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Hellodoctor Web Redesign 2.0, Part 1: Research

Hellodoctor is an online health information resource exclusively for local Asians who face raging diseases and communities' diversions yet the living standards are still pretty unbalanced across the regions.

Unlike other local health organizations or publishers, the edition still follows local beliefs and voices while committing to world-class health practice standards, the sites offer users free access to professional tools to self-check their conditions online.


The overall redesign increased our website subscribers by 115%. On the article page, we increased our time-on-site to 3 minutes as opposed to 1 it was before. Our return rate went up to 60% from the 35% it was before. Our bounce rate went down to 63% from the 86% it was before. On some specific high-traffic pages, we gained hundreds of marketing leads. 



1 UI Designer, 2 Product Managers, 2 Developers, 2 Business Analysts


​UX - UI Design, Art Direction, Research, Interview



Issue Prioritizing

Stakeholders Interview

The board directors simply told me, the problems were:

  • Most of the traffic we received was new visitors, but the bounce rate overall was very high. We didn't know the reasons why they left the sites so quickly.

  • Our content teams ran out of ideas of what to write because they didn't have access to how the audience feels and cares to search.

  • Most traffic came from Google, but our Google ranking at the time was getting worse 🤦‍♀️

→ So long story short, we had a large number of visitors that didn't stay long, and because they didn't last long, they didn't even have time to engage with our platform. When they didn't engage, we didn't know what their intentions were, so we didn't know why they came, or why they left, and we ran out of writing ideas.


Checking on Behavior Flow

Based on the visitor tracking on GA, we had most of the traffic coming from Google search to the one article page, the next traffic went to the Category page. 

TASK FLOW - landing page_1x-min.jpg

From a variety of referral sources to a specific landing page, pass on a few articles, then try on Search or Home.

Based on the visitor tracking on GA, we had most of the traffic coming from Google search to the one article page, the next traffic went to the Category page. 

TASK FLOW - single page_1x-min.jpg

From a variety of referral sources to a specific landing page, pass on a few articles, then try on Search or Home.

Most of the pageviews of our site (7 million page views per month) come from a single article page, but our site overall also has a ridiculously high bounce rate ~ over 89%.  

TASK FLOW - health tool_1x-min.jpg

From Google search directly to a health tool page, bounce, or go to the Homepage, read a few articles before bouncing away from those articles.


Search terms & Traffic on Category


To find out what the visitors intend to search - interesting topics, I got help from the Data team to make quite a few reports on Hawkeye. They would share with me our weekly reports on high-traffic topics on our platform. They also sent their Search terms from Google search before landing on our articles.

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It’s clear however that the majority aren’t comfortable conversing with experts or openly discussing their health issues just yet. This is echoed when we look at the types of healthcare accounts consumers follow on social media.

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→ So, that's how I knew what page I should prioritize at the beginning: reading page display, category pages, health tools pages, and focusing on those mentioned categories content.



Market Research

APAC locals struggle to find reliable and trustworthy information on international affairs



We live in a world where information abounds, misinformation, and falsehood of health news in social media constitute a potential threat to public health. False and misleading medical information about a range of diseases has been circulating widely on social media for several years, posing a potential threat to public health as it spreads rapidly and effectively. In other cases, misleading advice spreads.

Patients become more gullible, dependent, and easily manipulated with whatever knowledge they can see first on the internet these days, or they heard.



For example, Vietnamese and Indonesian feel more comfortable and understand reading or listening to someone they know or someone in their circle of friends telling the news, but they don't examine if the story is real or the details are accurate.


Question: What was your response when checking social media news posts?

  • Vietnam and Phillippine lead in misinformation and missing information on "dramatic events" like Covid-19.

  • Cambodia and Vietnam (once again) lead in skipping analysis info on most critical health events such as cancer, diabetes, miscarriage, obesity, and migraines.

  • Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar, tend to stay on the news on drama events such as case news about Covid-19.

  • All choose "listening and being able to respond" about something, which will make them remember it over reading about it. Some say they will check it out later, some accept its authentic info.

  • All say "too text-heavy details make it impossible to digest".


Traditional Asians don't cope well with Western health beliefs and concepts.

Based on the research named "A Local Example of A Culturally Appropriate Approach", in the 17th century, traditional Vietnamese and Chinese practitioners began identifying their medicine as Dong Y to distinguish their medicine from Western colonial medicine. Similarly, people in the West began to use the term “Oriental medicine” to differentiate Eastern medical practices from Western ones. This led to another interview focusing on “Diabetes preferred medicine and lifestyle in Southeast Asia" and “Blood pressure preferred medicine". The result was that not all Western healthcare information impresses Southeast Asian people.

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User interview

What are the obstacles that hinder readers from trusting digital healthcare platforms?


Asians tend to lean on traditional medication rather than the Westerner way.

