forWar On Cancer, Microsoft
Through next-level empathy mapping, we partnered with Microsoft Health to create the world’s first patient-centred clinical trial discovery tool to give cancer patients more control over their survival and health.
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The goal of this project was to give cancer patients the ability to take health into their own hands through searching for potential clinical trials. Every cancer treatment that is currently available has successfully gone through a clinical trial. They are critical for pushing cancer research further, however, many struggle to find enough patients due to their complex criteria, making it difficult for healthcare teams to prioritise it in their treatment plans for patients.
Microsoft approached War On Cancer to be one of the first organisations to utilise their new matching algorithm technology, using natural language processing to organise clinical trial inclusion and exclusion criteria in order to determine the most efficient questions to ask, in order to facilitate the most efficient discovery of suitable clinical trials.
It was our task to utilise this technology in the best way, to provide our community of thousands of cancer patients with the world's first clinical trial finder made for patients. Not only was it an exciting challenge, we only had two months, from research to live product.
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As we were developing an experience that was the first in the industry for patients, it was our responsibility to the end-users to clearly define the problem we were solving. Fortunately our team has performed a lot of user research on the cancer patient market, which gave us a leading advantage in providing products and features to a group we knew so well.
Backed by our personas, we then developed user journey maps that proved to be extremely helpful in early discussions, and during feature development.
These maps highlighted the fears and obstacles in our user's path throughout different stages of their user journey, specifically for this feature.
From awareness and discovery, to the actions taken after the initial discover, to considerations that affect their decision along the journey, all the way through to feature adoption and feature advocacy.
We attempted to understand likely negative scenarios throughout their journey, while considering what opportunities we could take to address them, thinking about the specific wants, needs and fears of our different personas.
Because this project was extremely complex with a short duration, it was critical to involve as many problem-solving minds as possible. Leveraging the different experiences, unique pasts and other diverse aspects of each person in our team gave us the advantage of solving many of the problems early on.
My biggest learning during the last few years is that better design decisions are made when everyone is involved, early on. Design is not a one-person job.
The team workshops not only brought up a lot of interesting problems and ideas to the table that hadn't been discussed yet, it was also enjoyable, and brought together our team—spread across three countries.
After the initial introductory brainstorming session, a group of us developed preliminary user stories that aimed to allow the user to achieve the main flow.
We prioritised the user stories, then grouped them into four main goals, which defined the four Epics for this project. Team members of each field were assigned to a group to be available for additional feedback and brainstorming sessions during the design phase. We used Slack religiously during this period, for rapid problem solving, resource and concept sharing and much more.
Once the main four Epics were conceptualised and werein the visual design phase, we also built out growth hooks to leverage the sharability-factor of the feature. We also considered other external sharing between the user and their healthcare team. Not only did this benefit the users, it also introduces the feature to another valuable user group, with a large reach and influence to other potential users.
We proudly launched this feature to our users and are starting to collect the initial feedback from patients and their healthcare teams.
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Figma for personas and user journey mapping
Miro for workshops, brainstorming, user stories, wireframing and more
Jira for planning, tracking, and managing the project
Figma for design concepts and prototyping (transitioned from Sketch & Abstract during this project)
Slack for team communication, file sharing and more
Google Sheets for data management
Miro for team retrospectives
Apple Notes for ad hoc note-taking