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Creating a telemedicine service to connect owners with veterinarians

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Overview

Project

Mobile Website Design
Conceptual Project

Role

UX Research
UX/UI Designer

Tools

Figma & FigJam
Optimal Workshop

Duration

4 Months

Context

In 2019, I began working at a veterinary hospital and quickly became familiar with the prevalent issues in the field. We frequently received complaints about extended wait times, high costs, and inadequate communication, which often led to client dissatisfaction.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further exacerbated the situation as the demand for veterinary appointments surged. This surge stemmed from both the influx of newly adopted pets and existing pet owners noticing more health concerns while spending increased time at home. The implementation of COVID-19 precautions, such as curbside service, inadvertently hindered the operational efficiency of veterinary offices, resulting in appointments taking even longer than usual. As a result, the level of client satisfaction remained extremely low.

Solution

I developed an app that enables remote consultations, providing convenient access to quality veterinary care while efficiently streamlining appointment management for doctors and pet owners.

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Research

Digitizing Veterinary Care

Investigating Telemedicine Services

Although I worked in the veterinary field, I did not have direct experience with telemedicine services. To bridge this knowledge gap, I conducted a comprehensive competitive analysis of various veterinary telemedicine websites.

This analysis involved assessing factors such as website design, navigation, content organization, appointment booking processes, communication options, and cost transparency. Additionally, I examined how these websites came up with solutions for both pet owners and veterinarians.

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A Comparison to Traditional Visits

Exploring veterinary care, I pondered a crucial question: When can telemedicine substitute traditional vet visits effectively? With rising demand for convenient healthcare, I investigated to validate this assumption in veterinary medicine. The following insights shed light on situations where in telemedicine proves to be a viable substitution:

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Examining Owner Experiences

I conducted a user survey with 60 respondents to assess satisfaction with existing veterinary services and identify challenges encountered during clinic visits. The survey yielded the following insights:

  • 68.5% of users expressed hesitancy in bringing their animals to the vet due to uncertainty regarding the associated costs.

  • 59% of users experienced extended wait times at veterinary clinics or hospitals during routine appointments.

  • 56% of users have been reluctant to bring their animal to the vet because their animal is fearful, nervous, has anxiety, or doesn't get along with others.

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A Glimpse into Pet Parents' Hearts

After conducting the initial user survey, I recognized the need to delve deeper into the experiences and perspectives of pet owners. To accomplish this, I conducted a series of in-depth interviews with six participants.

During the interviews, participants shared touching stories and personal experiences that highlighted the emotional significance of their bond with their beloved pets and the important role played by veterinary care in those moments.  Here are three impactful quotes from the interviews that resonated with me:

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Advocates for Animal Wellness

I created to user personas: Jade and Brett. While they possess distinct characteristics and challenges, they both share a genuine affection for their pets and a strong drive to improve the quality of life for their furry companions. These personas will serve as relatable representatives for the pet-loving community.

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Research Findings

Although current veterinary telemedicine services offer convenient and remote care options, they often fail to address all the challenges users face during traditional veterinary visits. Key issues include inadequate transparency regarding costs, limited availability, a lack of compassion from veterinarians, long wait times, and difficulties in scheduling appointments. To effectively tackle these concerns, telemedicine providers should go beyond providing basic functionalities and actively work towards establishing a strong and trusting relationship with their clients.

Major Insights

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Design

Innovating Animal Welfare

Addressing Unresolved Issues

While veterinary telemedicine effectively addresses many issues associated with traditional vet visits, it still falls short in fully resolving all of them. Recognizing the need for continuous improvement and innovation, I compiled a list of remaining challenges and proposed features to tackle them.

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Integrating Information Management

When creating the site map, I included a section for owners to access consultation follow-up instructions, view their pet's medical history, and prescriptions. This provides convenient access to important information and simplifies the process of managing their pet's health.

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The Path to Perfect Matches

While building the tasks flows, I deliberated on whether the CTA button should direct users to the account creation page or the list of available veterinarians. Ultimately, I decided that the CTA should lead directly to the account creation page before displaying a list of veterinarians. This choice was driven by the need for users to provide their pet's information during sign-up, allowing for better matching with veterinarians who can address their animal’s specific needs.

