About the Project
The American Academy of Pediatrics set out to build a new digital cross-device platform to connect all AAP members with Point-of-Care Solutions at anytime. This meant the platform should be accessible from iPhones and iPads, Android handsets and tablets, as well as the traditional desktop computer. In conjunction with Silverchair, a company specializing in transforming traditional publishing assets into digital publishing websites, we created an intuitive mobile solution for Pediatric Care Online and Red Book Online.
The apps needed to be designed and developed concurrently with the websites being created by Silverchair. In order to create a seamless experience for the users, the apps needed to mirror the UI and UX of the future websites. However, since Silverchair was creating the websites with a small resource team, the same deadline, poor communication, and differing process expectations than WillowTree, aligning to create the app during the same timeframe proved to be quite challenging.
This project did not include any strategy work, so I was not able to conduct any interviews, create personas, or conduct user testing. High-level features for the website were pre-determined by the client and Silverchair. American Academy of Pediatrics wanted the app to reflect the website as much as possible so I created a MindNode map listing all the features within the app based off preliminary documents and low-fidelity wireframes provided by Silverchair.
After the MindNode was complete, I created a more in-depth product map, listing each section and the features within the section. This helped the client understand further where differences between the app and website might occur, as well as helped Silverchair understand how to develop the websites to cater to the apps.
My team met with Silverchair every week to review wireframes and discuss if the designs were feasible given our restrictions on time and development capabilities based on the websites. This collaboration with Silverchair provided me with hands-on experience and knowledge of their website to make adjustments to the app's user experience where needed.
I created separate wireframes for each device: iPhone, iPad, Android handset, and Android tablet. From device to device, the navigation patterns remain similar, but specific elements differ based on the various platform guidelines.
Creating a seamless experience for the platform was very important to AAP. Therefore, the inspiration for the visual designs was largely taken from the Point-of-Care Solutions websites as well as AAP branding and colors. The UI is clean, intuitive, and simple as well as visually appealing. Iconography within the app was created as a combination of Silverchair's suggested icons as well as those created by myself.
Throughout the development phase, the expected solutions from Silverchair oftentimes were not met, which led to changes in the app design or UX that were not ideal. I was involved as much as possible in addressing these issues, but many views within the app had to be changed to webviews as the data was not passed as expected. Therefore, multiple sections of the app and search mechanisms are reliant on the website and internet connection, and do not reflect the UX created in the design phase.
Though faced with many complications and unforeseen problems, the apps were designed well and exceeded American Academy of Pediatric's expectations. Overall, I learned how valuable it is to set clear expectations (from third-party vendors and clients alike) when working with a third-party to create an experience. Had there been more transparency from all sides, I believe the project would have been smoother with fewer issues. Because of this project, I have learned to always dive deeper and set expectations from the beginning to ensure the app will be developed as expected.
The apps are member only and require log in information, but please feel free to view the Red Book Online App for iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store and the Android Handset and Tablet from the Google Play Store. Pediatric Care Online app can also be found for all devices in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.