tips, such as “Have a glass of water”, “Ask a friend for help”, or “It is illegal to drive.”
- Call-a-Cab: The original version of the app only listed taxi services for the Ann Arbor area with information on how to contact them. In the new version, Logic streamlined the cab-calling process to just a tap of the finger, and leveraged the phone’s GPS location tracking to update the list of available taxi services updates depending on the city the user is in (e.g. Ann Arbor, Lansing, Detroit, etc).
- Drink Tracker: Stay In The Blue allows users to save event reports so that they can see how often they are in the blue (or other zones) over time. Logic added the ability for users to save their records or enter an event the day after as a “last night” event. Logic also added an undo button so that users can undo drink entries without exiting the app and starting over.
- Snapshot: This allows students to plan ahead or figure out what BAC they were at another time. Users can input varying numbers of drinks and hours to determine a BAC, so they can plan on a future drink limit or help them understand why a particular night of drinking didn’t turn out as expected.
- Events: Displays a list of fun things to do in Ann Arbor. Logic integrated the app with UHS’ website so that events are updated automatically from the site that the UHS staff regularly update.
In addition to enhancing these existing features, Logic streamlined app design to be more user-centered. We shortened the average number of buttons a user would have to press to add more drinks to their evening’s BAC calculator, finding a list of more fun things to do, and calling for a cab or campus security. We also reworked the size and positioning of buttons and text in the app so that users are less likely to accidentally press an incorrect button.
The updated app has been a huge success for UHS. Many University of Michigan students have found that moderating their alcohol intake means more fun, less drama, and an increased likelihood of staying safe and “in the blue.” The Stay In The Blue app is one piece of the campaign that has helped educate students on how to make thoughtful choices that reduce harm.
Download Stay In The Blue on the App Store or Google Play!
As of June 2017, the Stay In The Blue app has been downloaded 11,400 times.
“Logic Solutions took a great student tool to the next level. They were incredibly responsive to our needs and budget and had communication along the way that kept us in sync. I enjoyed working with them!” – Marsha Benz, Health Educator at University Health Services