UX Study: Boots Health

Introduction

Boots. A British shopping brand that dates back to a single Nottingham store in the mid-1800s. But in a digital world, it must do more to stay relevant and continue to help its consumers.

Beginning with a fictitious Boots brief; to create a health tracking app which helps users make better lifestyle choices. Users of the app needed to be able to track issues related to their health, and book related healthcare services at a Boots Pharmacy.

For the project I worked with two teammates; Konstantinos and Loredana.

Discovery

Our starting point for the project was to analyse the brief and begin understanding the problem. At a first look, it was a complicated task. We needed to design an app that not only allowed users to track their health stats, but also to allow users to discover and book Boots services. It also had the potential to connect with wearables and provide users with notifications.

With such a broad set of aims, we set about researching a varied selection of competitors. We found that competitors fell into one of three categories;

  • Sites with online pharmacy offerings.
  • apps that provided health advice but no direct service bookings or tracking.
  • apps that provided tracking with structured goals but focused purely on activity/sport.

So there was definitely a gap for Boots to fill here. But we needed to discover more about specifically what people would like, and feel comfortable with, in a health tracking app. To this end we created a online survey to collect a pool of initial qualitative data as well as gaining a list of interview candidates.

We split this list between us and each conducted interviews both remotely and face to face. The insights we gained were very interesting. We found that people are very aware of the information they could track but not necessarily what to do with it. They didn’t care for calorie counts. They didn’t want pages of information text. What they were looking for was convenience and trust worthy services.

We also found that users either didn’t know about Boots services or struggled to find the information they needed about them. So we added this to our design considerations.

But here we hit a slightly interesting hic up. When asked about health tracking our interviewees made the instant jump to what they were familiar with; Steps, heart rate, standing time etc. This made it hard to find what health information users might want to see without leading them to answers.

To try and mitigate this we went to interview people contextually at a Boots store. From this, we managed to round out our research but due in part to people’s discomfort with discussing health issues we didn’t manage to gain a large amount of information.

** interview img

With all this information gathered the team gathered together and put together 3 personas; Sarah, Brett and Phil. They would be something that we came back to throughout the project to guide design decisions and priorities.

Ideation

With the first research phase complete and information collected we set about narrowing down the design and features of the app. We worked together to highlight the features the app must have vs the ones which would be less useful and then had multiple design studios to sketch out ideas. I then took the refined versions of these sketches and created a simple Marvel prototype. I took this and did some preliminary validation on the prototype and brought the feedback to the team to refine the sketches ready for the Low-Fi wireframes.

One thing we discovered through this early testing was that the purpose of the app was not entirely clear. So we sketched out an onboarding process to help the purpose of the app become more understandable.

Prototyping and Testing

The Lo-fi wireframes for the permission priming, quit smoking questionnaire and health goal page. Each of these pages received feedback about the clarity of information on them and both the Quit smoking and health goal pages had a lot of confusion on which areas where for interacting with and how to interact.

The first wireframes were put together in Omnigraffel and again validated with user testing with a further 6 users. We found our booking flow worked well but the onboarding was still not clear enough so iterated on the step up to Mid-fi wireframes, which were created in Sketch and prototyped in Invision.

With the step up to mid-fi wireframes we gave the permission priming card a bit more copy to give it a more obvious purpose. We also simplified the navigation to only included a continue button and added a set of icons so users could see how far through the process they were. For the quit smoking questionnaire we tried to make digesting the information easier buy giving it a card style with a swipe left or right interaction. And for the Health Profile we removed the points recommendation and replaced it with 3 health objectives for users to follow.

With the mid-fi prototypes created we took to the streets to do some guerilla testing. We each tested and interviewed with users, gathering some good feedback to iterate on again before the Hi-fi prototype.

We continued in Sketch to create Hi-Fi mockups of the proposed solutions and updated the Invision clickable prototype.

After testing we found that the priming card still needed a bit more explanation so expanded the copy again. We also removed the circle icons as this was inciting users to swipe to progress. We also made the continue button much larger and more obvious. On the Quit Smoking Screen we added a stack to the cards to show users the would be more than one question. We also changed from left right arrows to to more explanatory buttons. And finally for the Health Profile we removed both the hamburger icons and the layout icon as they were confusing users as to how they should interact with the page. And we again created a more obvious continue button.

Chatbot

A potential way users could interact with the chatbot.

As part of our design process, we also played with the idea of basing the app around a chatbot. It would introduce, book and remind users of Boots healthcare services. But, although this was a very interesting and potentially strong solution, we decided as a team to spend more time on it. It would need a large degree of separate research and testing and didn’t necessarily address the main point of the brief.

Clickable Prototype- https://invis.io/TEBHH7MZ9

Takeaways and roadmap

Ultimately I am pleased with the app in its current iteration. But I also think that much further testing would perhaps reveal more shortcomings. This would require a return to the drawing board to address to bring the best possible solution forward.

Boots is an important brand in a world with a strained NHS. They are in a strong position to provide minor healthcare services at a cost the everyone can afford. But to help achieve this it faces challenges — first to create a way for people to discover its services. And second to break down the trust barrier people have with sharing their health information. But if these challenges can be surmounted, it could change the way people tackle health issues in the UK.

To this end I would be very interested to return to the idea of the Chatbot and the potential to create a dynamic, intuitive way of users to interact with Boots and its services.

Note: I do not work for, nor am I affiliated with, Boots. I did this UX portfolio project as a UXDI student with General Assembly who likes to solve problems and design solutions.

Thanks for reading! If you want to collaborate, talk about UX, or just want to say hello, hit me up at on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn