project prompt

to redesign a booking website for a medicine alternative brand.

prompt

to redesign relief.pt

Role
ux/web designer

Project Specifications:
Timeline: November ’23 to January ’24
Duration: 6 weeks
Client: Relief® Portugal

Tools
elementor
photoshop
illustrator
spotify

about relief

Relief is a brand of Soft-Laser treatments to help with smoking cessation and other health issues, founded in 2004 by John Nelsbach and Mei Ling Selnes in Germany, expanded its operation to the Netherlands in 2023 after more than a decade of presence in Portugal.

Relief helped to this date thousands of smokers with our help have become non-smokers and currently have 5 treatments: Anti-Smoking, Allergic Rhinitis, Migraines, Anti-Stress and Weight Loss.

According to their experience, the success rate is around 90% (Anti-smoking Treatment), for those who return to smoking after treatment (only 10 percent need a second treatment).

why is a website so important for them?

Relief’s reliance on online booking is rooted in efficiency, accessibility and enhanced client-patient experience. Online booking systems streamline appointment scheduling, reducing phone call volumes and administrative workload. From the company’s point of view, patients appreciate the convenience of booking appointments at any time, from anywhere, aligning with the modern preferences for digital interactions.

Relief's website is the main outreach channel
in order to streamline consultations.

what do they feel about their current website?

During my meeting with the brand director and one of the therapists, it became clear that the primary concerns about the current state of the website were its outdated aspects: visually, content-wise, and technically – especially as more young people are using their services.

We also explored the impact of the decline in conversions over the past few months, presenting two possible reasons: could it be due to the website’s inefficiency, operational issues, or the recent emergence of new direct competitors?

What is certain is that the website, which accounts for a total of 95% of conversion rates, is a crucial factor for the brand’s positioning in the alternative medicine market.

current Relief's website

how could be done to improve client experience and therefore business metrics?

There are two dimensions that were recorded for the project’s progress: which points are considered important to carry over to the new website, and how these can help address the current negative aspects for a better user experience.

firstly, It became clear to me that content is a crucial factor on the current website and has a significant influence on how users perceive alternative medicine, especially first-time users.

After all, how does a first-time user see alternative medicine as the ideal solution (in a somewhat non-empirical way) for a complex problem like quitting smoking?

Secondly, this aspect returned to the center of the conversation, as it was felt that the experience and interaction of the current website may not be conveying the more scientific content correctly and, consequently, what users feel about the brand and the services it provides.

Nowadays, there is still some distrust
regarding alternative medicinal methods.

some takeaways from my briefings

there may be some challenges regarding the way a first time user sees alternative medicine.

the latest years show that younger people are accessing more the relief services rather than older people.

stakeholders fell that the current website is outdated in terms of visual experience.

after making assumptions about the current situation of their website as a corporative/informative website and as a conversion channel, i felt that it was the right time to get to know who are relief's users.

meet andreia, the marketing executive.

frustrations
1. frustrated by repeated failures in quitting smoking using traditional methods, leading to disappointment and fear of not succeeding;
2. Balancing a demanding career and family leaves andreia with limited time for quitting programs, causing frustration and the need for a time-efficient solution.
3. feels frustrated with the monthly 7 hours of takings small breaks at work to smoke a cigarette.

goals
1. to break free from a decade-long smoking addiction to improve her health and reduce associated risks;
2. to enhance focus, productivity, and overall work performance by eliminating smoking-related distractions

meet patrícia, the retired school teacher.

frustrations
1. frustrated with the potential health consequences of smoking in short/medium term.
2. she feels that conventional medicine is not helping due to the inneficient portuguese medical system and the lack of practical solutions from her doctor.

goals
1. to enhance her overall health and well-being during her retirement.
2. to give a chance to different kinds of medical solutions in order to stop smoking.

Then, pertinent questions that I found:

What do traditional medicine professionals think about the practice of alternative medicine?

And from here: how could the concept of an ‘anti-persona’ help me better define the problems of the Relief website?

This is where 3. Cristiano, the family doctor, came into the picture.

meet the anti-persona: cristiano, the family doctor.

as a doctor with over 25 years of experience, cristiano is frustrated by the growing popularity of alternative medicine, which he believes lacks rigorous scientific validation. he feels concerned about patients being misled by unproven treatments that could potentially harm them, delay necessary conventional medical interventions and potentially clog the emergency services on his hospital. also Believes alternative medicine is often based on anecdotal evidence rather than solid scientific research, and therefore, he Considers many alternative treatments to be placebo at best and harmful at worst.

as the director at relief portugal


i want to improve conversion rates

so i can scale up my franchisees in 2025.

as a therapist at relief portugal


i want the website to present clear and informative content,

so i can focus more on the therapy practice rather than q&as during the sessions.

as a busy marketing executive,


i want to try a short term approach,

so I can be more productive at work.

as an retired school teacher,


i want to book an alternative medicine session,

so i can stop smoking at a short term.

as an experienced medical doctor,


i want to access scientific evidence,

so i can prescribe alternative methodologies to my patients.

what do users feel when navigating the website?

After defining the user stories, I decided to explore what users feel while navigating the current website, investigating how they achieve their goals and evaluating their experience. This step was crucial to identifying their pain points and current difficulties, allowing us to convert assumptions into concrete conclusions and, consequently, informed decisions.

