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Revitalizing the Symptom Checker

Modernizing and Improving Results


Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

The Challenge

The long-standing Symptom Checker, a hallmark product of the company, had built a reputation for giving broad results. How might we encourage people to input more symptom data so that they would receive more accurate results?

The Solution

Provide people with dynamic feedback as they follow a simple step-by-step process, data entry is encouraged as needed. Also, update the database to increase the number of more relevant condition matches.

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Experience

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

A product in need of a refresh.

The Symptom Checker had not been refreshed in over 7 years.

Home Screen

Home Screen

Start Screen

Start Screen

Symptom Screen

Symptom Screen



Case Study: Symptom Checker: Photo Gallery

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome


How might we ...

... modernize to support users on all devices?
... encourage users to enter more data?
...add value and provide ease of use?

Case Study: Symptom Checker: About Me


  • Product Managers

  • Biz Development

  • Engineering

  • Design

  • Project Managers

Biz Objectives

  • Retain SEO

  • Increase retention

  • Increase ad view-ability

  • Promote the Physician Finder

User Goals

  • Accurate results and related information.

  • What to do next.


  • A new technology vendor

  • Aggressive timeline


  • Update the body image

  • Gather more data

  • Break over multiple pages

  • A progress meter

Key Features

  • Responsive code base

  • Accuracy ranking of results

  • Treatment option

Competitive Set

  • Mayo Clinic

  • Everyday Health

  • Family Doctor

Data Collection

  • Drop-off

  • Areas of friction

  • Mobile Use

Case Study: Symptom Checker: FAQ

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome


What are the problems we are trying to solve?

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

Competitor Analysis

Mayo Clinic, Everyday Health, Family Doctor

Analysis of

  • Structures 

  • Adding Symptoms

  • Narrowing

  • Results


Usability Testing and Analysis

"…would be easier if I could just type in [my symptoms]"

Desktop → See report

  • Most users abandoned the body view in favor of search

  • Most users had trouble with clarifying questions

Mobile → See report

  • Half of all user switched to the symptoms list view after struggling with the body map 

  • Many users struggled to enter a second symptom (mobile)​


Ideation Workshops

What are the problems and opportunities?

  • Define needs states / state of mind

  • Motivate users to enter more data through a results meter

  • Improve the data entry on smaller screen sizes

Case Study: Symptom Checker: News

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome


Key features to focus on.

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

Provide users with related symptom suggestions

Present a more prominent and visible Search input, with auto-complete

Break out treatment options as its own section

Display a results accuracy meter to encourage more data input

Show data entry in steps with a progress indicator

Mobile touch-friendly body map that leads to category lists

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Awards & Recognitions

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome


Let's make solutions!

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

Wireframe Concepts - Low Fidelity

  • Add to cart concept

  • Type ahead functionality

  • Progress gauge


Concept Development

  • Clickable body

  • Color schemes

  • Accuracy meter

Case Study: Symptom Checker: News

The Clickable Body

Modernizing the body presented a challenge, the original characters (A) felt cold and, too medical, despite attempts to warm it up. A more realistic approach (B) brought concerns that it would not be identifiable as it was too idealized. Simplifying a "typical" body to outlines (C) but retaining some styling treated it more as an instructional diagram than a physical object.

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Personal Statement

MVP Challenge

The development effort to on rebuild and re-map the body map had been underestimated and would jeopardize the launch. A decision was made to move forward with a version that did not rely on the body map.

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Personal Statement

Protoype + Test

Testing high fidelity designs


High Fidelity Design + Elements

MVP product toward development

Case Study: Symptom Checker: News

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

Launch and Analyze

In the wild!











Case Study: Symptom Checker: Photo Gallery

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Welcome

Results + Learnings

How is it performing?


✓ Page views increase +1 

✓ Search field usage

✓ Common symptoms

✓ Medical history entry

 ✓Browsing conditions.

A deeper look at the mobile

A decrease in mobile engagement from the previous design led to more user testing. 

→ See the report

Users miss the body map!

Data showed a propensity for Users to switch to lists. But, customer feedback received said that they liked the interaction with the body, it was a good way to start, to indicate "where it hurts".

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Awards & Recognitions

Some terms are too medical!

Our Medical Advisory Board went about the task of editing the terms to be more consumer friendly.

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Publications

What next?

How might we ...
experience this as a chatbot?

Case Study: Symptom Checker: Skills
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