Connecting you with skin care experts.​

As part of my UX Design Program at Career Foundry, I was presented with a brief of designing a responsive web app (mobile first approach) that allows users to instantly connect with an expert in a given field.

My role was the sole end-to-end User Experience Designer from user research through to the UI design kindly guided by my tutor and mentor, and using variety of UX methods and tools.

PROBLEM

Our skin needs tend to change and differ based on our age, genetics, hormones, specific conditions, lifestyle, individual preferences and more. 

Current skin care market is saturated with products and services leaving one feeling overwhelmed by the volume of information.

Additionally, creating and highlighting insecurities about skin, and body in general, have often become central in personal care marketing which could lead to a devastating effect on people’s self-esteem.

Taking care of your skin needs can quickly turn into a burden

Users need a way to get personalised skin care advice from an expert, so they can understand their concern better, gather information before deciding on a purchase, or seek specialised help further if more serious skin concerns are uncovered. We will know this to be true when we see people reaching out to an expert before deciding on next steps for skin treatments, care services or products.

Solution

User focused app that provides a quick and easy way of finding and connecting with certified skin care experts globally

Busy people can book on-demand video consultation for personalised advice on their skin concerns where expert services are priced affordably, and blog content is free.

Why?

On-demand web and mobile apps are already well-known and trusted by global user base. Consultancy services can generate new opportunities for experts to create a passive or full-time income. 

Analysing competitors

The apps I discovered while researching the concept encouraged me to explore deeper how they are solving user issues and look out for opportunities in meeting unfulfilled user needs. By analysing 2 competitors offering on-demand consultancy HelloAva and First Derm, I looked at their overall business strategy, market advantage, marketing profile and SWOT analysis.

Evaluating competitor user experience

First Derm has relevant approach in offering on-demand expert services by providing personalised dermatologist response.

Criteria: upon studying their app, I grouped my findings based on usability, layout, navigation structure, compatibility, differentiation and call-to-action.

Heuristic UX evaluation of First Derm

Competitor landscape

Healthcare technology market is growing fast with more and more players joining competition.

Specialised Healthcare Apps

Direct competition comes from specialised healthcare apps offering on-demand medical and aesthetician consultations.

Personal Care Conglomerates

L’Oréal and Estée Lauder investing in skin research and development, and creating digital tools. Their market size and scale potential can be easily leveraged across their portfolio brands in skin and hair care.

Content Creators (Influencers)

Digital content requires time and knowledge for an average consumer to separate blank product marketing efforts from its real value.

Based on my findings, the opportunity would be an app that can address wide spectrum of user skin care needs. The safe and trusted space where global experts bridge a gap between “dermatologist as a doctor” and “aesthetician as a skin care professional”.

Aligning business requirements

To bring all stakeholders onboard for alignment, I captured known business requirements in one document including business objectives, project scope, functional requirements and delivery schedule, and added human (user) voice to communicate requirements through user stories.

Defining requirements by using human voice

Who is our target audience?

I conducted user interviews with people who prioritise mind and body wellness for themselves and their loved ones. They seek credible professional guidance regularly to make better health and financials decisions.

How they access skin care advice? What parts and aspects of a process they value most? What they expect to be improved?

Exploring data from user interviews

Research interviews helped me to gain valuable qualitative insights on how busy people might look for skin care expert advise, and how they want to achieve that. I looked closer at their pain points, preferences, experiences and behaviours, and used affinity maps to visually cluster themes based on the responses. My priority was on qualitative research as I was testing a new concept (in a project context), and a measure for success was related to user’s reaction.

Learning from user research

A few common themes stood out after going through interview notes besides Learning and Community.

Prompt Factors

Individual factors or certain life circumstances, for instance motherhood, becoming older or stress induced changes in professional life prompted to seek personalised expert guidance

Criteria

Trust and personalisation were key criteria behind the decision of using skin care expert services with a view of building long term relationship

Discover and Connect

People with busy lifestyles need options and flexibility in their ways of searching and connecting with an expert

My users need a quick path to skin care advice while balancing multiple life and work responsibilities. Therefore, I decided to focus on Discover and Connect theme as a basis for my design.

Who is our user?

Using my research-based insights I developed Stine’s user persona as I wanted my user to come alive as a person we all can feel for.

Curious Stine persona

What is her experience?

Stine seems to be most anxious when her skin unexpectedly flares up. No wonder she feels insecure considering her new work-life circumstances. Ultimately, her goal is to calm her anxiety.

Right now she is after a dermatologist who is available on a relatively short notice and can help her in understanding severity and suggesting remedies. 

Creating user journey and adding scenario for additional context helped me to get into her mindset and focus on that particular point of her journey as a place of opportunity in getting her closer to her goal.

User journey with a highlighted opportunity for where she is most anxious

What is her path to goal?

Translating Stine’s story into a user flow helped me to identify and simplify her path of finding most suitable expert to book personal consultation fast.

User flow diagram showing Stine's experience of finding and booking an expert

Gaining user feedback early​

Are my design assumptions valid? I was eager to start validating early by sketching out screens using pen and paper.

Usability testing

Can my users effectively use an app? Where are they getting stuck? To test if my designs would make Stine’s experience of finding and booking an expert consultation as simple as possible, I created wireframes using Adobe XD and clickable prototype in InVision

Reflecting on usability test findings

I ran a mix of moderated in-person and remote testing sessions with 6 participants. Using affinity map and rainbow spreadsheet, I clustered test results and distilled into a report with the recommended changes for solving key issues.

Improving design

Qualitative feedback from user testing further informed my learnings:

  • Healthcare technology must not compromise user’s privacy
  • Unnecessary information on screens can be distracting
  • Right information wrong time can slow down task completion

Therefore, in my next design iteration, I made a guest user option more prominent, streamlined dashboard to focus on a search, and availability feature is now present on expert profile screen that should speed up a booking task for Stine.

Changes made following usability testing feedback

Defining design system

By creating design system I ensured there is consistent experience across different platforms. The set of core elements is intended to serve as a single source of truth, and help to accelerate design process by bridging the gap between design, development and business teams. 

Turning solution into product

Final design iteration got me closer to turning my solution into the product where I built the high fidelity prototype for Stine to complete her task of finding and booking a one-to-one personal consultation with a skin care expert.

Click here to view Skin Care Expert app

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Prototype built in inVision

Key learnings

Thinking in loops

Design Thinking is non-linear approach. Looping back to different places in the process has sharpened my ability to recognise patterns and helped to arrive at solutions that are functional as well as meaningful.

Design is never done

Design iterations have been invaluable to explore multiple ways of improving as to how my users interact with the app, and, therefore, helping them to achieve their goals.

Test to learn

Testing reminded me that not everyone thinks the way I do or know what I know. I did not know how people would really use and perceive my design until I gained their feedback.