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Creating a Stress-Free Process

During wireframe creation, I focused on designing a website that accommodated users facing stressful situations regarding their pets' health. I streamlined the interface and layout to ensure easy and quick navigation. I also prioritized clear and concise copy, using straightforward instructions to facilitate quick understanding.

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Branding for Challenging Moments

Conveying Memorability & Compassion

The "Pawpette" brand name cleverly incorporates "pipette," highlighting its association with pet care. The playful and creative name reflects the focus on veterinary services, adding uniqueness and memorability. The branding color palette aims to evoke friendliness, calm, trust, and hope. The soothing blue and optimistic green create a visually comforting experience for users seeking veterinary care for their pets.

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Outcome

I developed a veterinary telemedicine app that fosters trust and delivers a comprehensive and convenient veterinary care experience, offering round-the-clock compassionate care and simplified booking.

On-Demand Pet Care

Simple + Personalized Onboarding

The app offers streamlined onboarding process. Users can quickly create their accounts, enter their pet's information and symptoms, and seamlessly initiate the search for the ideal veterinarian. Pet owners can find the perfect vet for their needs and schedule without any hassle or delays.

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Inclusive Communication

Language Inclusion + Text Chat Options

The app offers a text chat-only option for those with hearing or verbal impairments, or for those who are not able to be on video at the time. Users can also identify their veterinarian's spoken language in their profile to promote effective communication during consultations.

Organized Scheduling

Confirmation + Calendar Integration

Confirmation pages display essential appointment details, ensuring that users can access the necessary information at a glance. Additionally, calendar syncing has been incorporated so that users can effortlessly add their appointments to their preferred calendar applications and set up reminders.

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Testing

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Achievements

I conducted usability testing with six pet owners as participants. They were given three tasks to complete, which involved navigating through the onboarding, vet selection, and booking processes.

Participants praised the professional and polished appearance of the app, which instilled a sense of trust and confidence in the veterinary care services. One user specifically mentioned, "The app's appearance gives me the confidence that the care provided will be of high quality and reliable." Another user stated, "The app looks really clean and well-designed.”

Participants also found the app's content to be well-organized and presented in a clear and concise manner, making it easy to understand and follow. One participant commented, "The information was presented in a straightforward way, making it easy to navigate and find what I needed." Another participant added, "The content was concise and to the point, which made getting through the tasks pretty easy."

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User Concern

Participants expressed interest in accessing the doctor's clinic information. They wanted to know the proximity of vets to their own location.

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Modification

To address this, I incorporated the vet's clinic name and address in their profile, along with a map and a "Get Directions" button for convenient navigation.

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User Concern

Participants wondered about filtering capabilities when browsing the list of veterinarians. They wanted to swiftly identify the best match.

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Modification

I added a filter button to allow users to quickly narrow their search, and a banner that identifies the vet in their results with the earliest appointment time.

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User Concern

Participants wanted to have the option of providing additional information or mentioning any concerns that were not specifically listed.

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Modification

I included a text box field on the symptoms page to accommodate participants' need for capturing any additional concerns or symptoms not listed.

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Final Prototype

Reflection

Key Takeaways

Given my background and involvement in veterinary medicine at the time of the project, I recognized the potential biases I held and the importance of approaching the research with an open mind. I carefully crafted neutral questions, avoided leading participants, and actively challenged my assumptions. By acknowledging and addressing my own biases, I ensured that the research process remained objective and allowed for a comprehensive understanding of the participants' experiences and needs.

Next Steps

To provide a more comprehensive user experience, I would like to extend the website functionality to include booking for in-person visits. As certain telemedicine appointments may require further evaluation through in-person visits, incorporating an option to schedule such appointments directly on the platform would streamline the process for hospitals and clinics. This expansion aims to enhance the continuity of care and facilitate a more efficient and convenient booking process for users.

RVO Mfg.

Client Website Design
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Motiv

Mobile App Design
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