Brian Lam, Product Designer

UX/UI 2019
Akira Health
  • Requirements Gathering
  • User Interviews
  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Information Architecture
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Usability Testing
    The Problem

    During our onboarding initiative, we learned in the earlier-stage that in Akira Health’s rapid growth and expansion into the larger Canadian market—a one-on one training workflow was unreliable and impractical. To minimize any potential barriers to maximizing patient enrollment, Akira Health needed a more optimal patient onboarding experience that is agile and flexible as the company scale.


    To understand and empathize with new patients and what they are experiencing in their telemedicine journey, I recruited participants which included internal stakeholders to study deeper into the problem. Actionable insights: (1) Designed and reduce time in a simplified setup process (2) Educate new and returning patients to understand the value of Akira Health and how to use the platform. (3) Improve org-level settings, providing clear explanation in configuration.

    Role & Timeline

    Taken full ownership of the entire product lifecycle of the project as the lead Product Designer. Worked with a Product Owner, DevOps Specialist and a team of engineers to monitor processes and requirements and design guiding during and after the deployment cycle. The onboarding flow and patient administrative setting was redesigned in the span of 2 months.

No1 — Discovery
User Interview

In order to inform the business needs and user needs for the telemedicine platform, the discovery phase had to consist of running a two four-day workshop with people that are novices or with relevant experience as a patient and key stakeholders in the client organization to participate in our generative research. Throughout the workshops, we’d refer to ‘Steinar Kvale’s 10 criteria of a good interview’ to help us maintain a level of empathy and perspective in our user interviews and priming participants to feel comfortable in showing key moments of interaction in their experiences with Akira Health.

Welcome email issues
Users often don’t know the first steps to activate their account. Clicking on an email invitation did not happen because they sounded automated and impersonal. Terse emails and ones that lacks clarity in what the product is and what it does would end up being unread in the spam or trash folders. In another case, recipients were unaware about how long until the link automatically expires and never got the chance to sign up.

No “first-run” experience
First time users were frustrated with not knowing where they can navigate and what to do next when they are met on a page with an empty dashboard. Without a self-directed on-boarding experience, users misses the opportunity to set up for success in the very beginning.

Unclear value after setup
Much like the initial point, some users don’t know how sign-up for an Akira Health membership through their companies benefits program. And even after ‘creating an account’, users expressed that they still did not understand the value of Akira Health and how to use it.

Overwhelming settings configuration
Some users didn't understand Akira Health’s-specific terms and were not provided with explanation as to what they were doing. Despite many of the settings looking identical, users don’t know how their patient profile should be configured and how to save the changes they have made.

Affinity Diagramming

From discussions and meetings with the people who got involved in this work, we have come to the view that we needed to quickly organize our data from the interview sessions to identify areas for now and the future as we can’t tackle everything all at once. As a team, we obtained consensus to arrange notes based on current perceptions, needs and behaviors of patients and stakeholders as they relate to opportunities for the redesign of the on boarding process.

What do you like to get out of Akira Health? We use this as the starting point to ask new patients to determine the top priorities they seek for in their health journey, from understanding the features and things they need to do to complete user setup in a short amount of time. We designed a wizard questionnaire that walks new users through completion of a task.

View detailed affinity diagramming
No2 — Define
Customer Journey Map

To further understand the customer journey from a specific persona's perspective, I created a customer journey map and prioritized the importance of specific features and missed opportunities. We learned that our designs need to address the needs of a diverse group of new patients. Users want to feel good about being a part of Akira Health. How will patients thrive on our platform? What steps are necessary for them to take in order for them to get there?

We collectively proposed to design a guided onboarding experience that allows new users to take action and do something meaningful, improve the sign up process (improve acquisition), and familiarize users with core membership features in a short amount of time (improve activation).

View detailed journey map
No3 — Ideation
Information Architecture

Creating a new IA (information architecture) was probably the most challenging part as we wanted to retain the sign-up pipelines and keep in mind of the limitations of the large numbers of users coming through as Akira Health grows. We also used this opportunity to work closely with new patients to test our assumptions and if the solution was on the right path.

