What if you knew what had happened in your client’s life in-between sessions? What if you had concrete talking points to walk into a session with that you and your client were informed of beforehand?
We’ve just released a new way to view the activities your clients have complete in-between sessions: on a timeline, chronologically, and with a preview of all their answers.
We’ve had a lot of fun getting to this point and we thought you might enjoy seeing the process.
Welcome to the making of the Client Timeline: or how we designed a place for you to catch up on the activity of your clients in the blink of an eye.
Problem 1: Limited Amount of Time to Prepare for a Session
When we talk to therapists, one common theme always stands out: the lack of time. Most notably a lack of time to prepare for individual sessions throughout the day. We found out therapists usually have about 5-10 minutes between their therapy sessions. We wondered, within that short timeframe, how can we help therapists be more informed about what their clients have been experiencing throughout the week?
Problem 2: Different Activity Result Types
With Therachat, clinicians can send a range of premade and custom activities to their clients. From journaling to tracking exercises and session feedback, many of these activities have different types of results. The mix of result-types left us with a concrete problem: How can we create a quick overview that also allows therapists to dive into the details of these varied responses?
To the Whiteboard!
We spent a lot of time whiteboarding the different ideas we had to solve these problems. A lot of those ideas didn’t make it to testing because we knew they weren’t going to save therapists time between sessions, they were too confusing, or they didn’t make the most crucial client information visible. After a lot of head-scratching, we settled on 3 designs to move forward with, including the Client Timeline.
Getting Feedback from Therapists
When we launch big features, we want to make sure we’re building things that help therapists and don’t add more work to their already busy lives. The only way to know we’re successful in this mission is by visualizing our ideas and testing them with therapists. This is exactly what we did.
Here are the ideas that made it to testing, but didn’t make this release:
Idea 1: Automatically Generated Insights
We have an idea that we’ve been thinking about for a long time and it’s our ultimate dream: what if we could bubble-up important client information automatically? We could let our algorithms filter out the most important nuggets and present them to therapists so that they don’t have to spend time going through all the data. Another big plus of this approach is that computers are more reliable in spotting patterns than humans. This objectivity could, in turn, lead to therapists providing more objective care.
Feedback: The therapists we showed this concept to absolutely loved it and we decided that it was worth developing. However, we are not releasing it.. yet. We have some more work to do on our side to make sure we can surface the right information but you will start seeing glimmers of this idea soon in Therachat 🙂
Idea 2: Overview of All Activities, Therapists Can Dive Deeper Into
What if clinicians could get an overview of how compliant their clients were and could use this information as a starting point to explore detailed responses?
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Feedback: This view was too confusing for some of our testers and didn’t immediately give actionable information.
Idea 3: All Activity Information Combined
We were very intrigued by the idea of showing all information in one visualization that also shows how a client is progressing. This view would show the tracking scores (distress & sentiment) combined with all the other activities a client finished throughout the week.
Feedback: While the idea of a standard timeline was interesting to many, combining all types of information into a single chart was often overwhelming.
Getting to the Final Version: The Client Timeline
With all the information we collected, we optimized the version that was most helpful to therapists and arrived at the final version of the client timeline, ready to be thrown into the world.
We hope you enjoy the Client Timeline as much as we enjoyed building it. As usual, we’d love to hear your feedback 🙂
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Therachat is an online, fully HIPAA-compliant tool to engage your clients outside of session and improve outcomes. Start a 14 day free trial (no credit card required) or learn more here.