personas, sitemaps, wire-framing
What is NCQA?
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is an independent, non-profit organization in the United States that focuses on improving the quality of healthcare. NCQA evaluates and accredits healthcare organizations based on their ability to meet specific quality standards, and provides information to consumers, employers, and healthcare professionals about the quality of healthcare services.
NCQA's accreditation programs cover a variety of healthcare organizations, including health plans, medical groups, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. The organization's evaluation process includes a comprehensive review of the organization's operations, policies, and performance data, and is based on evidence-based clinical standards and guidelines.
In addition to its accreditation programs, NCQA also develops and publishes quality measures and standards for healthcare organizations, and provides education and training to healthcare professionals on quality improvement strategies. NCQA collaborates with a variety of stakeholders, including government agencies, healthcare providers, and consumer organizations, to promote high-quality, patient-centered care.
NCQA has been recognized as a leader in the healthcare quality field, and its accreditation programs are widely respected as a sign of quality and excellence in healthcare. The organization is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in healthcare, and to improving the health outcomes and experiences of patients.
Welcome to the NCQA UX/UI Project—an exciting initiative aimed at enhancing user experience and user interface design for the Online Certification Registration and Maintenance Portal. In response to user feedback and identified challenges, the company decided on prioritizing the development of an intuitive and efficient online platform where applicants can seamlessly create and manage their certification process.
One of the major pain points expressed by users was the lack of an online solution for certification management. The absence of a user-friendly platform meant that individuals had to rely on manual processes, leading to inefficiencies, delays, and frustration. Recognizing the need for change, NCQA has embarked on this project to revolutionize the way certification is handled.
The top priority was then, the creation of an Online Certification Registration and Maintenance Portal that empowers applicants to self-service their certification journey. Fully understanding that the certification process, which can often span weeks, should be made easier to manage from start to finish. By harnessing the power of technology, the aim was to provide a user-centric solution that streamlines the entire certification experience.
Through the new portal, applicants would have the ability to create and manage their certification process online, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual processes. This user-friendly platform would enable individuals to track the progress of their certification, submit necessary documents, and receive timely updates—all within a convenient and accessible digital environment.
By making the certification process self-service-oriented, the aim would be to empower applicants to take control of their journey. No longer would they have to endure long wait times or rely on manual paperwork.
With the NCQA Online Certification, partner organizations would have the tools and resources at their fingertips to manage their certification process efficiently and effectively.
We recognize that NCQA's partners' time is valuable, and our goal was to simplify and streamline the certification process for them. Through thoughtful UX/UI design, we hoped to ensure that the Online Certification Registration process and re-design would be a success.
An online self-service certification management tool, that allows all users of the application from administrators, to doctors to access, update, and re-apply for recertification all while storing important and time consuming information that oftens takes weeks or months to gether for the certification process to be performed. By moving the application procress online the applicants experienced greater ease and a more robust way to store and access (for proof) of information that would later be required when re-applying for certification - taking the hard work out of the process, and simplifying it.
Understanding the User
I started the research process by working with the Product Owner to understand the offline process of signing up for certification. And how to keep that information updated in order to renew the certification. Typically the offline process involves several visits to offices and locations, and lots of paperwork that goes back and forth, along with documents that need to be updated because they've expired. The pain points were causing NCQA to move this offline process online, where the customer could store the information relevant at each stage of the certification, and be able to manage that centrally from one place.
Here were some of the insights gathered from the research:
Users wanted to be able to choose their certfication type
Users wanted to consolidate all of the documentation and process to date in one location that also helped them stay on track with what was missing for each certification at each location that the customers may have
It was more important to make sure that the application was tablet ready over mobile, since many representatives were in the field and a mobile device was too small to get this type of work done
Following the analysis of user research findings, the next step was to develop personas, which aided in envisioning the intended audience. To facilitate the design process, I ensured that one particular persona effectively represented a user that was interested in assisting through the offline process of certification, and who was enthusiastic about improving the workflow process, taking into account their pain points and frustrations. This persona served as a constant reference point throughout the entirety of the product design journey, helping to maintain a clear focus when making design choices.
Afterward, the focus shifted towards conceptualizing the structure of the product mainly thinking about what the functions and main actions required at this particular part of the process.
Given this perspective, I prioritized the use of desktop computers, and tablet devices and proceeded to design a sitemap that visually depicted the primary user journey within the product.
At the onset of the design phase, I initiated the process by creating preliminary sketches outlining the desired page layout. My objective was to enable users to easily navigate between their office locations and specific certificates for each physical location, while at the same time saving the progress of all certifications across the entire organizational level.
With the foundation of the website's structure in place, the next step involved crafting low-fidelity wireframes. These wireframes served as initial representations of each screen's layout and content. Subsequently, these wireframes were transformed into lo-fi prototypes, allowing for a rapid assessment of how the screens should seamlessly flow together.