Improving customer experience in the healthcare industry


My role

GetHealth was born over a weekend in a design hackathon called Dash. My responsibilities in our multidisciplinary 5-person team ranged from user research to UI design and usability testing.

The challenge

The Finnish Government is proposing freedom of choice in health and social services, and the most essential change will be seen in the role of the service user: the person in need of services will become a customer rather than a patient. Customer experience shall have a greater role and direct impact on its funding.

How the public healthcare provider could better identify individual needs of their customers and adapt accordingly?

Design process

We started the project by discovering our subject, and conducting user interviews with the target group. Following the definition phase, we narrowed down our results and selected problems that we should focus on. After that, we started working on the actual solution, which in our case was a mobile application. We wireframed the app structure, designed the visuals and tested the solution. Finally, we fixed some problems in the user interface that we recognized in the testing.

Double diamond model

Our team’s design process followed a double diamond model.

Discovering our subject

We started our discovery phase by researching about the health and social services reform in Finland (2020).

What the upcoming reform means, is that people can choose their healthcare provider from public, private or third sector. It also means that public sector’s customer experience needs to be on par with commercial, private sector services or they have a risk of losing customers. Especially those 20-30-year-olds that according to research[1] are more willing to leverage freedom of choice.

Interview results

After defining our target group as 20-30-year-olds, we started doing interviews.

Some of the questions we asked:

“How was your latest experience at doctors office?”
“How was your experience reserving an appointment? …and how long did it take?”
“How many people did you interact with?”
“When and how did you pay for your visit?”

This gave us insightful information about the pain points in current healthcare services:

“I don’t want to leave my home just for care assessment”
“I want to see a doctor more conveniently”
“I want to see a doctor now and not in 2 weeks”
“It’s hard to see available times and reserve them”
“It’s hard to find a doctor that is an expert in my issue”
“I’m not sure if my issue is severe enough to visit a doctor”

Narrowing down

In the discover phase we had figured out potential problems to be solved. But which should we focus on and why? We analysed different issues and evaluated which could be solvable. Things that we needed to keep in mind were customer perspective, feasibility and cost-effectiveness in the long run.

We agreed to set our first priority as making communication between healthcare professionals and patients more efficient. The second priority was to make reserving an appointment easy.

Creating the product

After discovering, gathering insights and defining our focus, we started to create solutions and build the actual product. We used customer journey map, value proposition, user flows and wireframes during the design process to help us understand the potential user's needs.

User flow
User flow
UI Design
UI Design

Testing with potential users

After creating a viable solution, we wanted to test it in the real world. We conducted an usability testing with 6 people aged 20-30 years old.

In overall, people were delighted about our concept and would like to use a similar service. Feedback regarding the user interface we got from the testing:

  • The screen that shows available times wasn’t clear enough
  • Some users wanted to expand the map and see their own location when reserving an appointment
  • It wasn’t clear enough whether the user was reviewing the doctor or the video connection
  • One user wanted to select a different city, because sometimes they could be travelling

Insights we got from testing led to redesigning the screen where available times are shown, and adding more features to the map view, as well as other small changes.

Final product

Final product

Our solution brings down the communication gap between individuals and healthcare service provider. It also gives an opportunity to do care assessment remotely, which saves both time and resources.

Try out the interactive prototype:


  1. Barry Schwartz & Nathan N. Cheek: Choice, freedom, and well-being: considerations for public policy

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