Tag Archives: product design

Coaching Users to Better Health With WebMD


WebMD is a leader in health media and provider of health services to insurers and large employers. WebMD wanted to build upon the success of its Health Coach product, which provides health and wellness advice to users via telephone, and to grow its ROI on owned and licensed content.


The strategy was simple: Leverage underutilized content, smart but light technology, and insights from the most effective practices of telephone coaches to create a lower cost digital health coach that could be extended to thousands of additional customers.


We evaluated the telephone coaching offering, interviewing coaches, customers, content managers, and other stakeholders to meet the most effective coaches; understand what customers found valuable about the service; learn what types of advice, communications, and coaching led to behavior changes; and identify the most often requested information.

We inventoried, evaluated, catalogued, and organized thousands of pieces of owned and licensed content.

Based on our findings, we designed an extension of the Health Coach product and WebMD’s health media offering. We organized the content such that it created “an interactive relationship between WebMD and users, one that approximates that of WebMD Health Coaches and their clients.”

We brought the thousands of pieces of content to life as a digital health assistant. We connected written, video, and graphical content and interactive tools via an intricate taxonomy and ontology, and activated it via an elegant series of triggers that created the impression that the digital health assistant was responding to users action and inaction, communications, successes, requests, and preferences.

My Role In The Solution: 

I was part of a great team of talented designers, developers, program and project managers. To this team and project I contributed…

  • Conducting the stakeholder research and identifying actionable insights
  • Assessing and cataloguing and all content and identifying gaps
  • Prototyping the digital health assistant
  • Developing a taxonomy, ontology, and tagging for all content
  • Developing the content strategy for the digital health assistant
  • Defining triggers to create interactions between the digital health assistant and users
  • Writing copy for alerts, emails, instructions, pop-ups, and managing copywriters, designers, and HTML developers who produced content for the assistant


WebMD launched the digital health assistant as “The Digital Health Assistant” and are currently selling it via insurers and large employers seeking to lower health care costs associated with smoking and conditions such as diabetes and obesity. The product has evolved a bit but it’s largely unchanged–and it’s having significant positive impact on users’ health and wellness.

Digital Health Assistant Prototype and Flows