Creating tools to help others see better
My experience as a designer at an early stage health tech startup
Smart Vision Labs provides a telemedicine-based vision exam platform that allows businesses to offer eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions without a doctor being on site. The vision exam is performed on an iOS-based device and managed on a web platform. The company aims to make vision exams less expensive and more accessible.
It's always been a dream of mine to work at an early stage startup. The excitement of having a key role in a startup's product and business decisions are super enticing, especially when the company has a really interesting product.
I joined Smart Vision Labs in July 2016. The previous designer had left a few months prior, and the company had recently released their new product, the SVOne Telemedicine Platform. My goal as their new designer was to create a better user experience for those who would be using our product as well as help support the marketing side.
Since the SVOne Telemedicine Platform was a new product, the company was very much still trying to define the right marketing strategies. As I learned more about the company and the product's different use cases, it was evident that Smart Vision Labs was a Business-to-Business-to-Consumer company, and had two target audiences:
In order to keep customers without a prescription in their stores to close more sales, eyewear retailers without in-house doctors needed a product that was both easy-to-use and cost-effective.
Some walk-in customers at optical stores do not have an up-to-date eyeglasses prescription and would like eyeglasses without having to wait for an eye doctor's appointment.
I was the sole designer at the company, so once I was hired, I hit the ground running. There were design requests from every team in the company, from the product team, to the customer success team, to the CEO. Here's some of the work I've done:
Product: Platform - Patient View
One of my first projects at Smart Vision Labs was to update the marketing website. Along with that update, I was tasked with updating the Patient View on our web platform as it was one of the other public-facing pages.
Part of the redesign was making the system messaging more prominent and useful to the user as well as making the layout mobile friendly while matching the aesthetics of the new marketing website. We also added the capability to view multiple exams/prescriptions.
Product: Platform - Technician View
We also worked on making the experience better for the store employees using our platform. One of the recurring problems our customer success team noticed was that the technicians sometimes didn’t fill out all required information, leading to many cases where the doctor had to request further information from the patient.
After our team reached out to the technicians, they learned that on smaller screens, technicians didn’t scroll down to fill out other information, since the button to submit review is on the right of the screen. Technicians also complained that the links to the right of each of the data fields were not easy to click on, and filling in information was tedious and time consuming.
Our team decided to create a wizard-type experience where the technicians are guided through the information input experience. The updated experience would: a) validate form fields to make sure the proper information is submitted, b) have a progress bar that clearly indicates where the technician is in the process, c) show a confirmation screen before submitting exam information for review, allowing the technician go back and edit if necessary, and d) be updated aesthetically to match the marketing site.
I worked on some wireframes and quickly created a prototype within Invision. It was shared with the team to gather feedback, and after making a few edits, I moved on to high fidelity mockups.
The other developers were busy working on other priority projects, so I collaborated with the development team to learn some AngularJS and helped code the design changes on the front-end. It was pretty fun being able to design and then code my work!
Marketing and Business Development: Print Collateral, Snapchat Filters, T-Shirts, Banners, and More
The marketing and business development teams were constantly testing different strategies to try to pull in new optical partners. From web and social media campaigns to traditional flyer and direct-mail marketing campaigns, I helped them cover all the bases.
The company hosted an event in our office for current and potential optical retail partners attending the 2017 International Vision Expo East conference with the theme of attracting a younger demographic to their stores. We also had a booth to demo our devices at the conference that took place at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Video was also an important part of the Marketing team's strategy; I helped edit videos like this one for display in our booth at conferences and on social media:
I also took a lot of photos for our marketing team to use across all channels.
Customer Success: Tutorial Videos, Documentation
The Customer Success team was the primary point of contact between the optical stores and Smart Vision Labs. Since we had a small team, I worked with the team to create media that they could send to clients, to decrease the amount of phone calls that they needed to take on a daily basis. Here's an example of one of them:
I also helped them clean up documentation to make it easier to read and created diagrams for documentation usage to help technicians better illustrate the Smart Vision Exam workflow processes:
Constraints & Perspective
Some of the biggest challenges at Smart Vision Labs were and continue to be company resources and market acceptance. The small staff headcount forced the entire team to pitch in on all occasions and many of my coworkers, including myself, were often stretched extremely thin. Our company is one of the first of only a few companies in the market with this telemedicine-device vision exam offering, and disrupting an industry that has been operating the same way for over a hundred years took tremendous efforts from the whole team.
While the company constantly worked to improve their products, new business and supporting existing customers became priority. As a result, many of the needs of the company became more new business development and marketing oriented and my design projects reflected that. Timeframes to complete projects were often very short and last minute as the company was reacting to new business development meeting schedules or current customer feedback.
From a branding standpoint I was able to work with the previous designer's brand style and combine it with my own design aesthetic. However, the constantly changing needs at the company hindered my ability to explore different design directions to further evolve the branding.
All in all, being a part of Smart Vision Labs has been an interesting and unique experience. It was fun being able to hop across different mediums: from web, to print, to video/photo, and even to code. I hope to see Smart Vision Labs grow and become successful in the long run!