NYU SHC Portal Redesign
Goal: Make mental health services offered by New York University more accessible and user-friendly.
Time frame: 8 weeks, Spring 2022
This was an individual redesign project done for the User Experience class at NYU Tandon School of Engineering taught by Professor Regine Gilbert. The project aimed at improving the UX of booking a mental health appointment through the NYU Student Health Center Portal.
01 Understanding the problem space
It is difficult to get an overview of the general availability of mental health counseling appointments in the NYU Student Health Center (SHC) portal.
How might we improve the user experience of navigating the SHC portal for NYU students in order to make the appointment booking for mental health services less lengthy and time-consuming?
Old SHC website design
02 User Research
First step was to complete a competitive analysis of other booking services to compare feature prioritization and content hierarchy. Key findings from this research were that users should never feel lost using a booking system and it should be easy, intuitive, and comfortable. It was also mentioned in multiple resources that users should be able to find what they need in just 3 clicks and be presented with the options to book instantly.
After this research, I created a survey that was sent out to the NYU community while creating personas, current user flow, and planning the usability research. Below are the survey findings with 9 participants in total.
03 Usability Research
The next step was to do the first part of the usability research, I recruited three participants to navigate through the old flow and report their observations, feelings towards the platform, as well as other recommendations to improve the service. The usability study was unmonitored for privacy reasons. One participant mentioned that “It would be better with a full calendar availability instead of having to manually search through three-four days at a time”. Another student said that “It would be better with a full calendar availability instead of having to manually search through three-four days at a time”.
User journey based on usability research
With all of the feedback in mind, I sketched out a new flow and created wireframes while keeping the goals and concerns in mind. These wireframes were tested in class, iterated, and then designed into a hi-fi prototype which can be found below.
Fast and seamless booking experience
Easy understanding of the different appointment types and how to book them
Everything on one page
Acronyms are hard to understand
Struggle to find available appointments
How to reschedule
More information about counselors
05 Final Design
The final prototype went through usability testing with five participants who actively reported their feedback while clicking through the new design. Below is the final designs and feel free to check out the Figma link for a more interactive experience.
Final thoughts and lessons learned
Given the time constraints of this class, we were asked to focus on only one flow of the service we were redesigning. The project was showcased in class and can hopefully act as a catalyst to start conversations about the importance of good user experience in healthcare and particularly for mental health services. I learned a lot about synthesizing information and making multiple pages into a one-page layout. This project definitely made me more aware of the importance of being mindful when designing user interactions and the importance of functionality for booking services. Mental health matters, and booking an appointment to get help should not be a barrier ❤️
Consider redesigning the medical appointment flow
Compare and contrast mobile vs. web experience
Consider additional features such as a virtual chat assistant instead of the phone triage