UIE Web App Master’s Tour – Seattle, Washington – May 24, 2011
8 in 10 internet users have looked online for health information
patientslikeme helps patients track chronic conditions and learn from the experience from other people who are experiencing the same symptoms, medications and conditions
People share stories as part of a typical conversation. PatientsLikeMe tracks all data about members by translating stories into data.
Given my status, what is the best outcome I can hope to achieve and how do I get there? – establish a baseline for member engagement
Make it easy for people to create data
If you’re asking people to invest time and energy to give you the data, let them know how it will benefit them.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Make forms easy
Start with questions that are easy to answer and don’t use jargon…
I have [type at least 3 letters of a condition]
I take 
Don’t make me think!
Show visual cues, text labels in buttons, graphics to illustrate, use conventions
Ask as few questions as possible and make it as easy as possible.
Let people describe their experiences in language that’s meaningful to them and let them see that others have used the same terminology – tagging
At the same time, accuracy is important in some instances (categories), but help users choose the accurate term.
Letting a user answer a single question over time allows you to collect large amounts of data and see trends.
Highlight the benefits of sharing data
Users are more invested if they help create the data.
Give Something. Get Something. Make sure that you show users the results of the data they have input.
Divide data up into digestible pieces and show why you’re requesting the data.
Break down complicated data into simpler components.
Help people use data to answer their questions
Visitors to your site are looking for answers/solutions, they have a question. Use the data to answer questions. The data they are providing should help them answer their questions.
User’s data accuracy and quantity over time builds their reputation within the community.
Shared data can lead the community to interact with each other and solve each other’s problems.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
NOTE: These are my notes from The UIE Web App Master’s Tour presentations. They were great resources and you can find much more about them and by the presentations on demand at UIE. While I would love to add my thoughts and more details to these posts, I doubt that will ever happen.
- Always the Last to Know: PatientsLikeMe (thx4playing.blogspot.com)
- Patient-Centered Medicine and PatientsLikeMe (spittoon.23andme.com)
- Technology Showcase: Data Drives Decisions (thehealthcareblog.com)