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Behind the scenes of Simplee’s dashboard design: In conversation with Kristian Russell

by Shilpi Choudhury, Writer, FusionChartsFriday, February 21, 2014

Behind the scenes of dashboard design is a series of interviews with Product Managers, Developers and Designers of software products with kick-ass information dashboards to help you get an insider’s view into their making. This is the fourth part of the series.

Managing payments and insurance aspects of your healthcare can sometimes really be an uphill task, sometimes so much so that it can give you an anxiety attack for sure. How much am I supposed to pay, how much is covered by my insurance, when is my insurance payment due―these questions often plague users like you and me.

On the other hand, healthcare service providers face a similar situation. They find it difficult to collect payments because their patients are more than often confused as to how much they owe or their medical bills get lost in the daily clutter.

Simplee aims to provide a simple solution to both the patient and the service provider. It brings together all your medical and pharmacy bills at one place. It also breaks down your insurance statements showing how much of the expense is covered, what you’ve paid, and how far along you are towards your deductible. It is like the Mint for your healthcare bills except that it goes a step further. You can make online payments through Simplee too.

At the service provider’s end, by simplifying the entire process it increases patient payments and POS engagements. And Simplee does all this using an easy-to-understand dashboard.

I recently spoke to Kristian Russell, Creative Director, Simplee to understand what went behind the building of their dashboard. Here are the excerpts from the interview:

What is Simplee and how does it solve user problems?

Simplee is an ultra-simple, mobile friendly way for patients to pay their bills online in just a few clicks.

What were the primary reasons behind incorporating a dashboard in your product?

The dashboard was conceived as a better way for both patients and providers to view medical bills clearly, transparently and beautifully.

Who is your primary target user and how does the dashboard help her perform her job better?

Our primary targets are both patients and providers; our dashboard improves visibility into the opaque world of revenue cycle management (for the provider) and cost estimation and billing (for the patient).

What was the most difficult decision you had to take while building the dashboard?

The most difficult thing about the dashboard was to build something that would be simple enough for patients to use, but technically complex enough to provide a range of services and capabilities for providers.

What were your design considerations for the dashboard?

Our primary design consideration was to provide the user an ultra-rich functionality couched in an uber-simple interface.

What are some of the USPs of your dashboard?

Some USPs of the Simplee dashboard are:

  • Cost Estimation: The dashboard provides easy estimation of costs for patients so that they have a rough idea of what their out of pocket costs will be for services.
  • Payment Plans: This is an important and potentially revolutionary improvement in the patient experience―enormous medical bills can be paid online, over time.
  • “Same-View” Bill Views: This provides a transparent picture to both the provider (or admin) and patient of the item costs included in a single bill or multiple aggregated bills
  • Beautiful BillTM: This was one of our first and most substantial innovations. The Beautiful BillTM provides a beautiful and clear online or mobile view of the myriad costs and charges and insurance-related discounts related to a single visit. Patients are often faced with confusing and opaque bills, a confusing amalgam of costs and services. The Beautiful BillTM solves the problem and empowers patients to understand their expenses and discounts in a single view.

What emerging trends do you see in dashboard designs in 2014?

Dashboards are going to be more and more complex, more rich-data driven and more mobile-focused.

Why do you think dashboards are important in software products?

Dashboards are important from the standpoint of easy access and visibility into complex cohorts of information.

Where do you see the data visualization industry in 2014?

There is going to be an explosion of data visualization methods and products, and a few clear winners who will ultimately subsume them.

If you liked reading this, you may also want to check out the behind the scene dashboard story of RescueTime, FacileThings and Server Density.
Have someone you’d like to see featured in this series? Add them in the comment section below.

About the author

Shilpi Choudhury is a writer at FusionCharts, an enterprise-grade charting solutions that has clients like NASA, Microsoft, Cisco, GE, AT&T, and World Bank. She is also a guest blogger at Uxmag, Six Revisions and Visual.ly. Her focus is on writing about data visualization, dashboard design, and best practices in charting. You can follow her on twitter or connect with her on Google+.

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