Web application dedicated to knowledge sharing in the pharmaceutical industry – PharmaWebinars case study
The project idea
Servier is a pharmaceutical company we worked with on a digital product aimed to help in achieving one of the client’s major goals – supporting the medical industry in increasing their expertise. Servier helps to integrate the medical community and allows them to evolve their competencies through knowledge and experience sharing. This goal has been carried out by creating streams, i.e. webinars conducted by doctors for doctors.
What started our cooperation with the client, was the need to improve the previous solution of online video streams’ delivering that the biggest flaw was the fact the streams were stored within one landing page.
The solution the client needed was a platform that would enable the streaming and storage of webinars. However, the most important requirement was to meet the users’ needs of having an easy-to-use tool allowing for uninterrupted usage of webinars. Providing a tool that brings value to the user has been the overarching goal, especially because of the pandemic period when live meetings were impossible to conduct.
Solution for the users
The most significant factor behind the solution was the medical community – the platform’s users who were the core of the project. Allowing them to conduct and watch the webinars, in a way that fulfills their needs, was the main requirement that the product was intended to meet. Knowing and understanding the need, we could create a bigger picture that made it easier for us to bring individual functionalities because we always kept the product’s value in the back of our minds.
The crucial thing was to define the users’ needs and what they expect from the platform. The client, as an experienced entity providing this type of solution, knew exactly what the problems and needs of the recipients are. For us, the most relevant aim was to provide a product that will meet these needs.
Together with the client, we defined personas as non-technical people, in various age groups, including 50+. Therefore, the priority for us was to make the provided interface as intuitive as possible, leaving no doubts and multiple interpretations regarding its usage.
UI brings people to the product
The main goal of the interface was to facilitate navigation on the website. We also knew that the platform was intended for users with different levels of technical skills. Therefore, it was important to create an easy-to-navigate platform that allows, from all subpages, to reach the main goal easily. Together with the client, we decided that users will be able to find and watch the webinar from the events’ list view, or from the calendar. By that means, we wanted to enable users to navigate the platform in a way that suits their preferences.
While designing, we followed the less is more principle because we wanted to include only the necessary information, and exclude all that was not needed or not enough relevant. We used the 'simplicity’ rule to aim the user’s attention to the most significant elements of the page. At the same time, we tried to keep the secondary information unobtrusive, and as a result, not distract the user from achieving their primary goal.
Secondly, the simple design decreases cognitive load – the amount of mental thinking the user has to perform to use the page. It was essential in terms of the user’s major goal – to listen to the lecture packed with medical science which obviously was challenging enough. The solution in the form of a simple UI design allowed the user to reduce intense thinking on how to navigate the platform to achieve the main goal – acquiring medical knowledge.
Moreover, we have tried to keep the platform interface as consistent as possible, so the users’ interaction with the website was easy and repeatable.
- PharmaWebinars back-end is based on the PHP language, specifically on the Laravel framework,
- Front-end is built on nuxt.js,
- Webinars are streamed from an external service, and our task was to integrate a player with the platform.
- The challenge was to prepare a website that will be able to save a lot of information regarding participants’ choices. All the obtained data is stored in Google Analytics which allowed for presenting the accurate and reliable statistics.
- The website was implemented as Single Page Application (SPA) what equates with high performance (speed of loading) and simplified development.
The main solution we provided for the client was the platform with medical webinars dedicated and created by doctors. It allows for watching and saving in the calendar (synchronized with outer calendars) the chosen webinars. Additionally, during the live stream, users can write questions to the lecturers, which is a useful feature supporting knowledge sharing. Another handy function is the possibility to download the educational materials if provided by experts.
We built the platform in a way allowing for the uninterrupted usage of many users simultaneously. Now, it is used by over 3000 users. The platform was also integrated with the player of the contractor responsible for the streaming service.
Another important tool we delivered was a platform’s CMS used to manage content, allowing admin to create, edit and publish medical streams. CMS available from the administrator panel allowed also for complex reports, combined in easy-to-use and share PDF or Excel files.
„The work on PharmaWebinars was technologically interesting – we have implemented smart solutions allowing for managing the development process in a very efficient way (time and costs). We also gave the client convenient tools to collect data needed for service improvement.
However, the most important thing was the aim of the website – support in knowledge sharing. At Software Things, we are very devoted to solutions, that are helpful and dedicated to the audience. That is the real con – developing solutions that are important for users”.Bartek Urbanek, full-stack developer
The main advantage for the client was the ability to maintain better contact with doctors and support them with knowledge and experience sharing, especially during the pandemic time. This way, the client is able to continue their mission in which the educational support of the medical community is a significant element.
Other benefits client gained:
- High platform performance allows for numerous groups of users to watch the webinars live or at any suitable time (webinars are saved)
- User-friendly content placement on the website (calendars, tags, search engine, shortcut to the current event),
- Access to figures on webinars, i.e. number of participants, the display time of specific webinars, etc. Obtained data is used by the client to improve the materials.
- Integration of the platform with the tool for sending newsletters,
- Easy content management thanks to the customized administrator panel.
Focus on the product’s usability
In this project, we were much focused on delivering the user value with the product. The platform was aimed to serve its users and their needs we always kept in mind during the development process. The client was highly aware of the audience and this helped to deliver the product customized to the users. As a result, the platform is functional and willingly used by recipients.
In 2020, the Servier was recognized as one of the most accessible pharmaceutical brand on the Internet in the eyes of the medical community in Poland. We allow ourselves to hope that the platform we provided helped the client to achieve this title. This is also the perfect example showing that digital products should always be made for the value they bring to users, and they, in turn, can repay with recognition for the brand.
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