Finding the right occupational therapist is challenging for users.
Creating an app that allows users to find the right occupational therapist to help them with their specific disability or injury.
Lian Judy, Sara Reisi, Javeria Aslam, Monique Mendoza, Susan David
Figma, QuickTime, Photoshop
Based on our industrial analysis we wanted to understand how individuals with disabilities or injuries find occupational therapists.
In our industry research we found that in nearly every setting, the percentage of Occupatinal Therapists (OTs) who were considered essential increased over time. Between March 2020 to 2021, the percentage of OTs reporting they were essential increased significantly. One of the main reasons was that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the face of many careers.
As with many occupations in the medical field, finding an OT is challenging for clients. For instance, some OTs failed to maintain the standards, and they overtrained the client in an improper form. Or, they should have been able to manage different situations and follow up some exercises with their clients.
We put together a few questions to ask our interviewees which focused on how people find occupational therapists and factors that influence them in choosing them.
How do people find occupational therapists?
What frustrates people when searching for a therapist?
What factors influence people’s decision to select a therapist?
In order to achieve our research objective and answer the research questions we started with searching online resources to generate ideas, then we continued to conduct a structured interview with 5 candidates with 12 open-ended questions, and lastly we created a survey and posted on social media channels, collecting 22 responses after 3 days.
When it comes to the most challenging factors in finding an OT, the participants selected lack of expertise followed by availability and location of the therapist.
And when we asked them what features would entice them to use an app, they mentioned filters (location, calendar availability and search options) with easy navigation.
After conducting our user interviews we created an affinity diagram that helped us better understand our general users as a whole. We then prioritized our users’ pain points, wants and needs to help us prioritize the features to pack into our app.
From our data we created our user persona, Andy Carter. Due to an accident his mobility has been compromised and he can’t drive. Finding a therapist that is specialized in his injury became frustrating. Andy’s goal is to manage their therapeutic information in one platform that makes booking and follow up appointments easier to schedule.
User Insight Statement
Andy, a hard working web developer, is worried about finding a qualified therapist for his specific injuries. He needs a tool to help him find the right therapist and allows him to have all his information at his fingertips.
Available online platforms on market were designed for clients with less ability / disability to provide basic information about occupational therapy and the main issue for client is location dependency that they have to call or drive to the clinic to book their sessions. Based on our preliminary study we have observed these platforms do not provide the P2P platform which both therapist and client can communicate and providing services such as following up notifications and appointment reminder, searching their background and access the information from their sessions so they can feel more confident about finding the right therapist.
Now that we have conducted the research and analyzed it, we started designing ConnecTherapy. The app focuses on finding experts with an easy search process that focused on efficacy and safety.
I Like, I Wish, I Want Ideation
Using the I Like, I Wish, I Want ideation method we generated ideas for our design solutions.
We then identified the most important problems to solve first using the feature prioritization matrix. This helped us to prioritize the features we wanted to pack into our app.
User Journey Map
We generated a user journey map that took Andy, who was searching for therapists on google, to the ConnecTherapy app. He was able to search for therapists, check their backgrounds, read reviews and use filters to find a specialized therapist for his needs.
From our user journey map we created a story oard that tells the story of Andy who got into a car accident and was successfully able to find a specialized therapist for his case.
For our user flow process, we considered three important features and tasks that our users would go through which were onboarding, searching & booking a therapist, and navigating the dashboard.
After downloading ConnecTherapy, users are taken through the onboarding process. Prior to the sign in screens we implemented a hotline button, keeping in mind that if this were an emergency there would be no need to go through the process of sign-up and the user would be connected directly to 911.
After the splash and coaching screens, login can be done via email, google, or facebook. For profile set-up, the user can provide their information and are then taken to the dashboard.
From the dashboard, the user can click search for a therapist and filter by specialization, availability and reviews. The user is taken to the search results screen where they can then select a therapist. They are given the option to share or save the therapist for later, check the availability calendar, and book the therapist. Once they book a therapist, the user is taken to the checkout process, giving them an option for apple pay or credit card. They are then taken to a successful-payment-confirmation screen and an option to enable notifications for this booking pops up.
From the dashboard, the user can choose the options to click notifications, manage profile, weekly goals for trackable progress; sessions for previous or upcoming sessions; book a therapist; and resources for saved exercises and saved therapists, and resource library.
After completing our user flow, we each created paper wireframes that focused on the important insights that came up during our user interviews. We combined our wireframes and selected our favorites from each version to create our first draft of our low-fi prototype.
After some iterations, our team worked together to create a mid-fidelity prototype. For example, we have shown here on the left the feature of searching for a therapist and the results screen.
We then worked on the therapist details and their booking screen~ with their availability calendar, and session types (like video, call, or text), and if the user chooses to do so, a comment section to provide additional information upon booking.
The iterations made from sketch to mid fidelity prototype were the clickable components and implemented iOS designs.
Geurrilla User Testing
We each conducted one Geurrilla user test, 5 tests in total. Sorting our feedback to 4 main categories (the positives, navigation issues, visual issues and things to consider), we organized the data based on frequency of responses. For example, 4/5 participants found the onboarding process very easy to navigate which is demonstrated in purple.
Although all the feedback was valuable to us and we were hoping to address the majority of them, due to lack of time and resources, we had to narrow down our list. We started a Prioritization Matrix to help us prioritize the issues and the features that needed immediate attention and improvement. In this process, we based our decision on level of priority for the user (the X-axis) and level of priority for the app (Y-axis).
From that process, we landed on 5 major tasks with high priority and 3 tasks with low priority, which we were hoping to address if we had the time and resources later on in the project’s development.
The first common issue we noticed was difficulty locating the ‘search’ icon which you can see on the left side of the screen. We decided to add a button on the dashboard specifically for booking a therapist to ensure easier access.
In addition when speaking about it with one of the TAs, We learned about the Heat Map Analysis, which helped us to take a step further and change the position of the search icon to make it more accessible on the Nav bar.
Some users also had difficulty with navigating the dashboard and looking for the things we had asked them to do during the sessions. To resolve this issue, we added the ‘sessions’ and ‘book therapist’ buttons on the dashboard because they were the most important things our users would do in our app.
We also moved the resources button to the Nav Bar to minimize effort and confusion navigating and finding things on the dashboard.
Another issue that had come up were problems with our prototype links. As you can see, the weekly goals button would take the user to the ‘session’ page rather than the ‘weekly goal’ page, which was actually missing, so we made that page and linked them accordingly.
Updating the dashboard page allowed users to keep track of their appointments and exercises by looking at the charts and hopefully gain motivation and momentum to stay on track.
One user brought up a concern about the frequency of the logout buttons used throughout the app. Originally we had a logout button on the majority of our screens.
For us, it was about accessibility, but as our users out, we had made it too accessible. We decided to place it somewhere still accessible but away from the main features and screens. The logout is now under the profile page options.
The availability options in the therapist’s profile was one of the low priority tasks but we thought it would be a great addition to the app. Our users wanted to see the therapists’ availabilities on the therapist profile page, so we added that information in as well.
Our main challenge was understanding and sticking to only the specific needs of the users from our testing analysis and not getting too bogged down in the “extras” that came up in our conversations with each other. It was difficult to keep our own biases out of the design process and we struggled a couple of times on this before refocusing on what was important to our users.
The field of occupational therapy is changing and the new areas that are being brought in are chronic disease management, preventive care, and obesity. By creating our app that allows users to find a therapist within a certain field we bring a valuable application to the greater population.
In the future we would like to add in features that create a more interactive experience for both users and therapists along with creating a community of like-minded individuals.