In the Sep 2009 issue of the Atlantic, David Goldhill wrote an account of American health care and how a hospital error killed his father in 2007 entitled, "How American Health Care Killed My Father." He followed it up with a book called, Catastrophic Care: Why Everything We Think We Know about Health Care Is Wrong. Then, he and two other co-founders and a scrappy team started Sesame in summer 2018.
Sesame is a marketplace where customers who are uninsured (or won't use their insurance) pay upfront in cash for care from physicians and providers that have availability. And when physicians don’t have to deal with hassle and complexities of insurance, the patient gets a more affordable price — that's the general idea.
Previous to my arrival in Oct 2018, the company had done assorted (and uneven) work with a few agencies to kickstart the brand and generate representative screens for a proof of concept. My main focus was to bring these efforts in-house and launch the first two-sided healthcare marketplace in Kansas City, building out the core product while leading and constructing the discipline of design within the company, focused on a lean and iterative approach to push out new features and product shifts with a laser focus to achieve market fit.
Our first hurdle was getting the consumer/patient experience "right," rooting our design methodology and sprint cycles with biweekly instances of user interviews, guerilla testing, and A/B testing while keeping a close eye on a broad range of analytics and metrics.
With two product designers anchoring the design team and using a small group of freelancers, we have been able to create a foundational bedrock for the web app — sketching in group How Might We sessions, creating an atomic design library in Figma, managing the day-to-day work in Jira, writing up specifications in Notion, and keeping in contact with Slack with our wide ranging team (New York, Austin, Berlin, Kansas City).
Working hand-in-hand with the marketing team, we've been able to coordinate and match up the voice and look with multiple campaigns currently in-flight — including display ads, social media, billboards, mailers, magazine ads, and radio spots among others.
We're currently refining the consumer side and engineering the back-end framework and design scaffolding for the physician/provider side of the house.
The current iteration of the consumer/patient digital product can be seen live at sesamecare.com.