redefining healthcare

redefining healthcare

  • company: sonova

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  • time: jan '22 -> apr '22

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  • role: ux design intern

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I was tasked with designing an app or website that would improve some aspect of the healthcare field. I chose to look at booking systems, and focus on how scheduling and paying for healthcare appointments could be automated. The solution was a mobile application.


The team:

Although there was one other designer on the team, I was tasked with taking lead on this project. However, the process required close collaboration with the developers to ensure that this was a solution that was viable for implementation.

The goal:

The brief for this project was deliberately left open. As it was part of the Sonova Innovation Lab, the goal was ultimately to explore possible implementations of an app or website that could improve an area of the healthcare field in the future.


There weren't many constraints to take into consideration in this exploration. The biggest one was that it must be in line with the vision of the Lab, and that it should be viable for development.


How might we create a one-stop-shop experience for consumers wishing to book and schedule appointments with their health practitioners to avoid redundancy and save time?

How might we create a one-stop-shop experience for consumers wishing to book and schedule appointments with their health practitioners to avoid redundancy and save time?

The Solution:

Ultimately, my solution was a mobile application where patients could book appointments. However, research revealed that a few more things would be just as important, and the implementation of these features was designed and handed off.

Feature 1:

The ability to seamlessly book healthcare appointments. This was the core functionality of the application. The goal was to allow users to perform this in under 5 clicks, which could be managed via Google Calendar integration. The software would match the doctor's availability with the patient's, to suggest a time that worked for both parties.

Feature 2:

Allowing users to leave and read reviews. Research showed that the majority of patients found reviews to be one of the most important considerations in choosing a healthcare practicioner, so they would be available in-app

Feature 3:

Patient intake forms. Oftentimes, patients are required to fill out long tedious forms when they arrive at a clinic. Moving those forms to the app would allow patients to save time, and get to their practicioner faster.

Feature 4:

Insurance reimbursements/direct billing. For many patients, filing insurance claims can become a big hassle, and requires them to download receipts, and go through a whole process on a different application to get reimbursed for their claims. By adding this in-app, patients can have faster access to their money.

If you're interested in reading about the process, click the button and scroll.

The Process:

Stage 1:

  • competitive analysis with companies from different sectors.

  • analyse a few of them in a deeper context.

  • compile key insights & takeaways.

Stage 2:

  • create personas.

  • speak to real doctors + patients

  • use insights to determine pain points.

Stage 3:

  • customer journey maps.

  • define certain opportunities at each stage.

  • rank key opportunities.

Key Insights

Simplicity is the most essential part of crafting a streamlined booking service.

Users should not feel overwhelmed with options. Instead, highlight a few key tasks and make these easily accessible.

Minimal clicks is optimal in a booking process. Cliniko takes only 4 clicks to book an appointment. This is ideal.

The solution does not have to address every single problem and pain point. Rather than creating a one-size fits all, it should focus on a few key tasks and maximize efficiency and intuitiveness.

Customer Journey Maps

The customer journey map shown below proved to be extremely useful in the context of this project. The opportunities identified helped design the user workflows (which will be explored shortly), and aided in understanding the true pain points that a user may face during the experience of booking and attending healthcare appointments.

User Workflows

An essential and often overlooked stage in the design process is mapping out user workflows. Creating these helps understand the steps a user will take to perform tasks, and easily outlines where redundancies and pain points may be created. As well as this, it helps in the understanding of what the most important tasks and processes a user may want to perform are.

Initial Designs

As any self-respecting, inexperienced designer would do, I jumped straight into the high-level design. No planning, no atomic design system and definitely no vision. Just me and a blank canvas.

With that said, not everything that came out of this futile exercise was... futile. Instead, the design gave me the opportunity to analyse, to determine what was working well, and what could be improved. This would give me a greater idea of the direction I wanted to head in when I did things the right way.

User Testing

Insight 1

users would not pay attention to sign up process -- results in confusion when software offers to find a time

Insight 2

upcoming appointments is unclear in the bookings section - can it be added to the home screen?

Insight 3

it was hard to remember appointment details -- final screen of booking flow not attention-grabbing

Insight 4

an option to view scheduled appointments in a calendar view rather than list view would be nice

Insight 5

when applying filters in the explore section, the apply filters button blocks out the addition of other filters

Insight 6

in financial history, the use of green circles w icons doesn’t imply what’s going on -- needs more clarity


What needs changing:

  • minor tweaks from user testing

  • add in upcoming appointments to home screen

  • change some iconography to be more clear

  • make the sign up process more memorable

Next Steps:

  • make necessary changes

  • pitch application to someone who will develop

  • build a network of doctors / insurance providers willing to be listed

What I’d do differently

  • perform user testing more frequently

  • start with a plan, expand from there.

    • would have allowed inclusion of more features

  • spend more time exploring the problem space

What I've learned

  • there is A LOT to be uncovered in the research phase... take your time when doing it

  • users will see things or feel things you cannot. test as frequently as possible