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).

initial prompt

to redesign relief.pt

Role
ux/web designer

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

Tools
figma
wordpress
photoshop
illustrator
spotify

initial briefing

briefing

Clients delved into a thorough content refresh for their website, ensuring that the information presented is not only current but also compelling and relevant.

Another aim was to achieve a contemporary design that elevates the user experience, seamlessly blending aesthetics with functionality.

A key focus of the project was to optimize the website for increased conversions, specifically driving clinic bookings. Through strategic design elements and user-centric features, I aimed to enhance the conversion funnel and boost overall engagement.

Beyond the digital sphere, our attention extended to Relief’s expansion into the Netherlands. During our meeting, we laid the groundwork to ensure a smooth transition, both in terms of online presence and logistical considerations.

As part of this comprehensive approach, an English version was seamlessly integrated into the website. This addition not only enhances accessibility but also aligns with Relief’s vision of providing healthcare solutions on an international scale.

why is a website
so important for relief?

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

The online platform allows clinics to manage appointments more effectively, minimizing scheduling errors and optimizing the utilization of resources. Real-time availability updates ensure patients secure timely appointments, contributing to overall patient satisfaction. Additionally, automated reminders reduce no-show rates, improving the clinic’s operational efficiency.

process

process

This project needed extensive research to understand the different kind of users, competitive audits and to understand what users want to see on a company’s website, besides the importance of a rapid and undistracted user journey to lead to online bookings and consequently business metrics.

user research

During these collaborative calls, two crucial end user profiles were identified:

  1. andreia, 42yo marketing executive;
  2. patrícia, 62yo retired school teacher.

meet andreia

42 years old marketing executive. lives in lisbon, portugal.

frustrations
1. frustrated by repeated failures in quitting smoking using traditional methods, leading to disappointment and fear of not succeeding;
2. frustrated with limited success and potential side effects of conventional methods, prompting a search for alternative solutions
3. Balancing a demanding career and family leaves Emma with limited time for quitting programs, causing frustration and the need for a time-efficient solution.

goals
1. to break free from a decade-long smoking addiction to improve her health and reduce associated risks;
2. to set a positive example for her family by creating a healthier environment;
3. to enhance focus, productivity, and overall work performance by eliminating smoking-related distractions

meet patrícia

62 yo retired school teacher. lives in coimbra, portugal.

frustrations
1. is frustrated with the potential health consequences of smoking.
2. frustrated with the dependency on tobacco for stress relief or relaxation.
3. feels judged or stigmatized due to her tobacco consumption.

goals
1. to enhance her overall health and well-being during her retirement.
2. aims to set that positive lifestyle changes are possible at any age;
3. Quitting smoking is also motivated by the desire to save money.

research

This stage enabled me to establish a robust groundwork for my design approach.
Every subsequent decision made over the next months was informed by the data gathered during this critical phase.

Given that the client had a clear vision of what they wanted to convey (more specifically their expansion to the Netherlands by the beggining of 2024), it was important to get to know how relief’s (only direct) competition presents alternative medicine products and drives conversions through their websites

This involved conducting a competitive research audit (omitted from the case study for privacy reasons), to define user experience and user interaction design patterns. Additionally, a significant focus was placed on optimizing the information architecture, a key topic discussed during this phase – to study on how it is possible to streamline the user flow until he/she books a clinic session.

competitor analysis

Examining the design choices among various alternative medicine clinics unveils a diverse landscape of approaches.

Each clinic’s website, encompassing elements such as color schemes and navigation structures, serves as a visual representation of its distinctive identity. This comparative analysis offers valuable insights into prevalent design trends within the alternative medicine sector. 

Additionally, it sheds light on effective strategies employed by clinics to convey the principles of holistic health practices, fostering a deeper connection with their audience.

clinicaspedrochoy.com

ClinicasPedroChoy.com strategically uses microinteractions, compelling headings and impactful negative imagery to motivate users to book sessions. Clear and persuasive headings address user concerns, while carefully curated negative visuals empathize user challenges. This combination creates a sense of urgency and emotional connection, compelling users to take action and schedule a session.

houseofiris.nl

HouseofIris.com features a clean and minimal design, incorporating icons’ mute communication, focused headings, and prominent CTAs. This streamlined approach ensures easy navigation and directs user attention to key elements, enhancing overall user engagement.

user journey mapping

Examining the design choices among alternative medicine clinics unveils a diverse landscape of approaches.

Each clinic’s website, encompassing elements such as color schemes and navigation structures, serves as a visual representation of its distinctive identity. This comparative analysis offers valuable insights into prevalent design trends within the alternative medicine sector. 

Additionally, it sheds light on effective strategies employed by clinics to convey the principles of holistic health practices, fostering a deeper connection with their audience.

Reducing Cognitive Overload
A major concern was the cognitive overload resulting from inconsistent imagery, excessive interactions, and a lack of visual hierarchy. Streamlining these elements was crucial to create a more cohesive and user-friendly interface.

Contrast Tone Correction
Attention was given to correcting the contrast tones between Relief's primary color and the white background. This adjustment aimed to improve readability and visual aesthetics, creating a more harmonious color scheme.

Page Length Reduction
To enhance user engagement, there was a concerted effort to reduce the length of each page. This approach aimed to keep content concise and focused, allowing users to navigate seamlessly without feeling overwhelmed.

Scientific Imagery Inclusion
Introducing scientific imagery strategically throughout the website was a priority. This addition aimed to enhance credibility, aligning with Relief's commitment to evidence-based practices and providing a visual anchor for visitors seeking trustworthy healthcare information.

define

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

It must be
Minimal and Succint

ensuring that information is presented clearly and the user experience remains streamlined and focused.

It 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 create a sense of urgency,
but must be subtle: Online presence with a clear communication along with testimonials from previous buyers/customers allows the company to establish it’s brand.

ideate

With information collected and analysed during phase 1, the next step was to build out a site-map. Sitemaps help in understanding your website structure, making it easier for the user to navigate through your website. While the former allows for better SEO performances the latter provides a better user experience.

The site-map was designed to list the different types of pages along with the content present on each page. I then cross referenced it with each user persona to understand if the pain-points were addressed rightly. This iteration facilitated in improving the structure of each page, making the design more intuitive.

Applying the hick's law in the website's general layout.
Hick's Law would increase conversions by simplifying decision-making for users by reducing the number of choices and making the user journey more straightforward.  Here are some strategies I implemented Hick's Law in Relief's website:
-displaying a popup form instead of pointing all the architecture to a page
-reduce imagery
-apply hierarchy to headings and text body

2. 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. 

3. to apply progressive disclosure through micro-interactions.
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.

4. to design popups to reduce conversion timeline.
Popup forms offer a streamlined approach to cut down on the conversion timeline. By replacing separate form pages, popups keep users engaged on the current page, minimizing navigation and expediting the data submission process. This strategy reduces friction, making it more likely for users to complete the desired actions swiftly without the need to navigate to a separate form page.

5. use of more scientific-related imagery instead of illustrative.
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.

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

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