For our final project at Ironhack, it was possible to choose to work closely with a real client and develop a product that met their needs.
I had the pleasure of working with Protecht, an early-stage healthtech startup based in Portugal, for two weeks.
Protecht is a healthtech startup based in Lisbon, and operating in both Portugal and Brazil. Their mission is to empower people with knowledge about their health, in order for them to make better decisions about their lifestyle and health treatments.
Nowadays, Protecht has two lines of action: the community of health professionals and the app (currently is in the prototyping stage).
The purpose of the community is to bring together health professionals so they can share qualified health knowledge through creating content for their digital platforms and articles. The goal is to engage their readers with healthier lifestyle hacks and solutions that they can readily grasp, trust, and put into practice.
As a community, Protecht is currently facing its biggest challenge. They seek to strengthen the relationship between health professionals and the readers by fostering trust and proximity.
The only way to do so is to develop a system that enhances both experiences in the community and encourages people to interact with one another.
For this project, Protecht challenged me to develop the sign-up process for the website as a health professional.
I began by identifying my objectives for this project. In order to complete the challenge, I started by trying to understand the following:
- What do users expect when signing up to an online platform?
- What do health professionals think about this way of sharing health knowledge?
- What may be keeping readers from not using the community?
And to do so, it conducted:
- 7 in-depth interviews;
- Online survey (with 20 answers).
For the interviews, I talked with:
- 2 stakeholders. I wanted to get to know more about Protecht, what kind of expectations they had for the project, how many professionals are part of the team at the moment, plans for the future, how can the users can be part of the community.
- 3 health professionals. So I could understand their thoughts and feelings towards the way of how the community works.
- 2 potential readers. Individuals who are interested in health-related topics. In order to find out what kind of topics they like to read, what sources they usually use to research health-related content and how they check if the information they are reading is reliable.
With the interviews done, it was decided to do an online survey for both health professionals and readers, in order to get more insights from possible users.
The survey didn’t reach a large number of people, in total it received 20 answers, even after I tried to engage with some users on r/SampleSize however, I was able to collect and confirm some data from the interviews.
Key insights 🗝
After gathering all the data from the interviews and the survey, I was able to collect some key insights that helped me to shape the project:
- Health professionals who want to join the Protecht’s team need to be approved by the organization. Users must fill out an application form in order to apply. After that, Protecht’s team contacts them and arranges an interview. The professional will then be able to join the community if Protecht approves the profile.
- To register as a health professional, the users would like to receive an e-mail with a link that directs them to the page where they can sign up as a health professional;
- The idea of a community where health professionals can voluntarily share their knowledge appeals to them, as does the idea of having their background checked in order to join the community as a professional;
- People trust their sources when they can check the article author’s background and references.
- When readers read health-related content, their main concerns are whether the content is technical and difficult to understand, and if they can trust the content they are reading, especially if there are no sources to verify the information.
User Flow aka my worst nightmare
While defining my user flow, I wanted to make sure the sign-up process would feel familiar to users. And as I was defining it, I started questioning my initial idea my biggest blocker showed up — health professionals can be readers too — I was stuck for four days.
So there were two scenarios for this flow:
In the first scenario, the user can register as a professional, but will only have access to its account after its profile has been validated by the Protecht team, which means that during that validation period the user will only have access to a reader account and will not be able to write articles.
In the second scenario, the professional would be able to sign up as a professional only after going through the entire validation process.
To overcome this HUGE blocker, I decided to speak with users.
I spoke with 6 potential users, and they all agreed that focusing on the second scenario would be the best option, as it would be less messy and easier for everyone. Especially for those who aren’t familiar with computers or don’t enjoy taking a long time to complete a task.
According to the users, signing up as a professional shouldn’t be an option on the website because it would be confusing, since they need to fill a form and the validation process still takes some time.
With the user flow decided, I could finally start thinking about low-fidelity more calmly.
After researching different signing up processes, I realized that it would be better to design something simple and straightforward so that users would know what to do on each page.
For the low-fidelity, I used InVision Freehand to organize all my ideas.
With the low-fidelity ready, it was time to test.
I tested with 5 users, to see if the flow was familiar to them.
According to one of the users, the flow should begin with a link sent to the e-mail “like an invitation”, and I liked the idea. So, with that in mind, I asked the other participants, what they would expect when opening the link and one of them, said it would be nice to also have a different opening, instead of going directly to the sign up, it would be “cool” to have a page introducing what was going to happen, “something like a warm welcoming”.
In addition, one of the users mentioned that logging out and going back to the blog made no sense. It’s better just to go to the homepage.
My main challenge throughout this design was the user profile once it’s created. I didn’t want it to be too cluttered, but it needed to have all the information that was set while creating the profile.
I was very lucky because Protecht already has its visual identity, so I just had to put it into practice in the project.
I kept the chosen typeface, Open Sans, and didn’t make any changes to the colours. I only had to choose red for situations where an error occurs.
For the icons, I used the free Feather Icons library.
At this point, I was mostly concerned with the interactions.
I made some minor color changes to the background and buttons, changing my original plan. I was considering using blue as my primary color, but everything seemed to be too dark, so I went with green.
I wanted to make something simple and straightforward, so the users would know what to do on each page.
I chose to design a very simple sign-up process in order to ensure that the users would read everything.
Below you can check the gif of the flow, or if you are curious you can check the prototype by clicking here!
- Go deeper into the flow as a health professional in the community, exploring profile editing and writing an article;
- Design the readers flow. It would be interesting to see the interaction between the readers and the health professionals;
- Design the mobile version. Since I only developed the desktop version I would also like to adapt for mobile;
- ITERATE! I would like to test more the prototype and talk to more users.
All good things come to an end 😢
This project was definitely a challenge for me. Working with a real client and getting a taste of how things work in the real world was amazing.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone, which motivated me to work as hard as I could in order to create a product that would satisfy Protecht.
We are currently in talks to implement this project and launch Protecht’s website in the future!
Special thanks to my partner in crime Débora, with whom I worked on this project, as well as my Lead Teacher Rita Martins, Teacher Assistant Daniel Costa, and all of my classmates, without you, this experience would not have been the same 🌟
Thank you for reading!