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ImpactPharm

Virtual Access to Your Pharmacists and Providers
A tele-health pharmacy app that connects patients to pharmacists and providers easily
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The goal of this project was to test the UX of a tele-health pharmacy app for its first launch and second version release.

Overview

Problem: Patients' often have to wait long lines at the pharmacy to get their prescription filled or ask questions about their medication. Patients' with more complex health issues who take multiple medication also experience confusion between which medication to take when and if the combination of medications will impact their health at all.  As a result, patients' needs are neglected and can lead to death caused by taking medications in deadly combinations unknowingly.

 

Role of ImpactPharm: ImpactPharm, a startup company, was created to reduce the wait time by providing easy virtual access to schedule an appointment with a pharmacist but also allow a pharmacist and provider to talk together with the patient in advising them about how to manage their health and medication. It also allows them to have a central location where they can keep track of all their medication.

My role: UX Team Lead & UX Researcher

I led a team of three UX interns to train and conduct usability tests, provide heuristic evaluation before and after the app release. 

Tools: Zoom, Figma, Asana, Slack, Google Docs

Leading Interns as a Team Lead

I had the privilege of leading and training a team of three UX interns in conducting user research and heuristic evaluation.
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Celebrating our last day of internship together

Embracing Uncertainty

From day one, I learned to embrace uncertainty as the first UX Researcher and Team Lead at the startup company. Some key actionable steps I took were:
  • Communicated with the founder about the expectations and goals of the product, my role and the interns' role 
  • Virtually met with and informally interviewed team members regarding their roles and product expectations (pharmacists, overseas development team, financial officers, etc.)
  • Scheduled recurring 1:1s with the founder and interns to ensure clear communication, product goal alignment and support
  • Researched published resources and reached out to experienced mentors for guidance and wisdom on leading a UX team and conducting UX research at a startup company
  • Assessed the skills needed to accomplish the task and the strengths and weaknesses of our team

Challenges

Below are various challenges we encountered:
  • Time/Resource Constraints
  • Rapid adjustment to role, company needs/deadlines, and team members
  • Working remotely across three time zones as a team. One intern was working from Pakistan
  • Managing three interns who all had a background in software engineering of various degrees but did not have much UX Research background
  • Working with an overseas development team that spoke a different language. (Our sole translator was the founder of the company.)

Results

Despite the challenges, we were able to accomplish the following:
  • Successfully helped launch the application
  • Delivered 30+ insights after testing on how to improve the application
  • Overcame the language barrier by utilizing tools like Figma to create visual feedback for the development team
  • Interns successfully conducted a usability test with minimal guidance

Process

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User Proto-Personas

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Heuristic Evaluation

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Testing

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Analysis

User Proto-Personas

Though were on a short timeline before app release, I decided it was necessary to create at least proto-personas if not user personas before we started evaluating and testing the product in order to keep our product user-focused.

I had assumed there would only be 1-2 proto-personas; however I realized there was a wider range of users the product was supporting. Our team created 5 proto-personas, which gave us a much better picture of the range of users using our product. Placing ourselves in the shoes of our potential users helped us to know what product features would be beneficial or cause issues for users when we conducted our heuristic evaluation. 
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Click on the proto-personas above for a closer look!

Heuristic Evaluation

Each team member evaluated the beta version of the app and took screenshots of issues they encountered. 
Putting our collective findings together helped us to narrow the issues down to our top 6 issues to communicate with our development team. 
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Heuristic evaluation findings before the product release
Due to language barrier with the overseas development team, we used Figma to show our top 6 issues and solutions for them to implement along with our founder translating for us as we elaborated on the design solutions. 
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To overcome the language barrier with the overseas development team, we created visual design solutions in Figma to better communicate what needed to be changed

Usability Testing

We had two rounds of user testing:
  • 1st round: before app release
  • 2nd round: after app release
 
We created a script, brainstormed tasks and recruited volunteer participants for the test sessions. 
Click here to view script
 
One important finding from the usability test was that the patient did not have an option to set an appointment time though it allowed them to select the date. This was such an obvious feature that we had missed as team and reiterated the importance of testing the product with participants. 

One problem we faced was having most of the 100-200 contacts who had originally signed up to test the app, not participate in our test sessions. We brainstormed reasons why there was a lack of response and came up with a new plan. We included incentives and more clear and concise instructional guides in a follow-up email with no success. We quickly pivoted and decided to recruit participants from our personal networks instead.

One challenge for me was balancing training our interns in conducting usability studies while being mindful of not skewing test results. For the first test session, I facilitated while our lead intern took notes. I had our other interns turn off their cameras while taking notes so as to not overwhelm or distract the participant. After the test session, I would meet with the interns separately and we would share our learnings and feedback from the test session together. It was a chance to combine our findings together and also train the interns on writing observations with less assumptions and asking open-ended questions participants to avoid biasing the participant's responses.

If I could do this over again, I would have:
  • confirmed with the original contacts ahead of time about their willingness to participate in our usability study instead of assuming that they would still be
  • limit the number of interns shadowing per test session because their presence could still make participants nervous and thus, biasing the test results even with their cameras turned off
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 Leading our first usability test session with a participant and lead intern (notetaker)

Analysis

We created a new way to analyze our usability testing data combining traditional UX research data analysis categories such as motivation, goal and frustration on the Y-axis with design-based and functionality-based categories on the X-axis. 

Given the short timeline, I think creating this graph to analyze the data was a quick and interactive way to distill insights into very clear categories of what issues would be easier or harder to address and which issues were more design versus development related. However, it was harder to detect more subtle user behavior patterns across participants compared to affinity mapping.

If we had a third round of testing, I would have switched to affinity mapping instead. However, I think this graph was overall an innovative tool that creatively served our purposes well.
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We developed a graph analysis tool to help synthesize our usability testing data into insights
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