The insulin manufacturer Lilly is launching their first insulin pump. I helped them understand the pump system, design & prototype the packaging, and devise a more pain-free patient journey. Work done at Dubberly Design Office, 2018.

Understanding the system

I made control system diagrams to help us and the client discuss and understand how all the components work together, how much consumable parts are in the system, and which third-party vendor supplies what parts.

Components made by Lilly and third-party vendors all come in with their own packaging, then packed again in a tertiary box.

Developing prototypes

The biggest design challenge is that since we couldn’t touch third-party vendor packaging, the pump initiation kit would contain many smaller boxes. To create a less-overwhelming open box experience, we made foam prototypes derived from existing box dimensions and research results about pump training sessions.

One of the directions is to unify boxes’ dimensions using filler material. A folded giant poster greets and guides the patient upon unboxing.

Another direction was to reduce the outer package size as much as possible.

Patient journeys

I researched and made journey maps to push discussions on potential delivery routes, benefits, unknowns, and stakeholders in the patient’s setup and training process.


If anything, discussions on patient journey made me viscerally realize that design is not only a business about craft and material; it is also a business about people responsible for the resulting artifact. After giving good form, the next challenge is almost always getting the necessary people together to make good happen.

The work around Lilly’s insulin pump was still going when I left the office. The design process opened my eyes to the gigantic, painful, and often hidden effort behind designing for health products. Navigating such a complex land­scape of logistics and stakeholders take incredible patience and management, and I felt lucky to have been part of this journey.