Premera Blue Cross - Simple Medical Provider Reviews

A simpler way to review care providers, in cooperation with Premera Blue Cross.

Team/Roles: Stuart Giles: Project management, presentation, documentation
Acacio Domar: Visual design, slide decks
Fen Xie: Research, ideation
Zhenxi Mi: Ideation, system diagramming

Date: October - December, 2014

Skills used: Project management, process documentation, Keynote, affinity diagramming

For a more in-depth look at the process on this project, please refer to the process blog I wrote for it.

Project Summary

     As part of the Ideation Studio class in the UW Master's of Human-Computer Interaction + Design program, we worked in tandem with Premera Blue Cross to design a system to more efficiently collect accurate and timely reviews of medical care providers. Premera provided us with some of their internal research to start, which I am unfortunately not allowed to disclose, due to NDA. Joy (Fen) traditionally managed her projects, and I had just come from four years of psychological research and study, so we switched roles, so as to develop our skills in non-specialty areas. Of note, we all participated in each aspect of the process (design, research, presentation, etc.), but the roles listed are for who took responsibility for leading each aspect.

     My role in this process was largely as documentarian, taking photos and writing the weekly process blog, though I also served as project manager, developing a timeline for deliverables and keeping communication going between group members, as well as keeping people on track, and finally taking charge of most of our presentations and doing a majority of the speaking. I also did some light visual design on the final deliverable, though that was more Acacio's area than mine.


     Before we had focused on reviews, we took stock of the whole area of online provider access through secondary and primary research. After collecting a body of secondary research and analyzing the tools and websites of a number of companies active in the field, such as WebMD and ZocDoc. After comparing a large number of services, the process of using them, and their information architecture, we made the preliminary decision that we would focus on stratification of information, or determining which information is most relevant to the current user and surfacing that, given the tremendous amount of information a medical tool could provide, all of which could be relevant to specific users.


     Following a broad ideation session with our paired team, the three of us met to brainstorm. By the end of the session, we had over 50 possible ideas to pursue, and narrowed down to the six we felt were the most topical, implementable, and interesting, which covered a number of areas. Though our original focus was on information architecture of medical portals, as you can see from the picture in the gallery below, fully 20 of 26 of people in audience at our concept presentation believed our most promising idea was one regarding simple provider reviews, which until that point we had regarded as ancillary. It was clear that a pivot of focus was necessary!


     At this point, now that we had changed ideas, we doubled down on refining what we had: an easy review system for medical care providers, involving (at its least complex) only a click on a happy, neutral, or sad face in response to a post-visit email, as well as optional elaboration on that thought. We developed rudimentary personas and presented our idea to a wider audience of people from Premera.

     Shortly afterward, another team working on reviews approached us, and we decided to merge into a "megateam," emcompassing our group's simple review system and their system of continued, evolving reviews over multiple physician visits. This was the idea that we refined over the last few weeks in the run-up to the presentation at Premera's headquarters in Mountain View, the final ideas from which are visible in the gallery below.