Executive summary

Who?
I lead design on this project, working with product managers and developers. I had some assistance brainstorming and solving a few UI problems from another product designer on our team.

When?
September — November 2019

What?
The in-treatment experience for the Candid mobile app.

Why?
Customers had missing or inaccurate aligner change reminders, a lack of tools to understand if their treatment was on track, and a lack of support in triaging issues. In many cases, customers turned to our support team to fill these gaps, resulting in additional support costs and frustrated customers.

Impact

Starting point: prior research

User research conducted earlier in the year showed that in-treatment customers were frustrated by:

Mapping the journey against the constraints, goals, and requirements

Before thinking about how this should take shape, we took a moment to write out our goals, the requirements, and high level questions complete with a 10,000 ft view of the current customer journey.

Doing this allowed us to center on what we were trying to solve and provided a framework to determine what wasn't necessary. Anything superfluous would be shelved. We then mapped out the new journey with these things in mind.

Customer requirements:

Starting low fidelity

Crazy 8's
I sat down with another designer on our team and each sketched out 8 potential solutions in 8 minutes. This allowed us to get low hanging fruit ideas out of the way. Some of the concepts we came up with here made it all the way into the final product.

Extensive wire frames
Since this was a ground up overhaul of the experience, I underwent several rounds of iteration with wireframes. This process allowed me to block out the layout.
Early on, we were very focused on surfacing the current aligner step at the top of the app. We had heard that customer's were always looking at the 3D models of their teeth and flipping through each step to watch how their teeth will move.

This, however, turned out to be the opposite of what we wanted. The orthodontists we work with strongly dislike that we allow patient's to return to their treatment plan because it sets unrealistic expectations in stone. Essentially, you are a human, not a 3D model. Your teeth will probably look different than a floating model will. This revelation lead us to strongly deemphasizing the treatment plan itself, and instead focused on the current moment in time more abstractly.

“I have no idea what I’m doing.” – Most Candid patients

Candid patients on average are not sure if their treatment is going according to plan or if the pain they're feeling is normal. At the time of this project there was no clear way for them to find out. To solve this pain point, I came up with the concept of simply asking patient's how their teeth felt. However, this ended up being cut from the final product because it did not directly level up to any of the goals we had initially set, and was therefore out of scope. Instead, we made sure to solve these pain points by surfacing relevant FAQs without actually increasing the project's scope.

Aligning hierarchy & value proposition

The in-treatment experience is primarily a single page with a few branching interactions. The decision to keep it extremely simple was made in favor of increasing the discoverability of all the app's primary functions. To ensure optimal usability, we were very intentional when establishing the app's visual hierarchy.

This focus on hierarchy allowed us to establish the top module of the app as sacred ground for important treatment information.
In the following example you can see how the secondary information section is flexible enough to allow for important messages and prompts while not distracting from the core functionality of the application.

Core features

  1. The treatment tracker allows the user to see at a glance what step they should be on, and how much they have progressed
  2. In plain human words, how many days until they move to their next aligner step
  3. For when the user needs to plan ahead, or if they're curious, this allows them to see a timeline of all their aligner change dates.
  4. If the user started late, they are able to adjust their start date so their aligner change reminders remain accurate
  5. Frequently asked questions to allow the user to get through common problems in treatment
  6. The customer is shipped a printed guide with their aligners, but in case they want to reference it on the go, we offer it here
  7. Users have the ability to start live chats here, as direct access to support is a major value proposition of this application
  8. Should the user have a more urgent issue, we have the phone number available so they don't have to search for it
  9. Basic account functionality and their prescribed treatment plan sit on the account page, which can be accessed through this menu
  10. The "see all" link opens a modal view of all of the frequently asked questions currently on the Candid website

Human moments

Straightening your teeth hurts. It's important to celebrate the journey these people go on; it's incredibly tough. It's a whole life change. With the help of our amazing copywriters, we made sure to inject some delightful human moments and moments of celebration into the treatment experience.

The fancy changing colors have a meaning

The Candid aligner kit is packaged beautifully. Our customer's favorite thing to do when they get their kit is to make a boomerang Instagram story showing them opening the box the first time. The kit is organized like a filing cabinet, with each step having it's own unique colored tab. The treatment tracker in the app mirrors these colors.

Next steps

We are continuing to learn how customers interact with Candid across the funnel, including in-treatment with the mobile app. With a recent launch of a product called Dental Monitoring, the mobile app's role is going to change a bit as treatment schedules are different for every patient and adjust based on the patient's progress.

However, there are two clear areas of improvement we could make right away based on customer feedback:
Despite that, this was a good exercise in delivering a differentiated customer experience for Candid that allowed us to truly be customer centric while still delivering business value.

Thanks for reading!

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