We’ve dialled down our work on the booking prototypes and now we’re taking a closer look at personalisation of digital services. I want to tell you a bit about what that’s grown out of.

The research

At the moment, if you’re diagnosed with something, you can go to a page about it and it will tell you every piece of medication that could be prescribed for that condition or that disease. It might also list all the complications or treatment options. This can lead to very long pages.

We are already looking at improving our content and making it more focused for users. And we are now thinking about how we can personalise it. We think that in the future if ‘we’ (the digital service) know who you are, and we know what you’ve been prescribed we can just show you information on your prescription, your medication, with the practical advice and side effects that might be relevant to you. Providing information that we know is relevant to people by actually having an understanding of them. 

It’s grown directly out of our research. We’ve done a couple of lab sessions now talking to people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression or type 2 diabetes, looking at the user needs. From these we have created things we’ve called epic user needs. These are groups of user needs around understanding medication and understanding diagnosis.

That point in the cycle is critical. There isn’t a lot of time in a GP appointment, and with diagnosis of something like diabetes many people have actually gone in for something else.

Now, some of our participants experiences were very good: the doctor explained the diagnosis and the prescription and what they need to think about doing next. But experiences vary and some of the users we researched with felt there was little time to discuss their diagnosis or medication. So they left the consultation and that was it, into the world of diabetes, a lifelong condition, they don’t really know about.

So the part we’re working on at the moment is this idea of introducing people into their condition, giving them content that is relevant and specific to them. Making it short and to-the-point to start with.


Paper prototyping Type 2 Diabetes introduction


How it fits with our other work

It ties together with our work on bookings, where we tested the context for the appointments and conditions. So again, users won’t have to go around finding out whether it’s the GP or if it’s the nurse that does it. They have the context that they need a foot check and can book that.

We’ve started with desk research to understand what’s out there doing this already, and we’ve done research with a number of people across health and care communities to better understand personal health records and other sort of things in the background. We don’t think these are the same things at the moment but we are keen to understand what needs these could meet in the future.

We’re researching with paper prototypes today, testing the underlying principles so we can see where we’re at and whether we should continue with the idea.

We’ll share the outcome from our lab session on the blog so keep an eye out for updates.

One response to “Getting personal”

  1. […] Personalised information can be motivating. Our diabetes planner prototype taught us how people value personalised information. We saw how they absorbed information better in the context of taking action. Everyone with whom we tested the prototype wanted it – not surprising given people told us they currently have to carry around paper folders to navigate the complexity of their appointments. […]


Leave a comment