The Portable team began designing a digital tool to connect WHA with patients outside of consultations. The concept of either an app or a mobile messaging tool was initially conceptualised and researched but, during the project, the direction shifted towards the development of a ChatBot.
We used several research methods—including a contextual inquiry, a survey and one-on-one interviews—to gain a better understanding of user motivations, pain points, behaviours and experiences. Using insights gathered through this research, we created 19 user personas. This process helped guide our decisions about service features, navigation, interactions and visual design.
After prototyping the messaging app, it was decided that a ChatBot would be a more appropriate solution. We researched ChatBot best practice and held several workshops. During these workshops we developed paper and clickable wireframes, workflows and associated questions; created a service design outline; reviewed the ChatBot platforms; and programmed one module.
Our team created ‘Janet’, a ChatBot voice. Janet used scripted messages to respond to the patient, providing feedback loops and prompts that told the patient what they could do at each stage of the process. Two user testing groups were engaged to test the ChatBot and provide feedback. This feedback identified both strengths (some users thought Janet was a real person!) and areas for improvement, and informed our final recommendations.