Healthline – Drug Content Experience

Project Info

Project Type:
Creative Direction:
UX Designer:
Visual Designer:
Healthline Networks, Inc.
UX, Visual Design
March, 2015
Nelson Hernandez
Chris York
Jahm Alissa

Project Focus

Creative Direction
User Experience
Visual Design
Responsive Design

As you might imagine, there is a huge appetite to know more about the meds we’re taking, alternative treatments, pricing, side effects, etc. But unfortunately, there is not that much information useful information out there, or at less not at a consumer level. Sites like or even wiki-media have general information about medicines, but not to the detailed a consumer might want. Specially when it comes down to side effects, the importance to adherence, or basic tips one could get from a pharmacists, if they happen to know the right question to ask.

In order to address this need, Healthline took on the task to try feeling in the gab on the lack of information about meds. How did I go about solving this from a UX perspective?.

1. Rapid research: 

At the time we knew that there is a huge search volume on drug’s side effects and dosage. We also have previously surveyed our users and learned that a good group of them are doing drug comparison, meaning looking for alternative treatments that are most cost effective, or just alternatives on the same drug class that provides a dosage that is more manageable, according to their life the site.

Since this project had a lot of risks and unknowns about what would work, we wanted to put an “minimum viable product” out there.  Through preliminary a/b testing, we knew we needed to introduce a new experience. Publishing drug content on a standard article wasn’t going to do it.

2. Cross functional ideation: 

In order to move things fast. It was crucial to agree on what we thought were the user’s motivators. What’s is prompting someone to search or wanting to learn about meds online?, what are the needs?, how can we help them?. Luckily, we had great data, which led us make some very educated guesses.  To achieve this, I led an ideation exercise which a cross functional team, (product manager, the director of content, an IxD, an a pharmacist, who was part of our medial review team). As a group, we identified the user’s needs and user goals, which then led us to identify a set of features and desired user behaviors on the product, which will then helped us formulate hypothesis.


user-motivators3. Design and Prototyping: 

Since we had a very aggressive timeline, I hired Chris York to lead the design phase. As we were working on getting Chris onboard, I Ankur Jolata, (our IxD) and I quickly designed the information architecture of the product. Mainly knowing that we needed to segment users based on the needs to quickly find side effect information and what they were taking this medication for, once we were done here I shared our hypothesis with Chris, and in two days we had a proof of concept. Then I asked our Sr visual designer to work with the product manager and dev team to quickly build a prototype to test.


4. Analyse and Iterate: 

Along, with our typical metric of success, which is time spent per session. We tracked certainly things like the usage of our inline navigation to quickly get users to the side effect and dosage information. Once corroborated our hypothesis, we knew we could then spend more time in things that were important for the users, like introducing stats and graphs for side effect frequency. We’re also working on introducing features like commenting and filtering reviews, based on age and health condition.


Current Metrics – It was a success

In 2015 as compared to 2014, this UX brought a 784% increase in sessions to all drug content!. Although, It’s an unfair comparison because  in 2014 — Healthline relied on licensed content in an outdated UI. Still, it’s nice to see the difference all this hard work. This product went from 929,129 sessions in 2014 to over 8 million sessions in 2015.

In December, we saw a 26% MoM improvement in traffic to drug articles and a 10% improvement in traffic to all drug content