Building the Case for a New Feature
Product Design Intern
Komodo Health – San Francisco, CA
Scope: Researched, designed, tested, and deployed a professional networking/engagement planning feature
Timeline: 3 months (June to September 2018)
Primary Responsibilities: User/Design Research, Low to High-Fidelity Design Iterations, Testing, Deployment/Handoff
I was Komodo Health's first Product Design Intern, working alongside one PM and two full-stack engineers on Komodo Health's core B2B life-sciences product. I was the sole designer responsible for researching, designing, testing, and deploying 4 different features; the biggest one of the 4–which I detail here–took an existing feature and redesigned it into a brand new professional networking/engagement planning feature.
“My company is developing a new breast cancer treatment. As a Medical Science Liaison, I need to represent my company, meet with, and engage with 50 leading breast cancer doctors/researchers this quarter. It’s really overwhelming to me because these doctors don’t prioritize meetings with industry, so I often can’t get my foot in the door.”
– Monica, a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) at Johnson & Johnson
What do our users do now?
As the healthcare industry is generally 20 years behind the mainstream cadence of consumer tech, users now rely on a primarily paper-and-pencil process:
1. User receives a list of 50 doctors they need to meet with
2. User finds each doctor’s email, phone, hospital address (e.g. literally Google searching names)
3. User cold calls/emails each doctor on their list
4. If successful, the user meets with the doctor
Step 3 is usually where things get really frustrating, because those initial meetings with doctors are incredibly difficult to obtain.
Komodo Health’s datasets contain very detailed data on how each doctor collaborates with other doctors. This, in effect, allows us to create a very detailed networking map. Our hypothesis is that if users have a list of target doctors and can see their respective networks, that will provide an additional layer of information that our users can utilize when trying to reach doctors.
Understanding Users and Empathy Building
As a new designer to the company who knew very little about the healthcare industry, I needed to better understand the users' goals and pain-points before undertaking a significant design effort. My research hoped to answer the questions of:
• How are users currently using this feature? To what extent do users use this feature effectively?
• Where do users become frustrated and why?
• What parts of the feature/interface are being used, and what's not?
I used a combination of four methods to gather qualitative context and quantitative data on our feature, build empathy, and build a stronger case for a redesign:
1. User Session Recordings through Fullstory
2. Usage Metrics/Click Data
3. User Interviews
4. Customer Success Manager 1:1s
I created a user flow map to capture the experience of using this feature and to map out interactions, emotions, and edge cases. This user flow map also helped identify gaps in the user experience that would need to be accounted for. While the original user flow map was rather simple, multiple workshops with CX and PM allowed me to further iterate.
I always start designing with as many options as possible, and in low detail (low-fidelity). For this particular feature, I started iterating on designs with sixteen different paper sketches of possible designs.
Layout Design Consideration
In exploring the layout of this feature, I took four of the 16 original sketch concepts and carefully evaluated each design's viability.
After lengthy design workshops, we decided that the "Right-Panel Design" was the best layout option to explore. I proceeded to build out the "Right-Panel Design" in medium-fidelity. However, we found that the distribution of space was uneven and unbalanced.
Interaction and Usability Design Consideration
To keep every part of the user experience approachable, understandable, and enjoyable, I iterated on a number of micro-interactions.
Visual Design Consideration
An important aspect of the user experience is using visual design (i.e. colors, typography, themes, etc.) to inform content and hierarchy. One such consideration that arose surrounded distinguishing between two similar-looking lists. The solution was to use two different colors, one corresponding to the larger list on the right and one corresponding to the smaller list on the left.
In choosing colors, we needed to keep in mind a number of factors, including 1) colorblindness, 2) contrast, 3) display color profiles, 4) cultural meaning, 5) existing color usage throughout the system. For instance, we steered clear of red hues because of their association with destructive actions.
Evaluating and Testing Designs
To ensure cross-functional team visibility throughout the design process, I held weekly design workshops with my PM, CX lead, and one key engineer. These half-hour sessions were focused on gaining open, broad ranges of feedback from scoping, usability, feasibility, and visual design.
I held formal, hour-long review sessions with the entire product, engineering, and customer teams to inform those teams of near-final designs. Each discussion revolved around the priorities of each team and how the designs were (or were not) addressing those priorities.
To collect asynchronous design feedback, I placed large poster boards in high-traffic office areas for 2 weeks, to gather anonymous feedback on designs.
Micro-interactions and UI components required further quantitative testing, because our design intuition was not sufficient enough to land on an optimal user experience. To address these concerns, I conducted a survey–sent through our customer team–to gather feedback on WIP designs.