Highlight Where People Are

Highlight Where People Are


Locate the user in the service journey.

Once a user has begun using the digital tool, show them what they have accomplished so far, and prepare them for next steps. It can be useful to represent the users’ progress within the digital tool as well as in the larger context of seeking care. Avoid being overly specific in the visual representation of the journey, as users' paths may vary, but do help users locate themselves in an overall arc of care.

Related Research

Brownlee, John. “Designing An App For People With Severe Mental Illness.” Fast Company, 17 Mar. 2016.

Harvey, Gillian. "Designing Procedural Instructions: 5 Key Components," Information Design Journal, 2018. 16(1): 19-24.

Perez, Sarah. “ Apple Unveils a New Set of ‘Digital Wellness’ Features for Better Managing Screen Time.” Tech Crunch, 4 June 2018.

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Example: Dynamic Interaction

Zocdoc Well Guide


Zocdoc is a tool that allows users to search health care providers and book appointments online. After users create an account, Zocdoc provides them with a Well Guide that tracks their progress against four healthcare milestones: signing up for Zocdoc, booking an annual physical, booking a skin screening, and booking a dental cleaning.

Progress on these tasks is measured both in a visual graph and a checklist that automatically updates when a user completes a task. Although Zocdoc generates these milestones automatically, users have the option to define their own wellness goals to be tracked in the Well Guide.




Example: Person-to-Person Interaction

NYC Well Counseling


When a user initiates contact with NYC Well, a mental health referral network that serves New Yorkers by phone, text, and chat, the NYC Well counselor carries out a six-stage interaction that includes collaborative problem solving, resource provision, and more.

In the first stage, the counselor thanks the user for initiating contact and explains how the call will unfold. In the final stage, the counselor gives a synopsis of the conversation, acknowledges the important first steps the caller has already taken, and lays out a clear plan for next steps and follow-ups.

By informing the user of where they are in their journey to care, NYC Well counselors help users set realistic expectations and build a sense of accomplishment.




Example: Static Tool

Medium Time Estimate


Medium, a digital platform that allows writers to self-publish and share articles, helps readers manager their time by providing an estimate for the number of minutes each article takes to read. These estimates are always displayed under the author's name, next to the date. This simple tool helps readers plan and make informed decisions simply by scanning a list of articles.