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Optimising the HCP portal registration process to improve access to valuable content

    Audience Understanding Usability Testing UX and UI Design

Astellas had recently launched a new HCP portal, AstellasPro, containing valuable content and a personalised approach to delivering this to HCPs. They wanted to understand how HCPs felt about the registration process in order to maximise the number of people that were able to successfully complete this key journey and gain access to the important content available once completed.

They asked us to review the portal registration process by conducting research with HCPs in their key markets to identify any areas where the process could be optimised. By simplifying the process and reducing the number of steps to validate an HCP as a qualified professional, the user experience would be more efficient, with fewer gaps that could lead to dropouts.

After an internal kickoff and input from stakeholders, we conducted interviews and usability testing with practicing HCPs across 5 key markets. We observed the user journey first-hand to identify high-impact opportunities and gain additional insight into HCP needs, wants, and pain points.

Our research has allowed us to move forward into an informed design phase with clear priorities and actions. The insights we’ve gained into the preferences of HCPs across markets will also be used to inform future portal iterations, including thoughts on the overall value and how to best serve HCP needs. Evidence-based decision-making has helped achieve buy-in from product stakeholders and aligned teams around a shared goal.


  • Gained insights on HCPs preferences and market nuances to inform future decision-making

  • Identified high-impact areas for improvements to the portal registration journey

  • Evidence-based design and development for shared confidence and maximum ROI

First impressions matter: Ensuring a seamless first interaction with the HCP portal

The registration process is a crucial aspect of the user journey. As the first interaction with the digital product, it offers a chance to make a positive impression with an intuitive, simple and smooth process. Getting it right reassures users the portal itself will offer the same high standard of user experience.

Working with Astellas, we set out to optimise the registration process for their HCPs, ultimately enabling more people to successfully sign up to the portal and access valuable content and features without needing to request support.

Our goals were to:
  1. 1 Increase the number of HCPs that were able to complete the registration successfully
  2. 2 Reduce the number of HCPs that abandon the process without completion
  3. 3 Understand HCP feedback around the broader portal experience and identify opportunities to add value
“In the healthcare industry, a gated website is not uncommon, meaning the registration process is of high importance as it is the first door to be opened during a website's user journey. In our case, after believing our registration process was 'simple' and 'well-understood' by our primary users, it quickly became one of our main pain points. HCPs identified it as a 'painful challenge' — with too many fields, too many unexpected data requests, and a lack of clear contact information for support, and the list goes on.”
Maria Nieves Alvarado Avila
HCP Portal Lead, Omnichannel Strategy & Operations, Astellas Pharma

First-hand user research with HCPs across key markets

After an internal kick-off phase involving stakeholder input, knowledge building, and understanding of the client’s wider context, we created a customised plan for the user research process.

We designed a whitelabelled (non-branded) prototype that took users through the registration process as if they were signing up to the portal for the first time — meaning there would be no bias from users in terms of previous conceptions of the client brand, and simplifying the regulatory sign-off process.

We recruited HCP participants from across 4 key markets, then conducted usability testing and interview sessions to gain in-depth insight about how easily they could navigate the process, identifying pain points and opportunities along the way. The prototype process allowed us to replicate in detail the steps HCPs would take in — from receiving the initial invite email, to gaining access to the portal content after successfully registration.

“We were interested in understanding the overall impact, expectations, and behaviours directly from our customers — the actual users that were entitled to come in, register and access our content; and not just from a prototype website, but from our real one.”
Maria Nieves Alvarado Avila
Astellas Pharma

The importance of accounting for market differences

When designing digital products for international audiences, it’s important to recognise regional nuances and preferences.

If you have an international customer base, a one-size fits all approach isn’t appropriate — it’s crucial to seek feedback from all of them, or from a representative sample based on common market characteristics. There will be common views, but also distinct differences between the markets based on local legislation and user preferences.

In Germany, for example, there is already a very dominant tool for HCP registration that can be used to seamlessly verify their professional status and sign in to websites that implement this.

We partnered with Graphite to help us better understand all these essential elements, leading to a complete change of the registration process, and furthermore a change in the registration process at a global scale. Apart from other great insights and clear action points, it’s been, without a doubt, a key investment as it has now enriched our user experience.
Maria Nieves Alvarado Avila
HCP Portal Lead, Omnichannel Strategy & Operations, Astellas Pharma

New insights enabled simplified user journey for HCPs

Our research helped identify a simplified user journey for HCPs registering on the portal, and provided valuable feedback on the performance of their current registration journey.

Conducting this research has allowed us to move forward into an evidence-based design phase with clear priorities and actions. The insights we’ve gained into the preferences of the HCPs across key markets will also be used to inform future iterations, including thoughts on the overall value of the portal and how it could best serve HCPs.

Obtaining first-hand research at an early stage helped validate the problem area and achieve buy-in from internal stakeholders around the subsequent design and development phases.

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