Helping Doctor’s Teach Patients How to Use Their Medicines.

Asthma UK is the only charity in the UK that focuses on asthma; both research and content for people with asthma. The UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) is a collaboration between non-profit and professional groups. They promote how to use inhaled medicines.

Problem

Doctors under the NHS usually only have 5-10 minutes per patient. This means that often they do not have the time to show patients how to use their medications. The UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) provided funding to Asthma UK to create a set of videos on how to use inhalers. It was my job to lead the research and design of the site where these videos would live.

Action

My goal was to inform the videos with research and create a place for instructional videos to sit. This place would be easy for people who use inhalers to find the video for their inhaler. It would be replacing a current page on the website where videos live.

Methods Used

  • True Intent Study – post-visit Survey, through Hotjar

  • Secondary Research methods – reading forums, Customer Service feedback, Nurse Helpline feedback

  • Analytics Review

  • User Interviews

  • Affinity Mapping

  • Interviews

  • Usability Testing

  • Recruitment

  • Screening

  • Scheduling

  • Discussion Guide

I did a True Intent study on Hotjar instead of using a True Intent Study Tool. Asthma UK already used Hotjar and it was no extra cost to the charity to use this tool. The survey could not pop up at the end of the session, but it still captured user insight. Open field answers were analyzed through Affinity Mapping. This helped find out why current visitors were visiting, and if they were able to meet their goal.


Project Highlight - Doctors Use The Site Too

Health care professionals were a common group in the True intent Study. They used the videos to show their patients how to use inhalers. This was a group that Asthma UK had not focused on before. We reached out to more health care professionals during video creation for insight. Also the organization started considering them more often during all content creation.

51% of respondents selected ‘I am a health care professional’, which was a surprising finding for Asthma UK as the content was geared to people with Asthma.

51% of respondents selected ‘I am a health care professional’, which was a surprising finding for Asthma UK as the content was geared to people with Asthma.


Asthma UK has many internal resources such as a Customer Service line and a Nurse Helpline. They could give front-line experience speaking to users. I was able to gain insight into problems that people with asthma faced daily by listening to calls. I also interviewed the head of each of the teams to learn more about what people called about.

The Asthma UK forum had many postings about inhalers. This gave me details on more issues people faced, and how they talked about their medicine.


Project Highlight - Colours

Guidelines and details from research created a taxonomy of over 100 terms to describe how people talk about their inhalers. People didn't usually call their inhalers by their medical names. The site needed to have a search field to accommodate!

Terminology included: blue, brown, puffer, Ventolin, pumps

Colour was a favourite way to talk about inhalers. But lots had similar colours, a text search wouldn't be enough. Pictures would also be important to the user to find theirs.


A prototype I designed in Axure was usability tested at the Asthma UK office.


Project Highlight - Usability Testing Prep and GDPR Compliance

Users signed a GDPR compliant consent form. All data from the sessions was stored in a private, password protected drive. This included video and audio recordings of the session and any notes. The drive was deleted 6 months after the testing sessions occurred. All approved by Asthma UK Compliance Officer.

As the only researcher I did the recruitment, screening, scheduling and facilitation of the Usability Testing Sessions and Interviews. The discussion guide was

  1. Learning about health research behaviour online

  2. How people used the current asthma UK website

  3. Testing the new designs.

Example question from the discussion guide.

Example question from the discussion guide.


Results

Launched April 2019, the new Using Your Inhalers page had a bounce rate of 37% (down 23% from the site average of 60%), and saw a 51% increase in visits from new users (users who have never visited Asthma UK before). This shows that the page is attracting new people with asthma to help them, and people are staying to watch the videos.

Additionally, there is a testimonial available from an actual person with asthma:

Liz, a person with asthma, found the Respimat Inhaler video helpful and it gave her some tips that she didn’t know.

Liz, a person with asthma, found the Respimat Inhaler video helpful and it gave her some tips that she didn’t know.