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Arizona Department of Health Services

Testing a bilingual patient vaccine portal to shorten the time to register for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment with equitable messaging and information wayfinding.

Published content and design on the Arizona Department of Health Services Vaccine Patient PortalWebsite and mobile prototypes are available.


The Arizona Department of Health Services is the state government agency providing health services to 7M people in Arizona. In March 2021, the Department implemented a Vaccine Patient Portal application for the registration, eligibility determination, and appointment scheduling for COVID-19 vaccinations. The Department developed the initial version of the application over several weeks and made enhancements to make it easier to use. As such, they needed help conducting user research with the Department's employees to define recommendations that address pain points in booking a vaccination appointment on the portal.



I was the Project Lead and Experience Researcher, overseeing a team of researchers. I collaborated with the Department's project manager and UX designer to form researcher protocols such as screener surveys to screen research participants, facilitation guides, email communication, and presentation materials for leadership. Moreover, I coached and provided feedback to researchers on interview techniques to mitigate bias for usability assessments. I wrote content to improve the copy of the Vaccine Portal to align with the research recommendations rooted in equitable communication, such as dropdown selection for gender preferences, insurance status, microcopy, tooltips, emails, and instructions. The content relies heavily on principles of language justice, honesty, transparency, and trust to reduce decision fatigue, information overload, and misaligned mental models. 


In two months, I delivered the project on time and within scope. The Arizona Department of Health Services published the improved Vaccine Patient Portal in Spanish and English with recommendations from the research. The research and content insights led to new portal redesigns aligned with equity-focused designs and accessibility best practices. People are able to book vaccinations faster and their overall satisfaction with the process has improved. Our outcomes from the two usability testing rounds led to:


Reduced average Time to Completion (TTC):

  • Login by 1 min

  • Reset password by 4 min

  • Sign up by 8 min

  • Schedule a vaccine appointment in 3 min

  • Up to 16 minutes faster


Improved average customer satisfaction (scale of 1-5):

  • Of all residents from 3 to 5

  • Of bilingual speakers from 3 to 5


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