UX Design Case Study for RxBIO

Michael Mabee
Jan 2 · 7 min read

The Brief: Create a responsive website for RxBIO, a biotech product distributor.

The Team: UX Design: Michael Mabee, Sebastian Mendez & Shubhani Jindal
UI Design: Gerald Bautista

Our Starting Point

With them being a brand new entity, RxBio’s current site is a placeholder — no significant content, product information or copy about the company — so we were essentially starting from scratch.

At the outset we were told we would be creating or locating all of the content: writing the copy and shooting or sourcing any photos or illustrations that we were going to be using.

From the UI perspective, they did have a logo and colour scheme in place, but the brand guidelines were entirely ad hoc.

Research

We interviewed stakeholders who interact with medical products at all levels: the manufacturer, our client, sales specialists and doctors. As RxBIO’s products are fairly esoteric – they’re blood or bone marrow concentrate harvesting systems, including a canister you put into a centrifuge to separate the material collected, in order to then re-inject selected portions of it back into the patient for its healing benefits – we wanted to understand each product top-to-bottom and get a clear idea of the entire process involved in selling it and the reasons surgeons buy it.

What we heard

Celling Biosciences (the manufacturer of the product): The product is several generations ahead of others on the market, simpler to use and is more effective, but is more expensive than other products for that very reason. They had already proven that price was an active deterrent to purchase, so it is never displayed on their site or in promotional material.

RxBIO: Having incorporated only a month before our project started, they were still defining the business for themselves, but want to be seen as innovative, ethical, global, passionate and accessible. They have a world-class product in an emerging niche that they want to put into the hands of highly-specialized practitioners: orthopedic surgeons.

Regenerative medicine, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) treatments are still relatively new in medical terms, so RxBIO wanted to focus solely on applications that have proven, peer-reviewed results, such as orthopedic surgery. Expansion into other, more exploratory areas, would have to wait until verifiable results had come in.

Sales Specialists: They need to be able to locate prospects, to warm up those leads in order to speak with them, and to fully educate clients before they can sell to them. Significant amounts of time are spent with new clients, educating and training them and their staff on how to properly perform procedures before they can be considered a ‘conversion’.

Doctors: The doctors we spoke with told us that they have to balance what the hospital or clinic they work for will pay for against the product specifications they require to complete their procedures. Baseline requirements include certification by Health Canada and that the product is safe for use on their patients, with additional points for being safer than competitive products, as infections can have devastating consequences.

Client Persona

The Competition

We also needed to explore the competitive landscape to get a better idea of the context we’d be working in. Here are the highlights:

RxSource: One-page site for the parent company of RxBIO, with very limited information and styling that could be dubbed ‘bio-corporate’.

Arthrex: An established manufacturer with a large product line, with the resulting huge site. Screen-filling menus and sub-menus, plus dozens of video and written resources for each product make it too much to parse.

Celling Biosciences: This manufacturer presents the information relatively well, with simple navigation, but having taken a mobile-first approach to the design, they haven’t handled the desktop site well.

Harvest Technologies: The design Chose the right route and gives information priority, but ends up with walls of text and cluttered visuals.

Isto: The only competitive site that balances text and visual well, with good chunking of information and illustration use.

NOI: Of medium depth, this site serves up an inconsistent experience with confusing menus and everything presented in oversized proportions.

Key Insights

Following the trend of healthcare as a whole, these sites were functional and not much more. Highly-specialized information was presented in vast quantities, making it impenetrable to the non-MD visitor. We had room to do better.

Content Inventory

In speaking with RxBIO & Celling, we were told that RxBIO would have access to Celling’s client-education/sales platform (Showpad), which opened up a wide variety of content to us.

The bulk of that fell into two categories, white papers and product info, with a single high-quality video that explained the product and its usage perfectly.

This (wince-inducing) video would eventually become the crown jewel of our Products page.

Planning

In order for this website to be a success (even as a secondary sales channel, as in-person sales are their main avenue), we would have to integrate RxBIO’s CRM platform and give doctors like Oscar a reason to sign on to it.

We needed a carrot to incentivize engagement. We went back to one of the sales specialists we’d spoken to earlier and asked for input on what had worked for them.

We developed the idea of a site built around a sales funnel, with the white papers and product info set up as gated content. People looking to get in-depth information about RxBIO’s products or to read up on the science behind them would have to trade a little bit of information about themselves for access to their full library of content.

Our Goal

Design & Testing

Low-Fi sketches and site mapping

In the design phase, we explored ways that we could be everything that the competition was not: clean, clear & digestible. Surgeons like Oscar could not be expected to spend hours divining their way through screen-filling menus and parsing giant walls of text. They need a succinct presentation, backed by solid science, on a site that could be a resource going forward.

Each page was oriented around a goal: Home was for clear navigation, the Knowledge Base was to educate, Products was to convince Oscar that these were the right products because they met or exceeded all of his requirements, and About Us was to build trust by giving Oscar information about — and direct access to — the RxBIO team.

The wireframes for the site.

See the mid-fi prototype of V1 here.

In testing we found that the site needed some tweaks:

  • We needed additional information to make what the business actually is clearer on the home page, so that Oscar could be certain he had come to the right place
  • We needed to emphasize the visual hierarchy, so Oscar would have clear landmarks to navigate by
  • We needed to refine and unify the tone of the language, so that it would speak clearly to our educated user, allowing him to access information quickly and easily
  • We needed to do a better job of targeting Oscar’s needs and getting him to engage with the site

With all of this in mind, we upgraded the mid-fi’s before moving on to the high-fi stage.

See the mid-fi prototype of V2 here.

In moving to the high-fi stage, fleshing out the skeleton we’d created, we had to define the visual language of the organization. In wanting to look cutting edge and revolutionary, we started out with a dark look that evolved over the course of the final week of the sprint into a bright and clean beacon of usability for Oscar.

Desktop Prototype

See the mobile prototype here.

Conclusion

Within three weeks, we have delivered a viable responsive web design concept that puts business building first. Going forward, we’d suggest that RxBIO should:

  • find a ‘champion’ doctor who could be a face for the organization in their promotions (building trust)
  • create additional videos to educate visitors, as they’re the perfect educational medium for the web (education)
  • hold webinars or other “carrot” events to warm up larger groups of prospects all at once (education)
  • add languages to extend their reach in the market (broadening their purchasing base)
  • find appropriate social media avenues and start seeding trackable Showpad material into them as content marketing (education)
A takeaway gift for our clients after the presentation — a reminder to always make sure that Oscar has a reason to engage with them.

Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this case study. If you have any feedback, I’d like to hear from you. You can say hello at michael@michaelmabee.com or connect on LinkedIn.

Michael Mabee

Written by

Multidisciplinary designer and recent graduate of RED Academy. See more at www.michaelmabee.com.

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