Prototyping a personalised health solution

Work Healthy Australia

Work Healthy Australia (WHA) provide a health care service to help reduce injury among workers.

WHA approached Portable to co-design a business tool that would allow them to engage with patients outside of consultations. This tool would enable patients to record their medical history and current complaints before their consultation, allowing doctors to spend more time on treatment.

The Portable team began designing a digital tool to connect WHA with patients outside of consultations. The concept of either an app or a mobile messaging tool was initially conceptualised and researched but, during the project, the direction shifted towards the development of a ChatBot.

We used several research methods.

Including a contextual inquiry, a survey and one-on-one interviews—to gain a better understanding of user motivations, pain points, behaviours and experiences. Using insights gathered through this research, we created 19 user personas. This process helped guide our decisions about service features, navigation, interactions and visual design.

After prototyping the messaging app, it was decided that a ChatBot would be a more appropriate solution.

We researched ChatBot best practice and held several workshops. During these workshops we developed paper and clickable wireframes, workflows and associated questions; created a service design outline; reviewed the ChatBot platforms; and programmed one module.

Our team created ‘Janet’, a ChatBot voice. Janet used scripted messages to respond to the patient, providing feedback loops and prompts that told the patient what they could do at each stage of the process.

Two user testing groups were engaged to test the ChatBot and provide feedback. This feedback identified both strengths (some users thought Janet was a real person!) and areas for improvement, and informed our final recommendations.


  • The final product was a comprehensive report to inform the ongoing development of the ChatBot. 
  • This included insights into both user preferences and technical limitations, as well as recommendations as to how the ChatBot could be further developed to ensure its success going forward.


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