  • The enrolment process through your organization is much different than signing up for a personal/individual account. Users must be an employee of a company that has accessed to Akira Health’s healthcare services. And can only create an account associated to their organization and dedicated company employee email domain.
  • Onboarding new patients involves a lot of coordination and time. To make the process after signing up less of a pain for users, I redesigned a new flow with a standardized onboarding process that helps make sure new patients are focused on the most important onboarding steps.
  • In order to improve efficiency in engaging users to access the settings pages, I suggested we make improvements by prioritizing content, improve the labels and descriptions that clearly indicates what is expected. And lastly, we needed to shift content content around as needed base on importance of our user needs.

View detailed IA

Throughout our sprint adaptation process, I was responsible for generating mid-fidelity wireframes. We wanted to validate our concepts in this method because we learned that participants will be more likely to behave realistically as if they were using the ‘real’ Akira Health system. Whereas, with low-fidelity sketches, leaves unclear expectations for our users and it was difficult to engage them with the task at hand.

In this rare case, we skipped the low-fidelity steps in the product development lifecycle and simulated a mid-fidelity prototype.

View detailed wireframes
No4 — Validation
Usability Testing

After rethinking and introducing the new information architecture (IA), we wanted to quantify the results and confirm whether the onboarding process is actually better than the previous. We created a ‘first click test’ on Usability Hub, in which users are shown an image of an interface, on which they would click through to complete the task. Testing the original interface versus the newer interface provides us a benchmark to measure and verify improvements in informing future design choices.

We first approach participants to answer the following main questions:

  • Where do you think you can create your account through your organization
  • Where do you think you can find the activation code to claim your account?
  • Where do you think you can register a spouse/dependent?
  • Where do you think you can register a child (dependent under the age of 18)?
  • Where do you think you can view your medical bill history as well as your upcoming bill date?
  • Where do you think you can manage your subscription?

We then ask follow-up questions with participants to help us measure their perceived difficulty and confidence.

  • How easy/difficult was it to find?
  • How confident are you that ‘X’ is in the area you selected?

Looking back at the assumptions, we successfully validated 6 out of 8 criteria. In the coming phases, we want to continue building on this success and improving all aspects of the onboarding flow, reduce the setup time, increase the likelihood that new users would be actively on the platform after release.

View detailed usability testing
No5 — Prototype
Hi-Fidelity Prototype

Prototyping demonstrates how the product would function in the real world. I intended to present each iterations in a high-fidelity conceptual level to stakeholders and users because it provides better context. People often have trouble imagining what good design would look like in low-fidelity.

Employees that are covered by their Organization are invited to sign-up using a verified work email address to join Akira Health.
After signing up, the walk through help users get familiar with the basics of setting up their new account and get acquainted with what Akira Health does.
At the top left sidebar, click the green plus icon to start a consultation. You’ll then type the subject and state the issues that you would like to address.
From your settings, you can customize your account preferences, update your personal profile, manage or upgrade your membership plan, etc.
No6 — Delivery
Design Handoff

As we are nearing the production stages, we scheduled a handoff meeting to decide on a proper handoff between the design and development team. This encourages us to collaborate on good practices and communicate about the technical requirements that is to be implemented during the product development process.

We chose to use Zeplin to handoff designs not only because it saves us a lot of time where accessing accurate specs, assets and code snippets has become automated. It’s the little things that makes a huge difference—testing and QA is easier with detailed reference materials, consistency in design across Akira Health products, and promoting value in design, internally across all teams.

Learnings & Reflections

When I first joined the organization as the sole designer on the team, the hardest part about the project was having to make tough decisions around what gets put into production, what to compromise on, and what strategy we should focus on that makes the most sense? When planning stages of redesigning a new product, stakeholders, patients, practitioners, and doctors at the point of care was crucial in improving the inclusivity of our process and design decisions.

The redesign of the Akira Health telemedicine platform has had a positive impact on the onboarding experience—we accumulated more new patient sign-ups and decreased sign-up time prior to launch. For confidentiality reasons I have omitted the actual values for these metrics.