Structuring a Dynamic Information Architecture For A Complex SaaS Product

Practice Automations β€’ 2022

WORKING FOR Practice Automations (PAPM) Practice Automations (PAPM) is a Texas-based healthcare startup set to transform the RCM sector with its advanced SaaS product. Despite the digital age, the industry remains paper-based and fragmented, grappling with the complexities of the US healthcare billing system. PAPM is determined to change this by developing user-friendly, AI-driven solutions for these companies.
ROLE Product Designer & Information Architect
TEAM Derek Sanborn, Product Manager Mike Gonzalez, UX Lead & UX Researcher Darryl Dexter, Tech Lead

Introduction / Problem:

In the multifaceted world of RCM billing, the sheer volume and complexity of tasks require an organized and intuitive software interface. As PAPM set out to revolutionize this space, it became clear that a strong Information Architecture (IA) would be the foundation of our product. The challenge was to create an IA that not only encapsulated the breadth of the industry, but also remained flexible enough to adapt to new insights and changes. This foundational work was going to be instrumental in shaping the subsequent development of the product's navigation, features, and user experience.


As we embarked on the task of shaping the Information Architecture for the RCM software, our guiding principle was clear: to create a user-centric system that would seamlessly navigate the complexities of RCM billing. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of the industry, we prioritized deep user engagement, aiming to ground our design decisions in the real-world needs and challenges of AR Managers and Clerks.

Moreover, we were aware of the ever-changing nature of the RCM industry, so our approach was designed to be flexible. This enabled us to adapt our architecture to new information, industry developments, and user feedback.


Our journey began with in-depth interviews with AR Managers and Clerks, enabling us to thoroughly map and catalog the essential jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) and processes that underpin their daily tasks.

Using Miro, we transformed this extensive data into visual diagrams and schemas, offering a consolidated overview of all the processes at a glance.

With this groundwork laid, we embarked on the intricate task of taxonomy. Much like solving a puzzle, we categorized and delineated the various processes, defining the core tasks involved. This exercise helped us identify the primary categories that would form the backbone of our main menu.

We identified seven primary categories during this process:

  1. Dashboard
  2. Patients
  3. Claims
  4. Remittance
  5. Reports
  6. Batch Intake
  7. Settings

For each of these categories, we employed hierarchical clustering analysis to group related JTBDs. This facilitated the definition of essential user flows and helped determine the modules needed to encompass all functionalities.

Subsequently, we crafted user-flow diagrams for every JTBD, identifying common patterns and ensuring they were aptly integrated within the modules.

This meticulous approach provided a solid blueprint for the system, ensuring it was equipped with the core features necessary to address the comprehensive needs of an RCM company.

Ultimately, this laid the groundwork for the software's core architecture, encompassing all its areas, sub-areas, modules, and features, setting the stage for the subsequent phases of interface design.

Initial System Blueprint
Initial System Blueprint

Jobs-to-be-done mapping and clustering
Jobs-to-be-done mapping and clustering

A small part of the taskflows diagrams based on the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD)
A small part of the taskflows diagrams based on the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD)

Conclusion, Reflections & Learnings

In concluding our journey of structuring the Information Architecture for the RCM software, several key reflections and learnings emerged.

Firstly, the importance of deep user engagement became evident. Our interactions with AR Managers and Clerks were not just informative but foundational, ensuring our design decisions were rooted in real-world needs. This user-centric approach was instrumental in creating an architecture that was both intuitive and efficient.

The process of taxonomy taught us the value of organization and clarity. By breaking down complex processes into distinct categories and tasks, we created a system that was easy to navigate and use. Categorizing and clustering highlighted the importance of structure in design, particularly in the intricate domain of RCM billing.

Our process highlighted the importance of being able to adapt. As we created user-flow diagrams and incorporated them into modules, it became evident that flexibility and iteration were essential. Designing for an industry as dynamic as RCM necessitates a system that can grow and adjust to changing conditions.

This project reaffirmed our faith in the iterative design process. Every step, from user interviews to the final architectural plan, was informed by ongoing feedback and refinement. This iterative process ensured that our final product was not only effective but also truly resonated with the users' needs and challenges.

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πŸš€ Stefano Tavanielli