Providence Health & Services

User Researcher

Swedish Express Care


Providence & Swedish

The Providence Health System (and the recently merged Swedish Health System) have Express Care services available for people with a low acuity issue who want convenient and affordable care. There are three available services (Virtual, Clinic, and At Home) which have previously been treated as separate experiences but are now to be integrated and treated as a "family of services." These services can be accessed on web and native mobile app platforms. As the date to launch an updated "family of services" nears, there was a need to discover detractors in the user experience for scheduling services.


Providence and Swedish are working to make healthcare more accessible and convenient to patients through the Express Care services. Aligned in this mission, the design and research process has always recognized that the users of these services are patients who will be under stress related to an ailment when scheduling.

MY ROLE: I was the researcher responsible for leading research efforts on Express Care.

THE TEST: An end to end test on the web scheduling experience for the Virtual and Clinic services. The test was designed to discover points of confusion and areas that are likely to produce errors which would detract from the Express Care experience. Additionally, the test was an opportunity to better understand how well the site prepares users for their appointment by better understanding user expectations for after scheduling.

OBSTACLES: Due to development status, technical limitations, and deadlines we could not do a true usability test of the product. Design could only produce a clickable prototype in inVision rather than a fully functional interactive prototype. With these limitations in mind, I decided to conduct a cognitive walkthrough because it would allow users to experience the scheduling flow and collect feedback as well indentifying potential usability issues.

THE OBJECTIVES: Find and fix friction points in scheduling an appointment for Clinic and Virtual services on the web. Key considerations:

  • Are users able to successfully and smoothly complete core scenarios & tasks?
  • How should we fix any usability issues that users encounter?
  • Is it clear to users what to do after scheduling to be prepared for the call or clinic?



  1. Services: I focused the test on the scheduling flow for a virtual and clinic appointment because these are the services with the highest use currently, and thus will have the greatest impact on the business when updates go live. Also, At Home is further behind in production, and would not have been able to be explored properly in an end to end test. 
  2. Patient and Payment: Tasks were picked to examine scheduling an appointment for ones self using insurance and scheduling for another person (a child or another adult) using self pay. These two scheduling paths represent the most common use case and their alternatives. 
  3. New & Returning: Additionally, the business is tackling getting people signed up for these services and questions regarding account options and layout have been prioritized. Thus, I added that for one scenario the user is new and to the next they would be returning. This was meant to determine how well users understand the options and how well the design presents these options. 


A cognitive walkthrough of key tasks with a clickable prototype. Each participant completed 2 task oriented flows, post-task questionnaires, and a step walkthrough of flows.


  • Success for each task is when the participant reaches the confirmation screen and acknowledges they're done.
  • Error is any action the user takes that causes them to stall or move away from completing the task.  The user may have to take an action to recover (e.g. back button).
  • Points of confusion are anything that interrupt the flow of the user by causing them to (think) figure out how something works; even then they may not figure it out.

USer Tasks: Designs & Flows



      • Can users navigate each service landing page?
      • Are users able to determine what each service is and differentiate among them?
      Landing Pages


      Scheduling at a clinic, for self, & insured:

      • Can users successfully complete the scheduling flow?
      • Are there usability issues? Where, why, and how can we fix?
      • Are there points of confusion or dissatisfaction? Where, why, and how can fix?
      • Do users have clear next steps after scheduling?
      Clinic Flow


      Scheduling on Virtual, for other (child or someone else), & self-pay:

      • Can users successfully complete the scheduling flow?
      • Are there usability issues? Where, why, and how can we fix?
      • Are there points of confusion or dissatisfaction? Where, why, and how can fix?
      • Do users have clear next steps after scheduling?
      Virtual Flow


      I reported insights to the stakeholders in order to implement changes to smooth the scheduling flow for the users. Additionally, I continued to work with the designers to make sure the changes implemented would resolve the issues perceived during the test.


      Express Care Services on web will go live by summer of 2018.