Macadamian provided a different user-experience design and point of view to this client's patient web portal.
Collaboration and accommodation throughout the design process with client's team, on top of the user-focused design expertise stood out for this client.
"They did a great job of coming in and forming a team between the two organizations."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
My former company developed healthcare information technology software. That includes everything from electronic health records, practice management, health information exchange, patient portals, and a bunch of other ancillary type services all related to healthcare.
I was the vice president of research and development for a specific division that worked on a cloud-based EHR [electronic health record] and practice management platform.
What challenge were you trying to address with Macadamian?
We needed some additional augmentation in terms of skills and resources. But more primarily, we were interested in bringing a different user-focused thinking to a particular initiative we had which was a patient portal. We were designing a patient portal to go on top of our practice management system. We wanted a group that not only had healthcare IT experience but also brought a good healthy dose of consumer design experience because that’s a different audience than working with a doctor or nurse; that’s clinical versus a patient. We looked to Macadamian for that.
What was the scope of their involvement?
The scope was design and an initial prototype. There were more specifics in the statement of work, but it wasn’t the complete project. Our plan was to take it back over once we had the design work and the initial architecture was done. They worked from a design standpoint, including visiting the site where we had our team, spending time with actual patients. We had some hands-on design sessions where we brought patients in from the outside world and worked for them. Then we also had some architectural design sessions where our senior developers or architects would work with theirs to make sure the design matched our own technology stack and fit into the way that we had already developed our platform. They did the initial working prototype and then handed over to us all the design, the style guide, the code, and all the individual assets for us to take over.
How did you come to work with Macadamian?
We did a request for proposal process for this. We looked at three different organizations, ultimately narrowing it down to two. We did some in-person discussions with them and looked at references, and decided we wanted to work with Macadamian.
How much have you invested with Macadamian?
I think it was around $100,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
It lasted three to four months. It was designed to be that way. We had our own deadlines to meet, so we designed the project to be pretty aggressive. I think both of us would’ve wanted more time on the design, but those were the business requirements.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
I was pleased with what they designed. Honestly, given the constraints, they got a lot accomplished in the time they had. There was a very good collaboration with our team, and they also handled the recruiting in patients that could participate in the design and helped us understand what patients thought they wanted from various different demographics and whatnot. I think, in the end, if we had different business requirement, I would have preferred to have had them spend more time on the design, but they were very flexible in terms of accommodating the schedule that we had and very clear about where they felt they could be successful with that schedule and where they felt there would be rough edges where we need to follow up later with our design work.
What did you find most impressive about Macadamian?
Accommodating to the schedule and being willing to work with us were most impressive. I spent a lot more time with the design folks because I sat in on a number of the design collaboration meetings. They were great in terms of skills, ability manage the room, and ability to manage the individual egos. Not to say there were any incidents, but it can be challenging when you have outside design people coming in and are interacting with your own design people. We had no issues with that. They did a great job of coming in and forming a team between the two organizations.
Are there any areas Macadamian could improve?
We had one issue with one of their junior designers. Our vice president of design that worked outside of my division was a little bit involved, and she was challenging this particular resource to kind of think more about justifying their designs and redesign their designs, and ultimately was disappointed with that particular resource. Macadamian was great about just saying “we’ll approach that person, but we’ll also move them off the project and put someone else on.” The new person did better with our vice president of design. It went according to plan, even with an aggressive schedule. They delivered what we expected. If I had had more time, I would’ve spent more time with them.
How likely are you to recommend Macadamian to a friend or colleague?
The only caveat I would give a colleague and I think this is true of anyone. It depends on the team that is assigned to you. I had a great experience with the people we worked with . The outside groups you interview during the quoting process are the people that you want to make sure you end up working with on the project. We had that. I think as long as you ended up with great resources they would do a good job.