A New Flu Flow

Eric Saber
Oct 17 · 3 min read
A patient smiles while a doctor administers a flu shot.
A patient smiles while a doctor administers a flu shot.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

With the pandemic still raging in many parts of the country and the fall/winter season upon us, health experts are saying that it’s more important this year than ever to take the extra precaution of getting your flu shot.

I got mine a few weeks back at Walgreens and I was happy to see that they allow you to make an appointment online. But I noticed when booking my appointment that the multi-step process was a little needlessly complex. It takes a total of 6 steps to complete a booking. So this week I decided to take a stab at improving the UX flow of the Walgreens flu shot appointment booking interface. Here’s a look at the flow as it currently looks (details of what each screen of the flow represents are listed below):

Six screens depicting the User Experience flow for booking a flu shot appointment on Walgreens’ website.
Six screens depicting the User Experience flow for booking a flu shot appointment on Walgreens’ website.
The current implementation of the user flow for booking a flu shot appointment through Walgreens’ website.

After looking through this flow again in its entirety, it became clear that there are some redundancies and that consolidation could improve the UX overall.

The current flow looks like this:

1. Select age (from dropdown) and enter location (zip code). Click Continue.
2. Select Walgreens location. Click Continue.
3. Select vaccine type for appointment. Click Continue.
4. Select date and time. Click Continue.
5. Enter personal information. Click Continue.
6. Review appointment details before submitting.

Ideally, if I’m looking to book my appointment, here’s what I would like to do instead:

1. Enter location, find my preferred Walgreens location. Click Continue.
2. Select the date and time I’m coming in. Click Continue.
3. Fill in my basic information. Click Continue.
4. Review appointment details before submitting.

Currently, on the first screen, Walgreens requires you to input your age via a dropdown list (as they won’t administer a shot to anyone under age 3), and then they require you to input this information again once you get to the personal information screen on page 5. I eliminated this first age field entirely, since it can be checked for validity on the personal information screen. Then, on the same first screen, they request your zip code, but you must click the “Continue” button before you are able to see or select your preferred location on page 2. This seems unnecessary, as it could be loaded directly below the zip code field (on this same first screen), once the location has been entered. So I combined those first two screens.

I also eliminated the “type of vaccine” page entirely. I did this because the homepage CTA button specifically mentions scheduling your flu shot, so why not take the user to book only their flu shot? I figure it can’t be that difficult to flip the switch on a dedicated flu shot module that gets turned on every flu season. Don’t make the users think more— they already thought they were booking an appointment just to get their flu shot.

Everything else looked pretty good, though — I only had to update the “Step X of Y” indicator at the bottom of each page to reflect the simpler flow. Here’s a look at my new user flow concept:

A simplified 4 screen user flow for the flu shot booking interface.
A simplified 4 screen user flow for the flu shot booking interface.
My user flow restructuring concept for the flu shot booking interface on Walgreens’ site.

I was surprised by how much eliminating just two screens from this flow simplified the entire process and made the experience feel so much more fluid. When I went to book my appointment originally and saw that there were 6 steps, I thought to myself: “why are there so many steps for something we should be encouraging everyone to do?” It should be extremely simple to book this very important appointment.

Allowing people to protect their health is so crucial these days. Let’s make it an effortless experience for our users to do so.

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Eric Saber

Written by

Product Designer. Songwriter. Tech Nerd. Professional Guy.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +719K people. Follow to join our community.

Eric Saber

Written by

Product Designer. Songwriter. Tech Nerd. Professional Guy.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +719K people. Follow to join our community.

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