HealthCo is one of the worlds best online resources for healthcare provider information. To the public the HealthCo website is an advanced healthcare provider directory. However, underneath the surface lurks a massive and unruly database of provider information mired with hierarchy and business rules.

Today the provider information on the backend of the HealthCo website is primarily managed by the customer service team through a series of antiquated systems. Some of the main problems with these systems include: a lack of insight into the history and hierarchy of the data, an inability to route and double check data changes and a lack of bulk editing capabilities.

As a Senior UX Designer at Slice of Lime I partnered with the HealthCo team to design a scalable system to help manage their database and solve the issues at hand.

Screenshot of the old admin system

Screenshot of the old admin system

There’s no substitute for first hand experience

During the engagement I had an awesome team of HealthCo stakeholders that I met with twice a week. They provided excellent guidance and insights into the HealthCo world but to really know the problem I had to observe the current systems and workflows firsthand. I met with people all across the company to conduct exploratory interviews and observe their day-to-day work. This provided invaluable insights that I later shared with the team and then utilized to begin the design of the admin system.


Build fast, die young and leave an ugly corpse

I used the information that I had gleaned from the HealthCo stakeholders and the exploratory interviews to start building out concepts in wireframes. They weren’t pretty but when I combined them to create clickable prototypes in InVision they provided the foundation that I needed to begin user testing. Within the first 3 weeks of the project I was able to test the prototypes with real users and kill off any concepts that weren’t working. This process of learning, building, and testing continued throughout the duration of the project.

First generation wireframe concept

Third generation wireframe concept

Second generation wireframe concept

Fourth generation wireframe concept


Inability to double check work

The first big issue my project partner and I tackled was the inability to double check ones work. To solve the problem we looked to the world of eCommerce and integrated a “Change Cart”. This allowed users to add all of their changes to a cart, review them at the end and submit them.

Wireframe of the change cart

Lack of insight into history

To address this issue, we took a two pronged approach. The first of which was the development of a Work Order concept. All work for a particular ticket would be done within a Work Order so all changes could be tracked back to the original ticket.

Beyond this, it was important to know the complete history of every data element for a particular provider. For each data element we added an information section that could be expanded to view the history and current status of the element.

Wireframe of data element history

The work order and information sections not only solved the history problems but also addressed the routing issues. Work orders could be routed to different departments for work and the status of individual changes could be tracked through the work order or at the element level.


The system needs to grow with the data

Healthcare data is continually growing. There are new procedures, conditions and medications coming out every day. The HealthCo Admin System needed to be architected in such a way that it could grow with the ever expanding healthcare industry. We took special care to set up the framework of the interface so that it was scalable.


Strategically evaluate your resources and make informed decisions

All projects have resource constraints and it’s important to think strategically about what you can accomplish within those constraints. By working collaboratively with the HealthCo team we were able to target key issues and features of the new admin system. We chose to solve for the big issues and focus on a scalable framework rather than individual screens. By not getting bogged down with the details we were able to quickly build and test concepts with real users. This allowed us to make informed decisions about the design and confidently build a foundation for the future of the admin system.

Styleguide for HealthCo Database Admin System