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Discovery Projects

My Role:  Research > Synthesis > UI Design > Workshop Facilitation

Upon reviewing early results from the ‘tactical’ work around the symptom selector experience it was apparent that there was still wider discovery to be done in efforts to understand where the overall Babylon product could/should exist within the health issue ecosystem. Whilst a team were tasked with exploring ‘what people do when they experience a health issue’ – I was involved in a team focussed more around symptom entry.

Symptom Entry

In order to better serve customers it is vital to set them down the most suitable path for them. The only way to do that is to have a mechanism to understand a user’s need and to select a suitable option to assist. Based on the existing experience, we used a Rumsfeldian matrix approach (known knowns, Unknown knowns etc.) to attempt to gather a better picture of the overall landscape. 

This exercise allowed us to group the issues into trends – from which we were able to form some key discovery questions.

Key discovery questions.

In order to ensure we kept a focus on the existing product we based our questions around a a fairly narrow (albeit the most common) scenario of the products current intended use. 

Question – “Are we asking all of the right things initially?”

Within the current experience the only real, non-specific, question that was being asked was “tell us what symptom is bothering you the most”. I hypothesised that this was by no means enough and wanted to gain further understanding. I took a few approaches to attempt to explore the problem space from various angles.

Research Surveys

I began by sending out a simple survey to 40 people who had recently experienced a health issue. I ensured subjects varied by age, gender, and location to give me a broad spectrum of data points. One of the key questions in the survey asked users to “Tell us, how you’d describe your recent health issue in the situation that you were visiting a doctor”. I then set about reading and understanding the responses to these questions.

Having studied the verbatim, I quickly began to see a number of trends occurring in the ways in which people express their issues. Symptoms were a key thing here but a range of others including:

  • Context – information around how the issues came to be
  • The impact the issue is having on a persons life
  • A perceived cause
  • A perceived condition in mind
  • Severity of the issue
  • Related symptoms or conditions

These trends were consistent enough with other research that had been done to suggest that there were a number of issues in the way the product was asking people to express their issues.

Medical Practitioner Interview

A benefit of working within the healthcare industry is the easier access to medical practitioners! I managed to hold an interview with a doctor with aims to understand, from a doctor/patient experience, how these issues might be expressed. A key finding here was the way by which an experienced doctor has the ability to filter a vast amount of information down to only relevant medical information – whilst ensuring the patient feels as though they’ve had their moment. Often this is done through a particular framework known as ‘ICE’ (Ideas, Concerns, Expectations). 

User Interviews

Quite aptly timed, another stream of discovery was asking existing Babylon customers a series of questions to try and better understand “What do you do in the moments before and during a health issue?” . I found myself keen to assist these interviews in order to understand the crossover between discovery streams. This proved extremely insightful in exposing further reasons people didn’t feel understood. After the interviews, I led a synthesis workshop from key stakeholders throughout the team.

Going forward…

The work mentioned above is being carried on and a number of the other key questions will be candidates for further discovery in the future!