Design Your Digital Health and Wellness Product Around Pivot Points. Here’s Why.

By Allison Sall
December 8, 2021

Anxiety. Diabetes. Infertility. A severe peanut allergy. Postpartum depression. These diagnoses are a kick in the gut. But they’re also what we call pivot points. They’re what health and wellness digital products are born with, and don’t use to their advantage near enough. 

Pivot points are jarring, “Oh, crap!” moments of change in a person’s life. They spur customers like yours to seek answers, support, and next steps. If you’re not designing your product around your customers’ pivot points, you may be missing out on providing a user experience that resonates, educates, and even helps to heal.

Through user research you can dig deep into the specific needs of your customers when they experience these ground-shaking moments. You can talk to them in a way that makes them feel seen, heard, and understood — and therefore offer an experience that’s leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. 

By identifying your target customers’ pivot points, you can purposefully craft a product that meets them exactly when they need you most and support them every step of the way.

Designing an Impactful Digital Product Experience Starts With Pivot Points

Why do you work to create your health and wellness product? What inspires you? Who inspires you, and what is their story? A pivot point correlates to the why behind your product. If you can answer these questions, you can find your pivot point. 

For your customers, it’s an intense moment of self-reflection. A time when they have more questions than answers. And they look to a product like yours to help them navigate their newfound situation. 

Whether they’ve confirmed a mental health diagnosis or are going home after emergency heart surgery, they’re motivated to make a change fast. 

So why is it so important to tie in pivot points to your product’s overall design?

You can create a much more genuine, beneficial, and trustworthy product when you understand the person you’re designing for. You can have clarity to define your service and address your customer’s needs by truly speaking to them and making them feel understood. 

After all, there’s no specificity if you’re talking to everyone. To be explicit and talk to the just-right audience, you need to have empathy for what brought them to your product in the first place. Pivot points can be so specific that they can allow you to customize your product and make someone who’s in need of education and support feel like they found the right place.

Using Qualitative Research to Uncover Your Users’ Most Salient Pivot Points

When you’re faced with an entirely new reality and don’t know where else to turn, you seek out other people who have been there to lean on. Your users likely do the same when they’re faced with their pivot points.  

Support groups, online social communities, and message boards are all safe spaces where people come together to share information, ask questions, and simply not feel alone. And these are the places you want to be as you search for your product’s pivot points. 

As you kick off your research, look for online communities within your product’s category. It seems rudimentary, but Facebook is a great place to start. With sensitivity, seek out people’s stories in these spaces. Ask them about specific products they are using to help them navigate their journey and why. Learn what kind of research they did before using a certain product. Maybe they felt better off not using a digital product at all. 

If conducting qualitative research isn’t in your wheelhouse, that’s ok. It’s in ours. Everyday Industries has a lot of user research under our belts. We know which tests to run, who to talk to, and can elevate insights worth exploring.

It’s Okay if Your Pivot Points Aren’t Immediately Clear

Sometimes your pivot points may not be so obvious. If your product serves a broad audience, it might take a few people’s stories for you to narrow down the most valuable pivot points, or discover the best, most beneficial direction.

Take, for example, a product that scans a bite of food and identifies if it contains harmful allergens. There are different pivot points based on who is using the product. 

One user might be an adult who just discovered a late-onset shellfish allergy. Another user might be a parent of a young child who has never been able to eat peanuts due to a severe allergy. 

Though the main motivations for using the product are the same, to identify whether an allergen is in a food, the impetus for using the product is different. Therefore, the pivot points are different and the product’s design should reflect that. 

For example, messaging for a product designed with an adult’s pivot point may include a guide on how to scan a menu for allergens, alternative recipes, and understanding food labels. 

Messaging for a product designed with a parent’s pivot point may include how to talk to your child about their allergy, how to empower them to make their own choices, and how to prepare them for sticky situations like birthday parties where they may not be able to participate.

How to Factor Pivot Points into Your Product’s Design

Once you identify your pivot points your next step is to figure out how they fit into your design — or how your design should be tailored to fit around them. 

To do this, map out the emotional needs and desired outcomes of your customers. If we’re using the allergy identifier example, an emotional need for an adult with a late-onset allergy may be to feel empowered to make quick decisions at a restaurant. Their desired outcome may be enjoying a meal with family without feeling like they’re missing out.   

Next, use their experience as a lens to look through as you navigate your product. From onboarding to when your user doesn’t need you anymore, what does your potential customer need to know to get the most out of your product? 

Scrutinize your messaging. What are you saying, and how are you saying it?  

Comb through your feature set. What value are you offering your users and how does each feature address their needs? 

Hit on all the touchpoints your user will come into contact with over time. What will your user get from emails, notifications, or your mobile app? What will they need at each of these touchpoints as their journey progresses?

Each step of the way, consider:

  • Are you addressing the emotions and needs behind the pivot point? 
  • Do you provide your user with features that specifically support that pivot point? 
  • How can you help them reach their desired outcome?

You’re walking a mile in your user’s shoes to see if the way your product is designed truly resonates. If your messaging turns out to be insensitive to the issue at hand, no blame. But now’s the time to change it. 

With your pivot point to guide you, tailor your user experience to say you’re in the right place. Because that should be your goal: To assure your users they’re in the right place.

You’re probably not okay with offering a hollow user experience that’s low on empathy or misses the mark. We can help make sure that you don’t. If you’re hazy about what pivot points exist for your users, we can make them clear. Curious? Let’s connect.