With a user base of over 15 million people. FollowMyHealth recognizes they have a responsibility to help patients using their application to have a meaningful and easy to use experience connecting with their health information. As the UX lead for this Allscripts product, I've helped FollowMyHealth evolve and better engage with their patients helping them take big steps toward their user experience goals.


Understanding the user is foundational to creating a useful and easy to use product. Based on stakeholder direction, FollowMyHealth wanted to shift their target audience and penetrate deeper into consumer markets. Preliminary market research indicated that young mothers were the key demographic to pursue.

As the FollowMyHealth lead UX person, I helped facilitate extensive primary and secondary research into this new mom demographic. We interviewed and surveyed young moms in order to build a meaningful persona that would guide all future design decisions. We also built profiles of other FollowMyHealth users and prioritized them with stakeholders.

Design Direction

Part of our research involved understanding what a patient portal 'should' and 'should not' feel like. This research would help us know more clearly how the app should look and feel. To create the word clouds pictured below, we asked users to choose adjectives from two different lists of words.

We also used a research technique where participants are asked to rate their "ideal" and "average" experience with a product across three different dimensions. The results were then plotted in 3-dimensional space. For FollowMyHealth, the biggest difference between the ‘ideal’ and the ‘average’ was on the Evaluation dimension. The distance between the ‘ideal’ and ‘average’ score is not large, which implies a paradigm shift is needed to reset the ideal. It was likely that when people think of their ‘ideal’ patient portal, they are constrained by what they know now and the apps that they work with.

These results told us that if FollowMyHealth desired to leapfrog the competition, they would need to understand consumers’ broader goals (live healthier, make free time, live without worry, etc.) and their pain points, not with portal apps, but with achieving these goals.

Credits: Semantic Scale research conducted by Ross Teague, Ph.D.

UX Project Management

Running a large-scale redesign project like this means there are a lot of moving pieces. I made sure the UX team members and the FollowMyHealth product teams were in sync using detailed Gantt charts and weekly project status meetings.

Competitor Analysis

Part of our research also involved a competitor analysis of mobile and web apps to determine what features and functionality we're lacking in FollowMyHealth.

Information Architecture

The information architecture of the app was validated using card sorting and tree testing methods.

Measurable Usability Goals (MUGs)

The Measurable Usability Goals (MUGs) are an important step in the Allscripts UCD process. These goals refer to the product’s performance in terms of interaction with the user during end-user tasks, or in providing information to the user.

In order to fully leverage MUGs, it is critical to identify, define, and record them as early on in the development process as possible. These are usability specific goals that are necessary to achieve success for the product.

By using goals that were defined early on, teams can be certain that the product's user experience is not compromised due to challenges during the development process.


Much of the design research mentioned above was used to help re-brand FollowMyHealth. The new logo, color palette, and font selection were all designed to cater more towards the CHO Mom.

Concept Boards

Before initial mockups were created, visual designers created 'concept boards' which are meant to communicate the look and feel of the product detached from the actual layout of the app. By doing this, stakeholders are allowed to focus strictly on the look and feel and don't get hung up on the layout or the overall design.

Interaction Design

As the design phase of this project kicked into gear, we began problem-solving the many workflows of the app such as appointment scheduling, proxy account switching, multiple organizations, etc. The sketches below are early examples of this work. As the team became more confident in how these workflows should be redesigned, the fidelity of the deliverables matured into wireframes and flow diagrams.

Usability Testing

Myself and another team member created highly interactive prototypes in Axure to usability test some of the more important workflows. In the example below I am testing an early iteration of scheduling an appointment. The video shows the basic workflow and the photo is of me moderating the test with a user on-site at one of our client's health systems in San Diego, California.

Visual Design

Finally, the wireframes and mockups were transformed into high-fidelity mockups and specifications. I worked closely with a visual designer during this phase.

Credits: Visual design by Jeri-lynn Gehr

Take Aways

Unfortunately, this project was put on hold due to changing priorities and it never went live to clients. Nonetheless, it was exciting to lead a project of this magnitude, it gave me a chance to practice managing a team, to conduct extensive research and work closely with FollowMyHealth product owners, developers, and other stakeholders.

Let's Chat

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