Personal Project β€’ 2021


Working for: Me
Role: As this was an individual project, I was responsible for conceiving, organizing, and executing all the steps of the project.

When I started thinking about what topic I would explore in this project, I immediately remembered a negative personal experience that happened to me more than once and happens daily to thousands of people around the world. Having to wait a long time for a medical appointment. Has this ever happened to you?

I believe there is a great chance that you answered yes.

Talking to family and friends about this, everyone has a story of frustration of ever going to an appointment and having to wait much longer than planned. This made me think about the reasons why this happens so often and if there was anything that could be done to solve it, or at least improve this problem.



As soon as I defined the problem that would be the basis of my project, I started researching.

I started with a desk research, to map out articles and news about the subject to get an overall view of the problem and if there was any initiative being taken somewhere to try to deal with the delays.

What I found was that this is a common disorder in various countries and people complain about it in all of them. The initiatives found are in the scope of applications that offer medical clinics administrative functionalities, believing that a better managed clinic will eventually be able to keep appointments more punctual.

Qualitative Research

Next, I realized that the best way to gain insights into the reasons causing delays would be to interview the people directly involved in the day-to-day of a clinic, which are medical personnel and secretaries. Furthermore, it would also be crucial for the project to interview the main affected by the delays, the patients, to understand their perceptions and feelings when facing such a situation.

This triad of personas was present and essential throughout the project, where I sought to stay in touch all the time, listening and sharing my findings.

Main Discoveries from Interviews
Main Discoveries from Interviews

The main findings of each group of interviewees were:

  • Medical Professionals: They have an unpredictable routine intrinsic to the profession. Many work not only in clinics, but also in hospitals attending emergencies or performing surgeries that can take much longer than planned. They also consider it crucial to have their time in the consultation room filled with appointments.
  • Medical Secretaries: They are responsible for mediating between patients and doctors. Having to deal with the unexpected and changes in routines of both. They often feel overwhelmed by the accumulation of tasks and unexpected events that occur on a daily basis in the clinic. They feel they need help to communicate with patients.
  • Patients: They feel disrespected when they have to wait a long time for the appointment. They often miss appointments or work days because of these delays. They consider that the only thing worse than the delay is to be badly attended by the doctor, in the sense of feeling that they did not receive the attention they deserved.


By compiling all the research data, I made an affinity map followed by job stories that allowed me to understand in a very clear way the daily life of each of the interviewed profiles, their thoughts, their frustrations and their needs, and thus I was able to create personas to condense all these findings and define where I should go with the solution.





After the whole discovery process, a very clear path emerged. Realizing that doctors' routines are naturally unpredictable and that there is no way to avoid these unpredictabilities, which consequently cause delays in the clinic's appointments, the front that there was room to act and improve a lot was in the communication between secretaries and patients.

The understanding was that by facilitating communication between these two profiles, they would both remain better informed about possible changes in the office agenda and thus be better able to plan for the unexpected.

Visual Synthesis of Findings
Visual Synthesis of Findings

Problem Definition

And thus I arrived at the following definition of the problem:

How can we facilitate the exchange of information between secretaries and patients so that they remain up to date with changes and delays in the appointment schedule?


After a brainstorming process, I came up with the following solution: a "live" agenda, managed in a not so complex way by the secretaries, which is broadcasted to patients who have appointments scheduled for that day. So that patients can know if there are any delays, how many patients are to be attended before them and what is the expected time for their appointment.

The name I created for this agenda is Liv.A


Concept and Usability Testing

To verify if the solution I thought of offered value to the involved profiles, I conducted a concept test presenting the idea to doctors, secretaries and patients. And the results were very interesting, where each profile reported seeing clear benefits for their day-to-day.

With the "green light" for the idea, I moved on to the execution stage, starting with a low and medium fidelity prototype. The solution I thought of included a desktop and mobile version for secretaries, where the entire agenda management would take place. And a mobile version for patients, who could see a summary of the day's agenda in a simple way to make decisions about what to do with their time.

At this stage, I made some versions of the desktop and mobile solutions, because with each finished version, I did usability tests with the profile that would use the app. And always came insights and perceptions that made the product simpler, intuitive and practical to produce, that made me go back to the design and apply the suggestions. After a series of adjustments, I arrived at a version that was round to move on to a high fidelity version.



Style Guide

The first step in structuring the high-fidelity version was to set up a style guide and, using the concepts of atomic design, define the visual elements that would make up organisms and components present in all versions of the application.




After setting the style guide and creating the component structure, I assembled the MVP version of the app in all its versions.


The desktop app, to be managed by secretaries, has a very simple and straightforward interface. The main screen shows the schedule of all the clinic doctors, by day, and the appointments booked.

Patient and doctor registration options, calendar, and chat are accessed in sidebar format.

The appointments vary in color depending on whether they are overdue or not. If they are overdue, they are in an orange hue, which indicates a delay in the entire ecosystem. If they are not overdue, they are in a punctual blue hue.

Within the appointment cards, there are indicators to quickly show if the patient has already confirmed their presence, if they are already in the consultation room, and a quick access button to send a message or start an appointmen.


Mobile (for Secretaries)

As the 'start consultation' function is crucial for the daily functioning of the agenda. It makes sense to have a reduced version of the agenda in mobile version, so that secretaries can mark the beginning of a new consultation even if they are not in front of the desktop. A practical and simple solution to be done on the go.


Mobile (for Patients)

For patients, the solution is as simple as possible. Without the need of an app, the solution works so that on the day of the appointment, the patient receives a link via SMS or WhatsApp. By clicking, it opens a page on the browser that shows the real-time status of the day's schedule in the office. Clearly showing if the appointment is late or not, how many people are in front, updated forecast of the time of service and even the distance of the person to the office.

It is also possible to confirm attendance at the appointment, if not already done, and send a message to the consulting office.



With a simple solution, it was not only possible to make the secretaries' day-to-day easier, but also to bring an invaluable value to the patients.

For real-time information on the status of the consultation, it gives the patient full decision-making power, so they no longer need to wait in a consultation room for hours to be attended to.

With the power of choice, people can make better use of their time, having fewer frustrations and getting a better experience when they have to go to appointments.

Would you like to go into more detail about this case study? Let’s talk!

πŸš€ Stefano Tavanielli