Lucidity Direct | Lead UX Designer
“Locum tenens” is latin for “to hold a place” or “placeholder” and is projected to be a $6.2 billion industry by 2020. Anyone involved in locums physician staffing understands the frustration of going through an agency. Physicians have little control of the process, while medical practices constantly deal with high expenses and poor credentialing. Both sides have grown weary of the lack of transparency during the hiring process, and there were no technology solutions in the space adequately addressing these issues.
Working with a team of engineers, designers, entrepreneurs and domain experts, we developed a solution which connects the two parties directly online, empowering both parties to represent themselves and their needs, hopefully leading to more fulfillment and satisfaction working and hiring in this space. Lucidity Direct is a fully-responsive, cloud-based, multi-sided web application. Physicians also have access to a native iOS app.
I joined the team as the Lead User Experience Designer towards the beginning of development. It took 2 years to build and launched in October, 2016.
THE APPROACH —
Lucidity is a very deep & robust platform––there are 3+ sides and the product supports the entire workflow of working or hiring temporary physicians: from searching for and selecting candidates/opportunities, negotiating & agreeing to rates & travel, exchanging documents & tracking the privileging status during the credentialing process, assigning/confirming shifts, entering over- & under-time into timesheets, and issuing payments to physicians for the work performed.
We were extremely lucky because we had a number of domain experts available to me throughout the development process. I was able to pick their brains before I even put pen to paper and to nail down the feature requirements. They also participated in usability testing, and for more complex features we often went through 2-3 rounds of usability testing & iteration with a number of end users before finalizing the design. With our unusual access to industry domain experts, I was able to run prototypes through user testing often, allowing the iteration process to flow quickly and easily.
PERSONA DEVELOPMENT —
When I first joined the Lucidity team, I spoke to a number of domain experts (locums recruiters, credentialers, schedulers & physicians), and I developed a few personas for each user base. We used these personas throughout our design process for the next 2 years: telling our users’ stories & demonstrating typical use cases during the initial phases of a design (as seen below in the low-fi prototype examples), creating tasks for participants during user testing, and personas for us to “assume” during our own testing & evaluation of the product.
Low-Fidelity Prototyping —
Using the “Paul Provider” persona, I started to brainstorm and visualize certain use cases for physicians configuring their availability–– what reasons would affect availability or work preferences? What may they want to alter: days of the week? night/day shifts? traveling from home? preferred rate? I created a white board prototype and videotaped it while “Paul Provider” narrated his potential use of this feature.
Ugly, yet extremely effective, paper prototypes are very useful when designing certain features because they can really help you simplify content, requirements, and interactions. Oftentimes when I’m stuck trying to solve a problem, I like to go back to a paper prototype because it helps you get back to the roots of the problem. Our physician availability feature is a great example of that–– as we continued to iterate, many configurations were removed or simplified.
Usability Testing —
I involved domain experts from the beginning of the design process, but I would conduct more formal usability testing with end users once a feature had been developed. Throughout my time at Lucidity I conducted a number of rounds of usability testing, both in-person or remotely over a web call.
Usability goes far beyond ‘user-friendliness,’ but it is believed that good usability is the intersection of effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction.* To measure effectiveness, I would give participants a number of tasks and observe task completion. To measure efficiency, I would record the amount of time it took them to complete each task and compare this to our goal. By administering a System Usability Questionnaire (SUS) at the end of the testing session, I was also able to measure the users’ satisfaction with our product. I would screen/audio/video record all sessions.
After our sessions, I would identify any application usability issues sing a set of heuristics and create an actionable list of improvements based on relative Return on Investment. I could also determine the overall efficiency of the app by comparing task completion times to our goal, and gauge overall user satisfaction from the collected SUS scores.
* source: https://measuringu.com/usability-exist/
Final concept of Availability calendar —
Because the locum tenens industry involves temporary work, it’s vital that the two parties communicate their scheduling needs with one another. Lucidity Direct provides an Availability Calendar to physicians for them to indicate which days they are available and where they are expecting to be located. The location information is valuable to recruiters since travel reimbursement is often included on top of the hourly rate (physician nearby = $$ savings)!
The interaction pattern for the Calendar was inspired by selecting multiple photos in Apple’s mobile Photos app. We narrowed down the options for configuration to simplify the calendar, and instead we moved certain work preferences to a global preference that can be configured in their profile.
a transparent & direct locums marketplace —
The above only skims the surface of my work on Lucidity, but provides a good sense of my design process for every feature I designed. Here is an overview of the features I led UX for:
Credentialing Document Exchange
Confirmation of Shift Assignments
Sending Providers Opportunity Proposals
Credentialing Document Exchange
Dashboard: Alerts to System Activity Requiring Response
Payments w/ ACH & Quickbooks Integration