Easing the Pain of Making Appointments
Since its launch in 1972, Bangkok Hospital has grown to become one of the largest hospitals in Southeast Asia. Today it remains the flagship hospital of the BDMS Group’s 40 hospitals in Thailand, which employs tens of thousands of doctors and nurses, and serves millions of patients per year. To run smoothly, the hospital needed a flawless appointment booking system.
Bangkok Hospital had a problem with its website. The conversion rate on their doctor search and appointment booking pages were extremely low. Patients were giving up and calling the hospital to make appointments instead. To fix the situation, the hospital needed to understand and correct the underlying issues.
After discovering patients' pain points and behaviors, we reduced the options on the initial booking screen and added icons to simplify the decision-making process. We also added an autocomplete drop-down to the search box to provide recommendations while users type. As a result, users can easily find doctors and make appointments, thus easing the burden on the hospital's staff.
Root cause analysis
Discovered the causes of the low conversion rate, setting the stage for an effective solution
Increased conversion rate
Increased the conversion rate by simplifying the user flow and removing options
Saved the hospital time and money as more patients book appointments online
UX research → User flows → Content optimization→ Prototyping
We started by analyzing why Bangkok Hospital’s appointment booking system wasn’t converting and then developed a strategy and plan for the project. This involved redesigning and improving the complete user flow for the search and booking forms, designing wireframes for each page, and then developing high-fidelity prototypes for both desktop and mobile.
Challenges we overcame
1. Discovering why the conversion rate was so low
To understand why the conversion rate on Bangkok Hospital’s appointment booking system was so low, we set up tools to track user actions on the hospital’s site in real-time. The goal was to understand where exactly users dropped off along the flow.
After analyzing the data, two things became clear. First, the system took over 45 seconds to load the search results, and few people waited around for them to appear. Second, users were presented with three drop downs, each of which contained as many as 50 options. The time and mental energy required to choose three options proved to be too much for most people.
2. Overcoming system constraints
As with all design projects, we were somewhat limited by the system we were designing for. For example, we couldn’t make changes to the backend of the site or any attached databases. This meant that we had to create a solution that collected and transmitted the same information from users as before.
Since secretaries still had to follow up with patients on the phone to confirm bookings, we were able to convince the hospital to ask patients for some of the required information during these phone calls. This allowed us to simplify and shorten the appointment booking process.
3. Streamlining the appointment booking user flow
After understanding the behavior of the site’s users and our design constraints, we set out to streamline the booking process and create a more user-friendly UX/UI. To do this, we split the booking flow into simple steps. Instead of giving users too many options, we reduced the options to the bare minimum and left uncommon options for an advanced filter.
We also added autocomplete to the drop down screens to give users recommendations as they type. On the screen for choosing dates, we replaced the monthly calendar view to a three-day view, while allowing users to see the next available dates or click on doctor profiles to see more details.
Together, these changes made finding doctors and making appointments easy, and our client was happy with our final design.