Client: Clínica Manquehue
Location: Santiago, Chile
Skills & Tools
Ximena Toledo, Sam Hernández, Begoña Taladriz. Development by QuanticLabs
Clínica Manquehue is a dental clinic based in Las Condes, Santiago (Chile), which does not work in a traditional way. Instead of having permanent professionals, they work with independent or on-demand dentists who reserve clinical boxes according to the number of appointments they have on their own. At some point of growth, the traditional programming system became too cumbersome and complicated for the operations team, so the need to centralize everything in a single interaction-driven method appeared naturally.
The methodology we chose to work was Research and Development for design Innovation (R&D), which is an iterative cycle with 4 phases: (1) Problem Design, (2) Interaction Design, (3) Product Design and (4) Validation. It’s flexible and matches with Design Thinking in several stages and tools, so it was easy to understand for the whole team (client, developers).
Phase 1: Problem Design (Understand & Define)
Interaction, main user and context: as a starting point for research, we define the interaction as “scheduling and managing appointments for patients and dentists”. Therefore, the main user involved in that interaction -in the previous scenario- was the administrator, who interacted in the physical context of a dental clinic’s front desk.
Ipseidad/On field observation
We started our immersion into the challenge by watching the most affected user (the administrators) interact. During the observation, we identified some of the main key interactions, such as:
The management of more than 15 dentist’s agenda, using basic tools like Ms. Excel and Google Calendar, was difficult, inefficient and stressful, and the error rate was high.
The responsibility of probable errors at scheduling was assigned to the administrator, even when the causes weren’t necessarily controllable by her.
Patients were repeatedly rescheduled due to changes in agendas or several errors, which caused frustration in both the administrator and the patient.
After completing the interview stage with the administrators and managers of the clinic, we concluded that the original programming system did not allow staff to concentrate on the relevant tasks related to the quality of the service that the clinic was providing. This situation revealed some defects in customer service, communication, service fluidity and other problems.
Archetypes definition (Personas)
Although we had defined 1 main user before, there were 2 more who would also be actively involved in the new interaction: the patient and the dentists. Therefore, we created 1 archetype / person for each of them, which could be representative of the user for whom we were going to design.
User empathy maps
At this point, we needed to specify the key elements of the empathy we had perceived in the previous activities, so we created empathy maps for each of the 3 people: the administrator, the dentist and the patient. This activity allowed us to deepen the needs and expectations of each user.
By defining a main objective, the creative team could have an action framework, in addition to the alignment of efforts. The main challenge we determined was to build a more fluid way to interact with dental appointment scheduling, both for administrators, dentists and patients. In that same direction, the specific objectives we defined were:
Allow patients, instead of the operations team, to schedule and manage appointments online, which makes it more direct, simpler and faster, improving the entire experience by giving them more independence.
Assign the task of managing the availability of professionals to the dentists themselves, reducing the proportion of errors and giving them more self-sufficiency.
Provide administrators with a tool that allows them to easily control operations, that is: manage agendas, make appointments and obtain clear and useful results, to allow more efficient and effective management.
To centralize, save and protect data, and generate useful databases of patients, professionals, treatments, appointments and others, which can boost the improvement and growth of the company.
Phase 2: Interaction Design (Ideate)
User flow & Wireframing
To reduce the first design step to a controllable phase, we divided the product into 3 interactions that we needed to solve first: schedule, make appointments and manage the progress of patient treatments. Then, we created the first user flow diagrams for these 3 sections and, after reviewing them with all the team and stakeholders, we built quick InVision prototypes and performed usability testing sessions with real users in real contexts. In addition to the challenges we had defined before, we faced some new details that required attention, such as calendar and availability visualization, patient registration, patient appointment tracking and many more.
This stage allowed the team to be sure of the technical feasibility of the UX that is being designed, so the development team prepares what is needed to finalize the product.
Phase 3: Product Design (Prototype)
UI Design and prototype
Once the UX was verified and a minimum level of usability was ensured through rapid tests, the user interface design was developed. This step required the construction of a complete design system, because the only element that existed before was the name "Denticlick"; but without color palettes, fonts, logos, symbols and others. After completing the user interface design step, we were ready to model the first prototype.
Phase 4: Validation (Test)
With the first prototype, we ran tests with random users (guerrilla tests) to obtain new relevant feedback.
As soon as the usability factor satisfied all the stakeholders, we performed the validation of the final interaction with real users, which evaluates the performance of the product in its 3 value dimensions: functional, visceral and emotional.
The validation results showed that, in general, the interaction clearly improved. And, although the visceral and emotional part worked well, the functionality still had some pieces to solve better. For example, the administrator needed a communication platform that allowed him to get in touch with patients, either for automatic / mass notices or a particular communication.
Denticlick transformed the way of operating within this new format of dental clinics, increasingly popular in Chile and Latin America.
The web application was successfully implemented at Manquehue Clinic, leading the company to higher levels of innovation, improving operations performance and customer experience.
Due to the success, the company is now selling the software to other clinics in Chile and LATAM, to which the product user interface is customized.