As Indiana University Health evolved to become one of the region’s largest and most comprehensive healthcare system, its digital presence needed to follow suit. IU Health sought to revolutionize digital experiences for patients and caregivers by delivering personalized content throughout the user’s medical journey.
We partnered with IU Health to launch a patient-focused, comprehensive website as a key part of the brand’s promise to improve the health of their patients and community through innovation and excellence.
The new IU Health website would need to serve a large and diverse audience that included patients, caregivers, and providers as well as job seekers, researchers, and educators.
At a high level, the goals for the new site were to support the IU Health brand promise and to establish IU Health as a leader in clinical excellence and innovation. We made key tactical recommendations to help them achieve these goals.
An integral part of our approach was to make the website more transactional, meaning it would be more action-oriented than the previous site, similar to user experiences on ecommerce websites.
Personalization would also be a critical component of the new website experience. Similar to a transactional experience, personalization helps visitors find the content they’re looking for faster.
A secondary goal for the IU Health web team was simpler management of the website on the backend, so that they could have more control over site administration, in an easier to manage format than in previous iterations.
Action-oriented. User-focused. Personalized. These were at the core of our UX goals for the IU Health website.
Prior to designing or building any page elements, we mapped out user paths to completing key actions like finding a provider, scheduling an appointment, and paying a bill. User flows, like the one below, contained every path a user could take, along with the ideal path – highlighted in blue.
Mapping user flows helps us accomplish two important elements of a “transactional experience,” including:
To deliver a truly personalized experience, we needed to:
A key feature of the new IU Health web experience is delivering the right content to the right person at the right time.
Referencing the user flows outlined above, we pinpointed opportunities for personalization and then designed elements to allow for tailored content in these moments.
Brought to life, this means a user engaging with certain content will see relevant suggestions across the rest of their experience. The site tracks key measures like time spent on page and page trends to determine content a user is likely to be interested in.
Geolocation — being able to pinpoint a user’s location — is an important component of the site’s ability to deliver personalized experiences to users.
Using a user’s location, the site tailors information specifically for them, showing nearby providers, locations, events, and even relevant news articles. This greatly simplifies the patient experience, especially when a user is looking for a nearby healthcare provider or location.
We also wanted to relate certain conditions and services with nearby IU Health locations. For example, when someone visits the Primary Care page, they can easily — and automatically — see a list of providers near them and quickly schedule an appointment.
All together, this means that users engaging with the site see personalized location data based on their location and browsing history. For example, when a user shares their location, the homepage and Find Locations landing page display nearby hospital, primary care, and urgent care locations.
Additionally, if the user has engaged in a particular area of the site before—such as “back pain”—this list will be tailored to locations provide appropriate, as well.
To a user, this translates into a tailored experience that makes is simpler to schedule an appointment with a doctor near them for the services they need. In fact, the site saw an increase of 17% in appointments scheduled online.
Maintaining consistency across a website as large as iuhealth.org is a challenge, so we created an official IU Health UX Guide. The guide offers examples of each UX component and demonstrates how web developers should integrate them into areas of the website as the site continues to evolve. Over time, the guide will scale to include additional guidelines for content and design.
Speed and efficiency are the names of the game in healthcare, so it was only fitting that the search functionality lived up to the fast-paced healthcare environment.
The previous search function did not filter or prioritize the most relevant results for users. The new search feature, however, is much more powerful and supports functions like synonyms, typo tolerance, geographical-based searches, filtering, analytics, and much more.
It also employs custom logic to serve the most relevant results to each unique user. By weighting factors like location, IU Health employment, availability to accept new patient, and online scheduling, users searching for providers, locations, and more find what they need faster.
In the first two weeks, there were over 65,000 searches performed using the new search function. For comparison, the previous site averaged about 56,000 searches in a two-week period. That's an increase of 16%.
Great websites don’t stay that way for long if managing them is difficult or confusing. The new IUHealth.org consolidates all of the code for components like accordions, buttons, providers, and location cards to make sitewide updates quick, easy, and manageable for someone without deep technical knowledge of the website.
The updated website also ties together related physician, service, and location data to both improve patient experiences and make site updates easier.
From a front-end perspective, triangulating these three key data points improves the user experience by providing comprehensive offerings and reducing the time it takes users to complete tasks. On the back-end, web managers can spend less time and keep track of fewer steps for making website updates.
Overall, we reduced the size of the website by almost half – from nearly 8,000 pages to just over 4,000.
Additionally, a modular content approach to the website makes it possible for website managers to create new pages within the content management system (CMS) without third-party support. Managers can build pages with rich text, hero graphics, personalized callouts, and more without having to build one-off modules.
This approach to the site’s construction empowers the IU Health team to take on the requirements of managing a complex site with confidence and efficiency. Previously, the IU Health website wasn't able to display related providers or locations on service pages throughout the site. Administrators would have to keep track of and update that content manually.
The new site uses pulls provider and location data from the same source to use in multiple locations, meaning a single administrator action is all that's needed to update content across the site. This creates a much easier, consistent way of maintaining and displaying content everywhere.
increase in scheduling of online appointments
site searches in first two weeks, a 16% increase
reduction in number of pages
The new IU Health website won a Gold 2018 Hermes Award. For more than 20 years, the Hermes Awards have honored the messengers and creators of traditional and emerging media.