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Online Health Community Website

 

Introduction

“Online health community participation leads to direct benefits in the form of information utility and social support and that information utility also helps to shape perceptions of patient empowerment among community participants.” – Online health communities, An assessment of the influence of participation on patient empowerment outcomes, Johnstone, Worrell, Di Gangi & Wasko, Information Technology & People (May 2013).

The above is why I was super excited to take on this Project as a Freelance UI/UX Designer and this Case study chronicles the design processes involved in this Design project.

I worked alongside a team for the Questionnaires, a Developer, a Project Manager and the Product Owners. Working on this project took 3 months, which started in November 2019.

 

 

Problem Statements

In Nigeria, there is no Centralized Health Information platform where healthly or recovering individuals can visit to learn about their health, new symptoms and get help till they are whole and/or maintain that health.

1. About 49% of people do not check in with their Doctor/Health Worker regularly (Quarterly, Yearly or when they are sick, as opposed to Monthly or Weekly) – Our Offline Survey

2. Noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people. This includes 15 million people dying prematurely, aged between 30 and 69. – WHO

3. Over 85% of these premature deaths are in low- and middle-income countries. – WHO

4. More than 1.6 billion people (22% of the global population) live in places where protracted crises (through a combination of challenges such as drought, famine, conflict, and population displacement) and weak health services leave them without access to basic care. – WHO

Getting the right information about a new illness or symptom or getting first hand help online can be a chore, as you would need to verify the information with multiple sources first.

 

 

Key Focus

– Stimulate demand for healthcare by empowering consumers.

– Increase participation of consumers in healthcare.

– Better match demand and supply of healthcare.

– Connect consumers to better information about treatment and costs of care.

 

The statements above led me to focus on some of the goals which would help provide the required solutions.

a. Provide information (that is verified) about sicknesses, drugs, symptoms and cures.

b. Insurance and financing of health.

c. Preventive Health

d. Connect people with the same/similar illness.

e. Patient’s review of everything Health services.

 

Challenges that are been addressed

– Decrease information asymmetry for consumers.

– Improve access to (remote) care.

– Improve access to healthcare financing.

 

 

Business goals

– High user engagement.

– High user conversion.

 

 

 

Offline Survey/Questionnaire

This started with a quantitative Survey and qualitative surveys to deepen insights gotten from the first. This took place in the Lekki and Ikeja area of Lagos state. The Survey had 517 participants in Lagos, who participated in the Survey. This helped to reveal the participants preferences, requirements age, income level, health habits, source of health information, how they relate to the health information gotten online, if they reveal the information to their doctor/health worker etc.


About my role

I worked on this project as the UX/UI Designer. I worked alongside other great people like the Front End Developer, Back End Developer, Project Manager and Product Owners. This project lasted for about 6 months.

 

 

Focus Groups

This consist of respondents from the quantitative survey and consent was requested and granted. The age range was between 25 – 64 years.

The discussion was directed by a previously coded discussion guide, comprising of 3 main thematic areas, which are :

1. General information; sourcing and consumption

2. Health information; sourcing and consumption

3. Online health information; experiences and consumption.

 

Focus Groups

 

 

Personas

This was created to reflect the Users habits, painpoints, goals, routine, motivation etc. Our Target focus is on Middle aged Professionals who have middle to high income (income data is based on the NBS Income value) in Nigeria.

Based on the interviews we set up four personas base on if they were sick, healthy, recuperating or managing a condition. We referred to them throughout the entire product development process.

personas

Features requested by the Users

– Conservative with colours. Nothing flashy

– Use high-resolution images, but no gory pictures

– Short (2 – 3 min) videos on selected topics

– Prominent search box

– Regular and short health tips

– Medical expert/hospital directory

– Triage/symptom box

– Health information archive

– Locally relevant and contextual information

– Easy to understand in English and/or Pidgin English.

Sitemap
Sitemap

 

Wireframes

I started designing the wireframes from the features requested by the Users, as this gave a lot of insight into what they would like to see and how the information should be represented. 

 

User Testing

During the User Testing, we discovered the following desired featured set

– Prominent search box.

– Multi-word search.

– Floating ‘Back’ button or link

– Permanent menu navigation bar (remove menu icon).

– Change background pic to more family-oriented picture.

– Define data points on site front page as health-related.

– Add ‘Current News’ section to Menu

– Include ‘Current News’ briefs at the end of every search results page

– Merge Privacy and Disclaimer into one link; ‘Legal’. On ‘Legal’ page, show briefs

for ‘Privacy Statement’ and ‘Disclaimer’

– All seach results should be listed alphabetically by default.

– Inlcude Hospital Search by locality (use local council development areas.local

government areas as locality indicators) To start with only 57 LGAs/LCDAs of

Lagos.

– Hospital search results to be displayed: Locality, Name, Contact Number,

Contact Person, Hospital Category (Public or Private), Hospital Type (Primary,

Secondary, Tertiary), Services Rendered, Patient Rating, SafeCare Rating, GeoCoordinates, Distance from current location.

– All search results should be initially displayed as briefs (short two to three-line

summaries), that should be expandable on touch or click and include a ‘Read

More’ link at the end of the brief.

– Disease search results should include a link to hospitals that can treat such

diseases. Hospital list per disease will be provided.

– Drug search results should include a link to pharmacies that sell such drugs.

Pharmacy list per drug will be provided.

– Include a ‘Sign Up for Newsletters’ field where we collect emails of users who

want newsletters.

UI Design

Since I already have an idea about the features and how to use design elements to aid with the main aim of this product, I kickstarted interface designing.

I had it at the back of my mind that this product needs to be conservative, no shouting colors but still aesthetically pleasing.

 

Conclusion

I discovered that :

the respondents turned to the internet first for ALL their information needs, including health information. Access to the internet was mainly through their mobile devices.

Google remains an important gateway for user-generated information searches, and consumers believe they need multiple searches to make an informed decision. Market entry partners may help shorten this user journey to an informed decision.

An online health information platform should offer expert, disease-specific advise, and must be searchable, affordable, with locally relevant and contextual information to accommodate the motivations and concerns of potential users.

For profit organizations are more willing to offer market entry services and non-profits organizations were more willing to offer information curation and endorsements.

As much as I’ll like ti measure the impact of this design, the product is in it’s final lifecycle with content being updated. Once it goes live, I’ll have metrics available.