NL Health Care Institute

The digital FK - From book to online decision support

100,000 unique visits per day make the Pharmacotherapeutic Compass (FK) the most visited website for healthcare professionals in the Netherlands.

ContentKings uncovered 4 Customer Jobs of health professionals using the FK. They played a decisive role in improving the FK over the last 10 years.

From paper ‘Bible’ to online decision support system

As the go-to reference for doctors and pharmacists when prescribing medication, the FK saves lives. They use it to check vital data such as dosage and side effects, often in the presence of a patient. It therefore must supply an answer in seconds, not minutes.

For years, the FK was known as a Bible-sized doorstopper of a book. It went entirely online in 2012. Today, the FK website and app combined are consulted more than 100.000 times a day. Whenever a doctor or pharmacist suspects side effects or other interactions, the FK is at hand to check for alternatives.

Redesign with a focus on user experience

In 2012, the FK went online. But its website was still structured like a book. A redesign was necessary that focused on the online experience of the user. The Healthcare Institute asked us to do an expert analysis and a usability test.

Joining the agile team

The redesign was planned with agile sprints of 3-weeks. We proposed to expand our cooperation so we could join these multiple agile sprints with the customer. At ContentKings we believe multiple rounds of user feedback always add more value than just one round with a longer development cycle. Two feedback rounds with 4 users results in better feedback than one round with 8 users.

With the help of user research by ContentKings we were able to create a better fit with our professional healthcare users.
Sandra Landa, Manager Health Care, Health Care Institute

Expert analysis: suggestions to improve the prototype

In the Expert Analysis we reviewed the existing design and proposed a number of changes:

  • Support the primary customer job ‘checking medication’ and design the page around this task.
  • Get rid of ‘noise’ such as news. The FK is a tool for doctors, and needs to focus on this purpose.
  • Increase usability by clarifying possible paths and design content chunks in a consistent way.
  • See how simplification of design creates more overview and balance.
  • Reconsider the site structure: it is no longer a book, but a website.

Usability test: discovering the customer jobs for the FK

Usability testing confirmed the Expert Analysis. It also discovered four Customer Jobs:

  • checking medication
  • finding alternative medication
  • substantiate clinical decisions
  • learning what medication to prescribe.

The users of the FK clearly described different use cases. On the one hand they have the task of ‘checking medication’ in the consultation room with the patient. This task execution is always under pressure, extremely result focused, with very little time. Doctors need to check and verify complicated facts on dosage and interactions, and also need to translate them for the patient.

Other tasks could be carried out away from patients. These were less urgent but still vital, as their clarity had impact on later clinical decision making.

Continuous cooperation

ContentKings has continued to contribute to the development of the FK. We’ve developed design thinking workshops around personas and consulted on specific editorial guidelines.

Recently we concluded extensive user research on how the FK is used in academic education. This confirmed the FK’s outstanding reputation, but also resulted in valuable feedback to further improve this amazing resource.

About the Customer Job method

The agile development of the FK was highly successful: Customer Jobs helped in prioritizing UX design, editorial planning and guidelines, but also in managing the development road map. All ideas were fed by one question: how does it contribute to the Customer Job of the doctor 'checking medication'?

Result: ultrafast decision support system

Doctors and other healthcare professionals now use the FK as an ultrafast and reliable decision support system. It is a valuable tool for clinical decision making in the consultation room. All information is relevant and accurate. The website is user-friendly with the right content only a few clicks away.

ContentKings discovered the 4 essential Customer Jobs of health professionals have when using the FK. These Customer Jobs, uncovered by our user research, laid the fundamentals for agile development cycles over the last 10 years. And very recent user research revealed: the same 4 Jobs are still valid today.

If it is true that ‘bad content kills’, you can say ‘the new FK saves lives’.

Ellen Altenburg

Want to know more? Want to know what ContentKings can do for your project? Contact Ellen.

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