Docly, where customer service agents book doctor appointments over the phone.
The project was going to be considered a success if it was tested and coded in 3 months, and addressed the main user pain points.
In the winter of 2019, I was hired as a contract product designer by a private marketing agency in New York City to help a team of 3 designers, 6 developers, and 1 project managers with designing version 1 of Docly's app. Also, this project has been modified a bit, to preserve confidentiality with my client.
My Role & The Tools I used
For this project I used mostly a dotted notepad, Figma, and Principle; and I was in charge of leading user research to get a detailed understanding of the users' problems, explore multiple ideas with the designers and developers, and share a prototype version of the product so development can use a guide before coding.
The project would be considered a success if within 3 months time we could share with the client and with steak holders, the first coded and fully functional version of the app that had been tested, was based upon research, and was considered usable and meaningful when addressing the user's main pain points.
How can we make scheduling doctors appointments less repetitive for customer service agents who are on the go?
The current state of things
Private physicians, dentists, and group medical offices have been working with Company X (confidential) to help with scheduling appointments for patients. Company X (confidential), has a large group of customer service agents that use a variety of tools to manage the task of scheduling appointments. These agents are responsible for matching availability and patient requests.
Understanding the problem
Considering that a single customer service agent often is responsible for 5-15 different doctor’s offices, located throughout the country; managing booking and rebooking in a friendly manner, while handling new patient intake, validating insurance information, and making reminder phone calls can be a daunting and repetitive task, particularly if it's your part-time gig or if you're on the go.
Last minute changes, multiple tools for one job, and scheduling for people on different time zones while on the go
We knew the agents used serval desktop tools for doing their work, and that there was a demand for a better way to handle multiple appointments with one single app, so our initial thought was to focus on a desktop app.
The initial research findings
In our initial research conducted via a survey sent to customer service agents, we confirmed the following:
Most of the work was painfully repetitive and done using multiple apps
The last minute changes from doctors and agent schedule edits created conflicts and confusion in the workflow
A typical agent was a part-time student, working from home.
Are we learning something new?
In this conduct phase, I realized we had learned a few new insights, but almost just validated our assumptions. So, I decided to dig a little deeper with more research.
Digging a little deeper (more findings)
My second research method was done via contextual interviews by watching agents do their jobs and perform their task and I discovered that:
Agents are mostly on the go whipping out their laptops and struggling to find wifi to settle in and work.
They understood that a bonus came from booking many appointments, getting good call reviews, and keeping a certain call duration, but no idea where they stood thru out the year so it was hard to keep motivated without knowing where they stood.
Many of the doctors and patients are in different time zones, so working at odd hours is not uncommon. Again, whipping out a laptop at all times is hard.
The aha moment!
Altho we initially thought in our hypothesis that a desktop app was the way to go, the big aha! moment in our synthesis came when we realized that a mobile app was more important given the points mentioned earlier… Our agent was mostly “on the go!”.
Finding a Solution
Past the exploration phase thru user flows sketches and low fidelity prototypes, I shared my ideas with development and stakeholders to get the green light for high fidelity prototypes. Below some screenshots of this process.
Learnings & More
After I handed out the final design assets, the metrics of success via user testing were tackled by the agency. For reasons of privacy there is limited information regarding this project that I can provide.
Reflecting on this project I think that it's important to maintain a consistent framework for product design, in my case digging deep has always provided the answers in the end.