Reimagining Babylon’s appointment booking flow for virtual healthcare

Product design case study

Problem: New patient booking conversion low due to appointment booking flow being too long. Clinicians burdened with admin tasks that weren’t being completed before appointments.
My Role: Embedded product designer
My approach: Assumption mapping, hypotheses and test cards, MVP definition and iterations
Deliverables: Problem statements, hypotheses test cards, final Figma designs and iterations
Users: First month: 10,000+ users, 6832 appointments booked
Results: 3% increase in appointment bookings, 33% increase in bookings completed in under a minute, 44.6% of bookings with a waiting room task completed


Babylon is a virtual healthcare service providing patients with doctor and nurse consultations over video calls using an iOS or Android device. These consultations are provided to patients with health insurance in the US, through the NHS to patients in parts of London, as well a as a fee-per-consultation service globally (US, Canada, UK, Rwanda).


As the embedded product designer in the bookings squad I helped them with the following objectives:

  • Increase appointment booking conversions for new patients
  • Decrease time it takes to complete an appointment booking
  • Increase patient pre-consultation task completion
  • Reduce clinician admin time during appointment

My contribution

I led the bookings squad through two rapid one-week sprints to explore and define the problem space, create hypotheses and assumptions and redesign how bookings worked for new Babylon patients.

During the first one-week discovery sprint we learnt that new US patients had low engagement with the service and speaking with the operations team they explained that the first ‘welcome appointment’ was key to demonstrating the value and ease of the service to patients skeptical of virtual healthcare. Once a patient attended one appointment then their engagement would be higher downstream.

We also learnt that the doctors and nurses were waisting a lot of the 10 or 20 minute consultation doing tasks that could be done before the appointment began such as confirming your pharmacy, completing your ID check, ensuring you have a good video connection, filling out health screeners.

The old booking flow had 12-19 steps

A review of the existing booking journey revealed patients needed to progress through between 12 and 19 pages, depending on whether they were booking for themselves or a dependent. The booking flow wasn’t dynamic, it was the same for every single patient and we forced everyone to answer the same questions every single time they book, such as sex at birth, their location and whether they want video or audio-only.

Hypotheses test cards – we chose the third one

To wrap up sprint 1, I led a hypothesis mapping workshop where I guided the team in writing test cards consisting of a hypotheses, how we’ll verify it’s true, what we’ll measure and what success looks like.

After voting we chose the most radical test card – the one that proposed stripping back the entire booking flow to the minimum steps needed to confirm a time slot with a clinician and moving any ‘friction’ steps to a post-booking / pre-consultation phase.

The new shorter appointment booking flow with 2 steps

In sprint 2, I led the team through a rapid design process and working closely with the product manager we ran feasibility sessions with the engineers in order to see how we could build an MVP.

The chosen MVP was a new ‘one-click’ booking process where we ask the patient to choose what they need help with (instead of a long list of symptoms) and then after showing a loading screen we present a fully built booking package where we have made choices on behalf of the user but they still have the ability to edit.

New waiting room which displays tasks for the patient to complete before the appointment.

We introduced a waiting room task list where any team in Babylon could display to-do items for the patient to complete after the booking but before the appointment starts. This could be answering something simple like ‘your preferred pharmacy’ or even something as complex as a PHQ9/GAD7 mental health screener before a therapy appointment.

Final thoughts

I love this case study because it’s a great example of a rapid, radical but no-regrets reimagining of an existing journey. In two weeks we were able to reduce a 19-step appointment booking flow down to two steps just by converting it from ‘build-your-own’ to ‘pre-built-but-editable’.

Since launching in the US market for welcome appointments only Babylon has seen a 3% improvement in conversion, but most impressive is 33% more bookings are taking less than a minute to complete than before launch. This is having a positive impact on downstream patient engagement because they have easily tested the service using the welcome appointment.

Furthermore, the introduction of waiting room tasks has allowed 44.6% of patients to complete an outstanding task before their appointment begins, saving time for the clinician to focus on their health issue, an equivalent of $23,797.00 in the first month.

In summary, increasing booking conversion means higher patient engagement which means more healthcare being delivered which in turns means better health outcomes for populations. And reducing unnecessary admin tasks for clinicians in each appointment means lower healthcare costs for providers and governments, and also happier clinicians.

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