BrainCheck Protocol

Allowing clinical customers to create and administer a set of tests.

About BrainCheck

BrainCheck offers tablet-based interactive tests for clinical customers to track cognitive health. It has two platforms:

A testing app (tablet) that nurses use to administer tests to patients; This project revolved around the Testing App.

An admin portal (web-app) that physicians use to get test results;

My role:

Right after I joined BrainCheck in June 2019, I was assigned to this project to expand BrainCheck's opportunity in clinical settings. I was responsible for understanding the user needs, defining the interaction model, developing wireframes and prototypes, facilitating usability testings, and shipping several successful new experiences.

What I did:

◇ Interaction design;
◇ Product vision & strategy;
◇ Prototyping;
◇ UX research;
◇ Design presentation;
◇ Design documentation;

Process Overview

Working at a start-up is challenging. Because of the limited resources and time, I have to play around the design process to fit the needs. One biggest challenge is limited user access: sometimes, I can't access the user for initial interviews; sometimes, we can't schedule the usability testing on time. But those challenges never stop me from getting the design right.

❖ Project kick-off

Problem Statement

Currently, we offer eight different kinds of tests in the Testing App, and they are located on different pages. Because of that, nurses have to manually navigate from one place to another to administer multiple tests to patients. This poor workflow leads to two problems:

It is inconvenient and time-consuming;

It is difficult for clinical customers to discover all available tests, which leads to a lower test-adoption rate and affects our revenue;

Nurses can access tests from these two pages


We introduced the concept of Protocol, which means a set of BrainCheck tests.

Protocol Builder
A feature to allow clinical customers to create a protocol.

Protocol Player
A feature to allow clinical customers to administer protocols to patients.

❖ Protocol Builder


Nancy - Nurse
Age: 35, works full-time

Nancy administers BrainCheck tests to patients following by doctor's requests. She usually doesn't explain test results to the patients, she just shares the reports to the doctor. She wears multiple hats in the practice. She likes simple repeatable procedures.

Her goal:

  • Administer the right tests to the right patient;

  • Get all the patients out on time today;

How might we help nurse create a protocol in a simple and fast way, so that she can administer more tests to more patients?

Concept Sketches

Inspired by the online shopping cart design. I came up with the concept that aims to allow nurses to quickly browse, select, and confirm the tests they want.

A divided screen that allows nurses to browse and select the available tests on the left side, while seeing a real-time detailed summary on the right side.

Then I walked through the wireframe with the PM to make sure if I'm on the right path.


Walking through the concept with the PM led me to another round of iteration, which mainly focused on UI details, contents, interactions, and the user flow.

A iteration snapshot

1. Browse and Select

Giving enough information, such as test title and test description, on the left side will help nurses quickly located the tests they want. However, we assumed most nurses are familiar with those cognitive tests pretty well, except the Standard Battery and Extended Battery - the tests that only offered by BrainCheck. Therefore, we decided to hide most tests' descriptions, except the Standard Battery and Extended Battery, to minimize the unnecessary page scrolling.

2. Protocol Summary

To provide more flexibility, the selected tests are displayed in a card style on the right side, which allows nurses to change the test order if needed. From persona, I learned time is critical for nurses, so knowing the total duration will help them better manage their time.

❖ Protocol Player

Current Flow

By mapping out the user journey, we were able to identify the biggest pain points in the current workflow.
Currently, nurses and patients are sharing the same iPad for both administering tests and completing the test. Nurses open a test on the iPad, then hand over the device to the patient to complete the test. Nurses also use the same iPad to storage patients' information. To ensure the data security and HIPAA requirement, nurses have to re-enter the password to back to the homepage after they receive the iPad back from the patient. Therefore, in a protocol setting, minimizing the device handover is the biggest challenge for the administering flow.

Mapping out the possible scenarios

To understand how will nurses use protocol in their practice, we mapped out all possible scenarios. BrainCheck has two types of tests: 1) Patient screeners - test that can be done by patients themselves; requires device handover.
2) Test-admin screeners - test that completed by test-admins, completed by both test-admins and patients; since nurses are the one holding the iPad, this kind of tests do not require device handover.

We noticed that, to minimize the device handover, we need to separate the test-admin screeners with patient screeners, and put test-admin screeners either at the beginning of the flow, or at the end of the flow. And that lead us to refine the interactions of the protocol builder.

Design Iterations

Modify test order

  • Use different visual cues to distinguish patient screeners and test-admin screeners;

  • Currently, nurses launch a test, then immediately hand off the device to patients. We decided to keep this flow as a default flow to minimize the cognitive load. Therefore, the patient screeners are listed above the test-admin screeners by default.


When administering the test, nurses is not the only persona anymore, we also need to consider patient. And the administering flow goes across nurses to patients.

Marry - Patient
Age: 72; Retired school teacher

Marry has concerns about her cognitive health. She is worried (and potentially in denial) about having dementia. She is not tech-savvy, but she uses computers as part of her job and for social media. Touch-screens seems to be more intuitive for her.

Her goal:

  • Completed the test as guided;

  • Find cause of symptoms;

  • Receive treatment for her condition;

Design Iterations

Device handover instructions

Device handoff to the patient

  • Clear instructions to inform nurses about the handoff procedures.

Device hand back to the nurse

  • Patient welcome page: a friendly greeting to ease patient's emotion

  • Patient complete page: to inform patients to hand back the device to the nurse

Mapping out the whole experience


❖ Gathering user feedback

We conducted five remote moderated usability testing with our clients. I asked them to walk me through their typical day, and how would they use BrainCheck to administer multiple tests. Then I asked them to use the prototype - the protocol feature - to run the same tests.

Besides paying attention to general usability issues, we specifically noted down how their workflow changed before using the protocol feature and after.

We got very positive feedback on both protocol builder and protocol player. The only frustration we received was naming the protocol. Nearly all users mentioned they ignored the pencil icon and didn't realize they can name the protocol. Besides that, the most insightful feedback we learned was how clinical customers would use the protocol feature in their real life.

❖ Design impact and moving forward

Since we launched the beta version in Oct 2019, we kept hearing positive feedback from our customers, as well as receiving requests from new customers to access this feature.

For the next step, we look forward to seeing actionable insights in BrainCheck protocol, with focus expanding test choices, migrating all tests into protocol settings, and increasing the flexibility of creating multiple protocols to meet more users' needs.