While being told to follow approximately 90% of the structures, visual choices, and navigation such as category trees... from the top health sites like WebMD, Healthline, Mayoclinic, Verywellhealth at the beginning of my research, I had the editor teams translate a few TOP-READ articles from those sites and made a health blog that looks like Healthline and Verywellhealth by the articles in the local languages.


Less than 25% of the audiences, mostly young adults prefer English-based language health sites with lots of fact-based info. More than 50% insisted on the East-orientation natural and traditional way is always the best.


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​Journey Mapping

I created a simple journey mapping to see where they got frustrated during the time spent on our platform


Although it wasn't a great experience because our platform at the time didn't have full-built tools besides the content so the answers from our users were pretty bad.

JOURNEY MAP - overall map - white_1x-min.jpg



Keep in mind that free speech is not a thing in some of the SEA regions, so "dark social behavior" is highly preferred


The sharing habit has also changed in the last couple of years. In the early phase of social media, sharing was simply directly on someone's Facebook wall. Nowadays, people prefer to share information privately, making it untraceable about their content habits.

For those who maintain seeking actual news sites, the habits from wandering on social media may shape their expectation to search optimized and to share easily from a prominent and professional web. So our job here was to make it highly engaging and effectively sharable for our readers and to understand the Dark Social behaviors.

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The lasting multi-generational concept in SEA has an impact on healthcare consumers


Family dynamics significantly impact health in both positive and negative ways. Having a close-knit and supportive family provides emotional support, and economic well-being, and increases overall health.

According to a Sciencedirect analysis study, Southeast Asian health beliefs and concepts are achieved and maintained when a person lives in harmony with social and ecological conditions and attains inner psychological balance.

Nowadays, some social-active and google-active middle-aged and young people tend to conduct quite some research online, both on websites or social communities before taking further steps in healthcare. But when it comes to the final decision, family including relatives and close friends - basically, real human connections, still impact your thoughts in some certain way.

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Based on The Digital Journey to Wellness of Google research, we have a few insights that I believed they will work for our user journey improvement as well

  1. Search is indispensable in the patient journey → ​ Search impacts brands.

  2. Mobile is the patient’s constant companion →  Mobile will be as important as desktop.

  3. Online Video informs and connects →  Sight, sound, and motion tell stories & fuel conversions.


We believe that with better education and techniques to embrace self-care movement and financial incentives options on joining digital healthcare for less serious illnesses. We believe that the more intensive local communities talk about digital healthcare, the more it influences the middle-aged readers' healthcare perspectives. We strive on social media heavily,  educate on multi-media channels, target our end-users circle of friends and relatives.

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We have 2 groups of users:

Caregiver: who seeks information online due to a certain health situation of their loved ones, and they're in rush.

  • How they find us: Through Google search, they don't care about your magical brand or vision, they care about how accessible it is for them to the information they're looking for.

  • Action: They seek actionable information, expect fast access content.

  • Opportunity: The way to hook this group is vivid and informative content such as video, infographics, key takeaways in an article...and perfect recommended apps inside the article they're reading that can take them to action online.

Self-care advocate: who casually seeks information to better themselves and their loved ones but it's not an urgent event.

  • How they find us: Still searching via Google, this group pays somewhat attention to the providers' reputation and trustworthiness of the information they're reading.

  • Action: They seek a community, full informative content, and some way to connect and collect.

  • Opportunity: Because of how this group gathers info and due to their attention, chatbot and account login are welcomed.





Address Target Audience and Create Personas

I insisted on coming in contact with some of our then existing audiences from the 2 biggest regions: Vietnam and Indonesia; though sometimes I also talked to some Philippines audiences. We talked randomly via Whatsapp, Messenger.


Most of the time I asked them some dummy questions about our website, how it worked, how well they knew other news and health platforms, about their lives and see their behaviors and attitude in, and from there I worked with our product manager - Phuong, Head of Audience and Content Development - Lesley, and multiple Editor in Chiefs to create 5 key personas.

  • Sharing an article: how to share an article, up to what point they'll share an article, what platform they prefer sharing on, sharing to someone, or sharing to save...

  • Time read: they normally tended to save the article first before reading, if they checked and saw it was too long or would take time to read.

  • Saving an article: usually, they tended to collect more articles than they would actually read, either they shared after reading or saved articles, they didn't really care to save and share articles at the same time after reading it, but they might do that before reading it.

  • Caregiver and self-care type people tend to search and read about articles themselves.

  • New moms tend to ask before reading.

  • Old women who have health issues tend to take direct action: call, ask online, message social networking (Facebook), while old men said they read before making contact with the platforms or customer service.

  • Vietnam audiences reported mistaking the site as offering medicines.

  • Young adults and kids (students) tend to make private online questions via social networks (Facebook, Youtube) about sex, love, and very personal health issues.


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