How I redesigned Get Care

And increased usage by up to 454% along the way

Introduction

At Collective Health, we believe everyone deserves better healthcare. And to be honest, this is no easy feat given the staggering complexity of the American health care system. This is why we combine helpful member advocates with thoughtful self-service tools — such as our app — to deliver on this ambitious promise.

One of the app’s most used features is Get Care, where members can search for in-network doctors. Our members usually don’t think about health insurance until they need to see a doctor, making Get Care the cornerstone of the Collective Health app.

Why a redesign

The old doctor finder tool —designed before I joined Collective Health— worked pretty well, but it had a few issues that we wanted to address.

  1. Search
    The 3 input fields of the Search consistently led to confusion and user mistakes. In usability testing, we observed countless people type specialties in the name field and vice versa. Typing is an expensive activity on mobile, and mistakes are costly. We knew the search component could be simplified to reduce error and cognitive load.
  2. Browsing
    While the interaction of swiping down to see more of the map, and up to browse the list is nice, it forced the users into an unfortunate choice. Choose the map, and you’re stuck having to poke each individual pin to find out who’s behind it. Choose the list, and all you have to go by are provider’s name. There had to be a way to get the best of both worlds.
  3. Profiles
    Unfortunately, our provider data can be inconsistent. We don’t always know a provider’s education or gender. The current design didn’t really handle this variance very well, and would end up leaving gaping holes in the lay-out. Additionally, the legal disclaimer at the top consumed a lot of valuable real estate on the screen, yet often ended up ignored altogether.

Goals

Based on usability tests and our own audit, I came up with 3 main goals for this project:

  1. How might we simplify the search experience?
  2. How might we make it easier to browse results?
  3. How might we present a doctor’s profile better?

And because we were in the middle of a Design Language System refresh, I added a 4th goal of what I liked to call moving towards the light —effectively reducing our use of black, and introducing more white (space).


Simplifying search

Digging into the 3 (seemingly unrelated) input fields, I discovered they contained 2 distinct use cases that I could organize into clear tabs:

  1. Looking for a type of specialist in your network (say, a dentist)
  2. Looking up a doctor by name to verify they’re in-network (say, Dr. Terry)

As for the location field, I wondered how often searches actually deviate from the default Current Location, given how consistently our members tell us in research that proximity is key when choosing a new doctor. I looked at our data and the answer was clear: 80% of searches stuck to the current location.

That’s when I realized the best time to edit location was when the nearest results had loaded on a map, and the user was free to either drag it around or type in an address — if at all.


Swiping though results

I knew early on I wanted to enable our users to quickly browse through the results on the map (without having to poke each pin individually) and that swiping through cards was a perfect (and conventional) pattern for that.

The challenge was how to fit the remaining functionality on the screen while maintaining focus on the map and its results. After a few iterations where I alternated between elevating the filters and the list view, I started to suspect neither might be all that important, and consulted the data once more:

  • Only 4% of searches used list view.
    When you consider how important location is to our members, it’s easy to see why they would favour the map view over the list.
  • Only 6% of searches applied any filters
    I suspect this number would be higher if we could filter on whether a doctor is accepting new patients, rather than just language and gender.

Armed with newfound clarity, I relegated both list view and filters to the corner of the Location Bar, leaving members to focus on the results instead.


Introducing reviews

I started cleaning up the profile pages by introducing much needed white space and hierarchy. Knowing that our information about a provider could vary wildly, I opted for a single column lay-out that could gracefully lengthen and shorten with the content available.

Collective Health had historically been reluctant to include reviews from services such as Yelp, as they are not a reliable measure of a doctor’s medical qualifications. But when Courtney Owyang — our researcher — and I dug deeper in our last round of research, we discovered that our members equally understood this, and rather used reviews to determine what the experience of seeing a particular doctor would be like.

Taking this insight back to our leadership, I was able to include reviews by promising we wouldn’t sort doctors by their reviews, and would only display them inside profile pages for additional context.


Rethinking disclaimers

The last thing I needed to design was the legal disclaimer —an intrusive banner at the top of the doctor’s profile page that read

To make sure you’re billed in-network, verify with the doctor and the facility you will visit that they are in-network, and that the service(s) you will be receiving are covered by your plan.

When I asked Sai Jahann, our managing legal counsel, if we could make the disclaimer shorter —or perhaps more discreet— she said “Tal, my job is to protect members from what they don’t know that they don’t know could hurt them”. That’s when I understood we were both looking after our members, and how essential that disclaimer actually was to Get Care’s design.

Right information at the right time

To make the disclaimer more palatable, I divided its content into two bullet points and placed them below the doctor’s network status for more context. Unfortunately, user testing revealed that while they appreciated the list format, users didn’t notice the disclaimer unless we specifically asked about it. And why would they; at this point in the flow, users were just scanning the page trying to decide whether this was even the doctor they wanted to see.

I realized I was giving members the right information at the wrong time, and that the perfect moment to warn them wasn’t until they had decided to make an appointment. So instead I designed a spacious modal that appeared as soon as our members tapped the Call Provider button, and changed the disclaimer’s title from ‘keep in mind’ to ‘Avoid surprise billing’.

Framing the content

Feeling confident, I took the new version for another round of user testing, and the results were great; our users were actually reading the disclaimer! And yet, several users were a little upset by it, asking us

Why do I have to verify if a doctor is in-network? Isn’t that the whole point of using the Collective Health app?

It was a fair question, and the simple answer is you should always double check network status. But user experience isn’t just about presenting the right information. You also have to frame it in a way that your users will value.

Thankfully, no one understands this better than our copywriters. Together with Melody Burdette, we crafted a short intro explaining “We do our very best to keep this data up-to-date, but doctors occasionally fall out of network.” With that, the redesign was done and ready to be built.


Impact

We‘ve been tracking our member’s engagement with the new Get Care since it’s release in June, and it’s been really exciting to see the impact that this redesign as had. Our members move from the landing page to seeing results faster than before, thanks to the simplified search flow. Meanwhile, the sticky Call Provider button and addition of Yelp reviews have drastically increased our members conversion from browsing results to calling doctors.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks goes to the Product Managers extraordinaires Nirav Patel and Ashley Chang · The mobile engineers who pushed for excellence Abhishek Savant, Alice Hyun, Vadim Maximov, Ashish Subedy · Tireless QA Engineers Indumathy Kesavan and Helio da Rocha Junior · My fantastic design thought-partner Casey Kawahara · Our relentless copywriters Melody Burdette and Alicia Ostarello · The excellent legal product counselors Sai Jahann and Shauna Kashyap · Design research powerhouse Courtney Owyang · Many more talented colleagues at Collective Health who contributed their time and knowledge to this redesign.