Adding a chat feature to a menstrual tracking app
My Role UX/UI Designer and Researcher
Clue is a women’s health tracking app that not only tracks women’s menstrual cycle, but also their PMS symptoms, and fertility. Clue empowers women by giving them access to information so they can prioritize their health and wellness. Their goal is to actively change the way people learn, access, and talk about menstrual and reproductive health around the world.
Doing secondary research helped me identify the problem that women have surrounding conversations about their reproductive health. According to the New York Post, 58% of women feel embarrassed when they are on their periods, and 42% of women have experienced period-shaming.
Women want a safe space to have conversations about their reproductive health free of judgment.
In order to truly understand how users use their menstruation app and their experience with finding information about reproductive health topics, I conducted four user interviews.
I asked questions about:
“Sometimes it's hard to get professional information from others online.”
“It would be nice if there was like a .org or .edu or something that is verified or studies about women's reproductive health so I can trust it.”
“…for the NuvaRing, you can put it in for this many weeks and it’s very complicated and you have to talk to a healthcare professional. I’ve literally looked through so many forums and if you do it wrong, there’s no right answer on how to fix it.“
“On Google, you can find information from professionals or doctors and there’s a lot of research and reading involved. I want it to get to the point to find my answer.”
After speaking to my participants, I learned users don’t have a problem talking about their reproductive health. In fact, they feel very comfortable talking about their reproductive health with others. Instead, they experience problems searching for reliable information online.
Meet Jessica. Like many women, she did not receive sufficient information about her reproductive health so she often seeks out information on her own.
The persona helped me understand the real pain points and frustrations people have surrounding information about their reproductive health. They revealed needs such as needing confidence in the information they are receiving and gaining information that’s reputable and easy to access. Users also expressed feeling frustrated in wasting too much time Googling for information and need to quickly find answers that get to the point.
Confidence in the receiving information
Information that's accurate & easy to access
To learn more about her body
Learn topics that aren't
Wasting too much time
Googling information online
Can't find information
specific to her situation
How might we give women reputable answers to their questions quickly in the app so they can take control of their health?
While brainstorming possible solutions, I created an impact-effort prioritization matrix to help me determine which features to focus on. The features that are high impact and are low-medium effort are categorized under “Must haves” while everything else is “Nice to have.”
After much thought, I decide to move forward with the virtual healthcare assistant feature. Since users expressed they often go to someone or Google to search for information, having a chatbot will be a great solution to search for credible health sources in a quick and accessible way. It also improves efficiency when finding information because users can refer to the chatbot for immediate answers to their questions.
After deciding on the chat feature to focus on, I compared the current and future state journey map of Jessica's experience before and after using the in-app chat feature.
Because this is a chat feature, it’s imperative that I write a conversation flow between the bot and the user, as well as how they interact with the screens in the app based on my persona. The goal is to make improvements to the app by adding a feature so searching for information is a seamless process for users.
When building the conversation flow, I relied on the needs and frustrations of my persona who has a difficult experience searching for quick answers to her NuvaRing question. Additionally, creating the conversation and user flow also helped me prepare for the wireframes.
How user will interact with the screens and find information without leaving the app
Giving users pre-defined topics makes it easy for users to simply select a topic that’s relevant to them. Additionally, if there isn’t a topic that includes what they’re searching for, users have the option to type in the text field for more specific questions.
As an addition to the chat feature, users have the option to save content in situations where they like reference it in the future.
I conducted a combination of three moderated usability tests over Zoom and nine unmoderated tests using Maze in order to understand if users are able to use the chat feature to search for relevant information and if this is a feature they would realistically use.
"The placement of the bookmark icon is not very obvious and users would have to scroll back to the top in order to save."
"The Ask Chloe section in the content tab seems unnecessary because I can go back to the Cycle page to ask"
"I was able to easily complete the task, but the label ‘content’ gave me some pause, I wasn't sure what I would find in there"
Although the results were overall positive, there were some small changes that could be improved on.
My biggest challenge was finding out my original feature idea and hypothesis was proven wrong after speaking with users. I learned that the research process may not always be linear and as a designer, it’s important to be flexible and pivot to different directions.
Designing a feature like a chatbot that requires writing the conversations between the bot and users is critical. This was my first time crafting a narrative for a chat function and I learned that it’s important to create dialogue that’s aligned with my research findings and my persona who wants concise answers and gets straight to the point.
I would continue to test and iterate on my chat feature with a new set of users. I’d also be interested in testing a new flow for users who prefer to type in a questions instead of selecting the pre-defined topics.