wellsmith: usability testing to improve patient onboarding


Problem: Wellsmith provides a variety of health and wellness apps that allow doctors and patients to monitor medical conditions cooperatively. These apps and the accompanying devices are prescribed by doctors or recommended by workplaces who provide collective healthcare plans for their employees. Due to a planned increase in distribution, I was asked to head up a phase of UX research to improve the onboarding process for patients with type two diabetes.

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 1.59.51 PM.png

Representatives from Wellsmith were available to help each patient set up the app during the first release. The subsequent roll out, designed to reach thousands of people in a short amount of time, required a more intuitive interface. If the interface is not intuitive, Wellsmith's staff will be overrun with requests, which would cost time and money. It would also detract from a positive user experience for new users, potentially leading to a negative product impression.

Each patient receives three Bluetooth enabled monitoring devices when they start the program: a scale, an activity tracker, and a glucometer. These devices sync up with the app and the data received from them is available to patients and doctors alike.

phase 1: background research


I met with the UX design lead and product manager, among others. Via a series meetings and interviews, I came to understand the prior evolution of the product and where we needed to go next. Although the rest of the app had been user tested the year before, the onboarding screens were still in their same initial and untested state. Among other things, we needed to address challenges related to correctly creating an account password, entering and saving personal details, allowing Apple Health to interface with the app, and syncing Bluetooth devices.

With the support of our developer, I set up the beta version of the most recent application and familiarized myself with the onboarding process firsthand. I was provided with each type of Bluetooth device and used these to prepare and run through testing protocol.


phase 2: participant recruiting and scheduling


I set aside three days total for testing; two days for on-site sessions and one day for remote.

Working with a local market recruiting agency, I defined the number and type of participants needed for our on-site testing sessions. I provided a screener to guide the agency's recruitment of local type two diabetes patients. In order to acquire reliable and well-rounded results, we required a balance between older and younger patients, patients who were newly diagnosed versus patients who were accustomed to their condition and iPhone versus Android users.

Wellsmith recruiting schedule.jpg

Our remote testing participants were internally sourced via a prior program that allowed diabetes patients from the public to use the app under a pilot agreement. These patients were to download a new version of the app and complete the onboarding process on their own for the first time. The head of product contacted a group of patients. Once they agreed to participate I scheduled times that worked for us both. I then sent detailed instructions for our sessions, which would be conducted/recorded via GoToMeeting by phone on their part and computer on mine.


phase 3: on-site and remote testing protocol


I tested the onboarding process out several times by installing and uninstalling the beta version on both an iPhone and an Android device. Each time, I reset and synced all of my bluetooth devices. As I went through this repetitive exploration process, I took notes, spoke with the team, and came up with an order of operations. This turned into my testing protocol, or script. I created a list of preliminary interview questions for each participant made sure that my testing flow addressed the top concerns that came up repeatedly in my conversations with the Wellsmith team.