Figure 1 Grand Rounds

Bringing a long-established medical teaching methodology into the digital age

Jessica Lee
Published in
7 min readJun 20, 2018


So, what is a Grand Rounds?

In the medical world, a Grand Rounds is a presentation that happens on a weekly or monthly basis where a leading medical expert would present a patient case and their disease to a room full of peers and junior physicians. The format is usually via a long-drawn powerpoint filled to the brim with information presented to of a room of a hundred people or so.

What does a Grand Rounds look like on Figure 1?

We’ve translated this teaching tradition into our Grand Rounds feature where we invite medical thought-leaders from the partnerships we make and allow them to educate and interact with our platform of thousands of healthcare professionals around the world. The feature is a vital part of what our Business Development team pitches and sells to clients.

Earlier this year, BD approached the design team with the task of giving the Grand Rounds feature a revamp.

Grand Rounds Designs (Before):

BD wanted to offer something new and shiny to our clients while also rethinking how we could make the Grand Rounds experience more immersive and engaging.

Goals for the redesign

Grand Rounds is the most expensive thing we sell. It allows our potential clients to educate a huge, varied audience of health care professionals institutions wouldn’t normally be able to reach when hosting a regular grand rounds.

Give Grand Rounds a visual refresh to deliver something new with clients

Increase engagement and consumption of content — this includes increased comments, follows, saves, more people seeing/swiping through the slides

Allow our medical team and clients to present a grand rounds more flexibly (the new grand rounds must be able to support different content types)


The team working on this project consisted of the Senior Designer, who was involved from the beginning of the project; his role included context-gathering from the key stakeholders and proposing 4 initial wireframe solutions. And later, myself and the junior designer, who took over after the early wireframing/brainstorming work was done.

I later led and executed the full-stack design effort for the project. This included creating prototypes, facilitating and presenting at the stakeholder meetings, designing high-fidelity mockups, and conducting usability tests and interviews.

Design Process

Information-gathering & context setting

Our Senior Designer started off the process by gathering information from our key stakeholders. A ticket was created that documented what worked with the current version and what didn’t, the key metrics that matter the most for BD when they report back to clients, requirements (legal, medical, and otherwise), and the goals for the current redesign. After the context-gathering process was complete, a few initial proposals were mocked up and presented to the stakeholders and that’s when my involvement started.

The four proposed layouts

Assumption Slam & Risk Identification

When I took over the project the stakeholders were interested in further exploring three of the four options. The goal was to land on a final design within the timeframe of 3 weeks. The first step was a quick Assumption Slam-style exercise where I invited the stakeholders to list the positive and negative assumptions associated with each option.

The purpose of this exercise was to have a collaborative and easy way of laying out the riskiest aspects of each solution.

Positive and negative assumptions were laid out for each option with the various stakeholders. This exercise was to provide a quick-and-dirty way to identify risk but also encourage a collaborative effort between the teams.

After analyzing and discussing the risks with everyone, we narrowed down the choices to two options. Conflicting opinions arose on which design to further explore — the choices catered better to different teams and were better suited for different needs. Ultimately, we needed to go with the one that would foster better engagement so the two designs were taken to user testing.

The two solutions we landed on and took to user testing.

User Interviews & Usability Testing

Click on the image to get redirected to the prototype!

I conducted 5 user interviews remotely with our physician user base to find out their thoughts and reactions to the two solutions which we presented. We used existing Grand Rounds content to fill the prototypes and create high-fidelity mockups that we presented through Invision. In addition to the usability aspects of the prototypes, some contextual questions I focused on asking were:

  • What do healthcare professionals understand Grand Rounds to be?
  • Have you come across a Grand rounds in our app before? Tell me about the last time you’ve engaged with a GR.
  • What are the current pain points of Grand Rounds both inside and outside of our app?
  • When was the best grand rounds experience our users have had? What made it great? What was lacking?
  • How much time do our users usually spend on things like Grand Rounds and other sources for obtaining pertinent medical information?
A slide on the usability findings that I presented to stakeholders after user testing. We were able to rapidly iterate design changes between user interviews as we gathered insights on the usability aspects of the prototypes.

Insights and Key Takeaways from User Testing

After the user testing was finished, I extracted the key insights and presented the findings to the stakeholders.

On The Hub:

  • The Hub feels more engaging due to it’s visual aspects
  • The Hub feels more approachable and less of a commitment to consume everything

“I kinda like how it’s broken down into sections, it gives people more of a choice with how to interact with it and what to take away from the Grand Rounds”
- User 1 on The Hub

“It gives you a better idea of what you can expect to learn from each slide. Different people might not want to look through everything from the Grand Rounds.”
- User 2 on The Hub

On Long Form:

  • Long form is perceived as content for a longer time commitment
  • Long form is perceived for when you want go more in-depth on a topic

“It’s not as easy to approach..looking at it, it looks like a more formal way of learning. I feel like I’m reading a miniature book chapter on this topic.”
- User 1 on Long Form

“Looking at this, I’m in the mindset that it’s gonna be more of a commitment to look through, read, or to learn from”
- User 2 on Long Form

  • Core usability (swiping through cards and scrolling) for both layouts were intuitive and well-understood
  • Content (relevance) is king

“If it’s something that I’m interested in, that’s obviously going to take precedence over some esoteric thing that I’ll never do in my life”
- User on what makes a worthwhile grand rounds

In the end, The Hub was the recommended design to pursue and with hearing feedback directly from the users themselves, the stakeholders unanimously decided to choose the The Hub as the way to go.

Grand Rounds Final Designs

After multiple design explorations and consistent stakeholder feedback along the way, these were the final designs. The main screens consisted of the Feed view, the landing page, the detail view, and the slide detail view.

The Hub could also present different content types well.
The “Slide Detail View” pages that slide up when you tap into a slide.

The Hub design was superior in making users feel more control of their experience by being a more “choose-your-own-adventure” type of design— users noted the fact that not all aspects of a Grand Rounds was relevant to them, they only wanted to jump to the parts that they were interested in. They liked that you could get a taste of the content in each slide and choose if they wanted to get a deeper dive.

A video showing the basic interaction of the new Grand Rounds.

BD sells our Grand Rounds as a high-value, mini medical lesson that people can consume in 5 minutes. Channeling all the insights we learned through user testing, we made sure the Hub was an approachable way to digest information so that users are able to learn in a quick, easy, low-friction way.

A big part of the redesign was thinking how we can reshape the content in a way that doesn’t feel like a long-drawn powerpoint. This wasn’t just a visual redesign, but a rethinking of how our partners and our medical team can curate and present content in a more digest-able, engaging way. Along with this redesign, we’ve had to redefine the rules for how a Grand Rounds is presented and what kind of content to ask from our partners.

Lessons Learned

The biggest challenge for this project was how to work collaboratively with a shared understanding on what we need to provide to our users. We were able to overcome the hurdle by listening to our users and putting our assumptions aside. In the end, it was a valuable process that we were able to share amongst teams and something that we can carry forward in future projects.

Thanks for reading!



Jessica Lee

A designer fascinated by people, products, and problems.