As shown at the diagram, there's a 'valley of death' (in black) due to content
misrepresentation, leading to confusion and mistrust regarding their services.

I confirmed that the booking system works properly, but the entire user journey leading up to it reveals several content issues. Addressing these issues could lead to a more efficient and more pleasant user flow. By improving the site’s content and navigation, I aimed to provide a more satisfying and intuitive experience for users, facilitating the achievement of their goals and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

it then became clear to me that providing a seemless (image and written) content wasn't working out well.

The previous analysis clearly and objectively demonstrated the most critical issue with the user flow: not the conversion system itself, but the entire path leading up to it.

This insight allowed me to identify the problems that need to be addressed to make the website navigation more user-friendly.

branding & design system
Relief's branding elements were outdated, and the website's design system lacked coherence and consistency throughout the user flow.

Contrast ratio
Attention was given to correcting the contrast tones between Relief's primary color and the white #ffffff background (1,53% WCAG ratio)

hidden information
Some important information about their services was only revealed after seemingly unnecessary interactions, such as hovering or clicking.

non-contextual imagery
Most of the images occupied a significant amount of space and appeared generic, which negatively impacted user engagement.

text body lenght
For a specific type of service/product, there was an excessive amount of text, which negatively impacted user experience and potentially reduced conversions.

All of the research conducted led to a few common conclusions:

branding and design system are elementar reasons why user navigation is not smooth
ensuring that information is presented clearly and the user experience remains streamlined and focused.

the new website must show Credibility and Recognition
employing visuals that inspire trust and calmness but at the same time, not distracting the user through its desired user flow.

Graphic Imagery must be contextual and present scientific data.
Online presence with a clear communication along with testimonials from previous buyers/customers allows the company to establish it’s brand.

it takes a lot of time to lead to conversions (about 1-5mins)
Online presence with a clear communication along with testimonials from previous buyers/customers allows the company to establish it’s brand.

what should be deployed in the new website version?

branding should be adapted for screens and a new design system should be created
Microinteractions wield significant influence on website conversions. Subtle design details like guided navigation cues, and personalized touches, should create a seamless and engaging user experience and encourage users to progress through the conversion funnel.

new social proof sections like 'about us', 'our partners' and 'customer reviews' should be presented in the website for customer recognition
Scientific imagery on an alternative medicine clinic's website boosts credibility and emphasizes evidence-based practices. Using visuals like lab equipment signals professionalism and a commitment to a scientific approach, appealing to visitors seeking evidence-backed alternative healthcare.

scientific-related imagery instead of illustrative should be applied to boost engagement and reduce text lenght
Scientific imagery on an alternative medicine clinic's website could help boosting credibility and emphasizing evidence-based practices. Using visuals like lab equipment signals professionalism and a commitment to a scientific approach, appealing to visitors seeking evidence-backed alternative healthcare.

to reduce distractions in the user journey through simplicity, visual hierarchy and minimalism
I wanted to ensure that the user would feel confident and completely autonomous within her/his user journey to contact Relief. By that means that interaction should be drastically minimized, spaces should be applied inbetween text bodies, headings and subheadings, and webpage sections and color hierarchy should be prioritized. 

how to distribute ideas into the architecture information?

it seemed important to lay down the current sitemap to better understand the user flow from the landing until the conversion elements/pages.

By assuming certain solutions to be deployed, it was then time to define the sitemap for a cohesive and balanced distribution of content solutions with the incorporation of new features.

The sitemap was designed to be straightforward and to streamline the user conversion timeline, facilitating the steps necessary for an effective user journey to meet the goals of both users and stakeholders.

later, i incremented the ideas and the way they were laid down in the new sitemap and gave them shape, giving natural emphasis to the conversion timeline and how sections like ‘social proof’, popups and call to actions would be designed in order to improve user experience and business metrics.

design system

after establishing a first approach to the website structure and sections, a new design system would shape up the new website.

Gilroy Bold & 600px

headings, titles, number counters, buttons 

DM Sans 500px & Bold

text boxes

color scheme

GRAYSCALE

dark green

light green

beige

absolute white

screen white

buttons

section design

iconography

header
footer
product card
primary pricing card
product card (on hover)
pricing card
cookies consent

high fidelity prototypes

homepage
popup main menu
product page
product page
(CTA)
booking form
booking form
(select option)
booking form
(CTA)
confirmation page
social proof
social proof
section II
faq page
scientific imagery
example

project outcome

The redesign of the appointment scheduling website led to a 24% increase in conversions through the online booking system. This growth was primarily due to a 19% reduction in conversion time, achieved by compressing existing content (text and images) and introducing new customer acquisition methods. It was concluded that the most impactful factor in this project was the content overhaul to adopt an approach that inspires greater confidence in users, especially first-time users.

next steps

The next steps involve permanent testing in a real environment using metric tools to assess user behavior in website navigation on the client’s part for ongoing interaction. To achieve a more human-like navigation and interaction, a virtual chat tool will also be integrated in the future.

what i learned

This challenge presented four distinct hurdles, categorized into two dichotomous groups. On one front, I had to navigate the delicate task of optimizing a successful conversion funnel while dealing with content that might pose challenges for conversions, such as alternative or holistic medicine. On the flip side, I had to strike a balance between web design and development skills within a limited timeframe, such as the six-week period provided with the integration of different skills and tools.

thank you!