PRODUCT DESIGN CASE STUDY
Sihaty Healthcare &
Sihaty is a secure telehealth mobile application which offers a simple, affordable and meaningful way to access leading healthcare professionals and medical prescriptions in the comfort of your home or workplace.
Sihaty is one of the many ventures conceived by The Taken Seat, a venture builder based in Kuwait. The Taken Seat builds ventures by partnering with exceptional co-founders to conceive, launch and scale innovative startups.
— User Research
— User Flow
— Visual Design
1x Product Owner
1x Product Manager
1x Quality Assurance Tester
2x Mobile Developers
2x Backend Developers
2x Product Designers
2019 - 2022
The Taken Seat discovered that the majority of citizens travel overseas for recurring medical consultations. They do so because they believe healthcare professionals in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe are better trained and more specialized. Traveling to another country for medical consultations is both expensive and daunting.
Hospitals and clinics in Kuwait have also observed numerous instances where patients with non-urgent medical needs go to emergency rooms (E.Rs), causing delays for patients who do need urgent medical care. This issue became more pressing as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed and E.R’s were more crowded than previously recorded.
Based on these concerns, The Taken Seat decided to partner with an expert medical doctor and appointed him as a CEO to build Sihaty. A telehealth platform which would virtually connect healthcare professionals from all over the world to Kuwaiti citizens who need medical consultations.
Sihaty's product requirements and objectives were established and documented. These goals were to enable users to:
Virtually book and attend consultations with foreign healthcare professionals in different parts of the world from the comfort of their homes.
Schedule consultations by answering a few questions about their symptoms/nature of their consultation, so they can be directed to the right healthcare professional.
Save, update and share their healthcare records with the healthcare professional on the Sihaty platform.
Pay for consultations and prescriptions using their existing insurance through Sihaty.
After reviewing the product requirement document and clearing up the grey areas, I created a userflow, a screen flow, and some wireframes, focusing on the main areas that needed to be explored, which were:
Easy, Seamless and Secured Onboarding
For many people signing up to Sihaty, this would be their first experience with a telehealth platform. It was important that the features and benefits of Sihaty were explained in a clear and concise way and that users were reassured that all information they keep on Sihaty is safe and secure. For people who may be signing up when they need urgent care, it was also important that the sign-up and onboarding process be fast and seamless.
Aspects of the consultation flow such as; how users select symptoms, how to determine if a consultation is urgent or not, how to determine what specialists to show to users, etc, needed to be designed to match the mental models and current industry best practises.
The wireframing stage was an opportunity to explore the different approaches to these areas and to create testable prototypes which could be used to gather data. At this stage, I also looked into competitor platforms to determine what they were doing well and where there were opportunities to improve the telehealth experience for people.
With testable prototypes ready, we recruited 21 participants and conducted usability studies. Because Sihaty's services are targeted toward families, we enlisted the help of friends and family members of the Sihaty team to participate in the study. This allowed us to gather data about potential users' mental models and product market fit without sharing Sihaty with the public too early.
The data and insights from the studies were summarised and used to generate recommendations, all of which were shared with the team.
of participants understood the product's core premise and overall concept.
of participants enjoyed the overall experience of using the app.
of participants preferred a less serious design approach to reduce the anxiety associated with doctor consultations.
of participants found the pre-consultation symptoms questionnaire too lenghty and preferred a shorter version.
Iterations & Development
I created visual designs based on the wireframes, insights and recommendations from the usability study and the branding agency's brand guidelines. At this stage, I explored different visual directions focused on:
Consultation flow - Ensuring the consultation flow was as similar as possible to the way it would occur in the physical world. The objective here was to reduce friction by replicating patients' and healthcare professionals' mental models of attending consultations physically.
Symptoms questionnaire - Making sure the questionnaire patients fill out before being presented a list of specialized healthcare experts is simple to comprehend, straightforward, and quick to complete.
Privacy - Ensuring that users know that their health records and information shared during consultations are private and secure (HIPAA compliant). Consultation privacy was brought up by multiple participants during testing.
It was vital for women who wear Hijabs (facial and full body coverings) to be able to maintain the same level of privacy as they would in the real world by wearing Hijabs. We resolved this by allowing consumers to choose between audio and video consultations.
I continued to iterate on the visual design till and even during development putting the demands of the users, the business goals, and the technology constraints at the forefront of all changes/updates.
To address the issue that users preferred a less serious look during our testing phase, I incorporated illustrations rather than healthcare-related imagery across the app.
From Beta to Launch
The app was broken down into milestones during development to track progress and carry out effective and efficient QA tests.
A beta version of Sihaty was used to run pilots with a variety of user groups. We used a variety of user groups so as to determine what the most common/important feedback was. The feedback generated was used to refine the mobile application. After a month of gathering feedback and iterating, Sihaty was launched to the public.
As a team, we highlighted some success metrics which would help us track the progress of Sihaty. Even though we hadn't created the infrastructure to measure these metrics. After a few months of Sihaty being used by patients and healthcare professionals, we discovered:
Other data that piqued my interest included the percentage of users that begin filling out questionnaires and attend consultations, the number of audio/video consultations that occur on Sihaty each month, and the average duration spent on audio/video consultation sessions (Session length).
We received requests from clinics and hospitals in Kuwait to create white-label versions of our app, Sihaty. This was something that we had talked about in the early stages of development for Sihaty, and it was exciting to see it come to fruition just one year after the app was publicly released.
I was responsible for redesigning Sihaty for a few of these clinics and hospitals.
Recap & Takeaways
Using an agile process helped us quickly adapt the design for the COVID-19 pandemic
While working on the design for Sihaty, COVID-19 was an endemic in a couple countries. By the time we were at the visual design stage, it had become a pandemic. Due to our team’s agile process we were able to incorporate COVID-19 guidelines and assessments into the design with some ease. By adding these guidelines and assessment, we hoped to reduce the amount of people with non-urgent medical needs who were going to E.R’s. This was one of the pains Sihaty was looking to ease for hospitals in Kuwait, with the pandemic spreading, this issue had become even more pressing.
Having industry experts on the team helped us design to meet industry best practises
The Taken Seat partnered with a expert medical doctor to build Sihaty. The doctor's experience with general practice, medical consultations, symptoms and prescriptions was extremely valuable while designing the app and dashboard. There are nuances to how consultations happen in real life that, without a doctor present on the team, would have been difficult to replicate. This was a great example of how involving experts in a field, whether it be as team members or as research participants, can help to shed more light on industry best practises.