Patient navigation improvements - In progress

Improving navigation of PKB for patients  - Usability testing 


There were a number of reasons we chose to redesign the patient navigation. Firstly, we had received some feedback that certain areas of PKB were harder to locate than others. Secondly, as part of our review of accessibility in PKB, we noticed some areas of navigation didn’t work perfectly with screen-readers. Therefore, the goal of this project was to re-design navigation in PKB for patients to help users navigate through their record more easily and address any accessibility issues at the same time.

We started the project by collating and reviewing previous feedback & detailing accessibility issues. We then  worked on new designs & built a prototype to be used in usability testing. We  ran several usability sessions with patients to check the new style of navigation was intuitive and easy to use.

The usability sessions included a ‘card-sorting’ exercise & asking the user to complete a set of tasks on a prototype of new navigation. We asked users to talk through their thoughts during each task to tell us what they were thinking & doing so we could understand their decision making process.


The design clarity was appreciated, even by color-blind participants. There were suggestions for clearer labeling of homepage sections and the potential implementation of a search feature to enhance user navigation. While onboarding was deemed to be minimal, as the prototype was intuitive, there was a call for more descriptive menu items. Some labels were identified as potentially confusing, given its broad encompassing of both individuals and institutions.

When tasked with finding and changing a person’s record they care for, participants exhibited a natural inclination to click on the account menu, viewing it as a switch between accounts, a pattern they recognized from other apps. 

When trying to access specific sections of the health records, participants envisioned multiple routes to reach the same destination. Even within individual users, there was a diversity of navigational approaches, while others had distinct, unique methods of locating information.

The new health menu was effective for tasks like adding journal entries and symptoms, but there was feedback about some of the menus being overwhelming if the number of options within a main menu exceeded a certain limit. The importance of aligning with common digital patterns was also emphasized, drawing from Jakob’s law, which suggests that users prefer familiar site functionalities


The research process highlighted a comprehensive understanding of user interactions and preferences with the platform. 

One of the strengths identified was the platform's new navigation and grouping mechanisms. Users found the new navigation intuitive, leading to a seamless experience when accessing various sections of the platform. Notably, users' preferences in grouping certain menus mirrored our own design groupings, which is a reassuring affirmation of our design choices and underscores the alignment between user expectations and our platform's structure.

The new list style was another aspect that resonated well with users. Given their effectiveness, it's strongly recommended to retain these design elements in future iterations.

However, like any comprehensive review, areas of potential enhancement were also identified. The "Sharing" feature emerged as a point of contention. Users seemed to grapple with its intended purpose. Confusions underscore the need for clearer labeling and perhaps a more intuitive design. Suggestions have been made to overhaul this feature, especially when it pertains to carers, and to contemplate a more descriptive renaming.

Further feedback touched upon the visual elements of the platform. The Call to Action buttons on the homepage, for instance, were perceived as disproportionately large, potentially overshadowing other vital features. Adjusting their size could lead to a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing homepage. 

Additionally, the "Settings" label was another point that users felt could benefit from a clearer descriptor. The ellipsis menus, frequently accessed by users, might be enhanced by adding a 'View' option, streamlining the user's journey to access deeper layers of information.

In terms of feature prominence, users expressed a desire to have personalized sections more readily accessible. These sections, given their critical nature in a healthcare platform, should be foregrounded for ease of access.

New feature recommendations were abundant. Users expressed the need for a concise summary of their most pivotal health information, a feature that could act as a quick reference point. The sharing functionalities could be more granular, allowing for clearer distinctions between personal records and those of individuals under their care. 

Other suggestions included the ability to archive older notifications, thereby decluttering the interface, and the option to link related items, enhancing the platform's interconnectedness. The addition of shortcuts for frequently accessed actions was another user-favored recommendation.

From a marketing standpoint, the feedback was clear: there's a vast potential in harnessing patient testimonials. A broader branding discussion also emerged, focusing on the terminology used: "People vs. Patients." This could be a pivotal conversation in ensuring the platform's language resonates with its user base.

Lastly, some innovative ideas emerged such as an integrated timeline feature on the homepage to display a user's medical history. Such a feature could provide users with a chronological overview of their health journey, adding another layer of depth to their digital health experience and streamlining their interactions with the platform. By presenting information in a time-based sequence, users can quickly identify and recall specific health events, treatments, or diagnoses, reducing the cognitive load of sifting through various sections or categories. This approach not only aligns with the natural human tendency to remember events chronologically but also offers a more intuitive method of accessing information. As we move forward, it's imperative to conduct further research to validate the potential benefits of this timeline feature, ensuring that it truly enhances user experience and meets the diverse needs of our patient community.