Susanne Hsu
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Massage Envy App Suite

Massage Envy came to us with a number of issues -- poor customer satisfaction, high turn over in their front desk positions, lost revenue due to unanswered requests for appointments, and trouble attracting and retaining massage therapy talent. We did a three month discovery and pilot phase to understand the customer and employee experience, and quickly test out some ideas. We then took the learnings from our pilot phase and built out a strategy to build an employee app, a in-store customer app, and redesign their iPhone app.

My Role

I was responsible for ensuring a seamless experience between all of the digital touchpoints, designing their iPhone app, designing a feature in their in-store customer iPad app, supporting rollout by creating training content and videos, doing field research, and running an innovation for their skincare business. For the apps, I worked alongside two talented visual designers. Massage Envy was awesome in giving us a huge amount of access to their clinics for our upfront research and continuous visits during the design process. During launch and rollout, I spent many many days hanging out in massage clinics to observe, support training, and address issues. 

Sadly, the iPhone app has two and a half stars in the App Store because it has profile/login issues (one of the reviews actually says, "designers are idiots", haha), and while not a UI design problem, it's certainly an experience problem, so I have all kinds of lessons learned from that. 


Massage Envy loves iPads. If you're wondering about the iPad Pro app, we launched and then quickly killed that app....another story.


The first screen is the pressure selector, which allows you to swipe to the desired pressure. 


The massage therapists genuinely love the iPad app that we built for them because it helps them transition more quickly between appointments and remember key detail during sessions.  Front desk associates told me that the app we designed for them saves them two hours a day in paperwork and frees them up for more face-to-face interaction with customers. Customers' profiles and care history now travel with them, so they can receive continuous care across all of Massage Envy's 1200+ locations. Lastly, Massage Envy franchises are on a path to capture a huge amount of revenue that was previous lost via unanswered appointment requests submitted through their website. You can now book online (in select locations--we're still rolling this out!) and get paired with a therapist or esthetician who is an expert in the specific reasons you're coming in.

Artifacts from the Process

I'm a huge fan of personas that you can get a feel for at a glance. 

 Early exploration around making the long first-time booking process fun.

Early exploration around making the long first-time booking process fun.

I have mixed feelings about journey mapping but it made a lot of sense for this project.


The Massage Envy ecosystem 


Customer data was so messy. I spent a crazy amount of time hashing out these login flows with the developers. 

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Clinician Profile Redesign

View our redesign:  Profile 1  Profile 2  Profile 3

View an old profile


I had the opportunity to work with Kaiser Permanente Washington to improve the experience of finding a doctor by redesigning their clinician profiles. We conducted interviews to understand what information would help patients find the best care provider for their needs, as well as understand how clinicians want to present themselves. The first release went live for a select number of clinicians in January 2018.

One of the best parts of this project was that I was able to lead with motion design, even in the wireframe stage. In the past we've often tacked on motion after content and visual design are done, but this time we explored motion upfront to set the direction for the profile. I wanted this to be any but another generic profile page–I wanted to give the clinicians a modern, sophisticated online presence that reflects the high caliber of care at KP. 

My Role

I lead the user experience design and research, and was responsible for designing the overall profile layout and motion, as well as "near term" and "future state" versions of different components. I planned and ran usability testing, worked on the content creation and adoption plan, partnered closely with content strategy, and did visual QA. 


How do you represent all the different types of patient needs in a couple personas? With limited research time, we decided to focus on two personas on the opposite ends of the spectrum -- the novice and the expert. A novice was a type of patient we encountered that was starting from scratch -- often new to the city or KP -- and had basic, more general healthcare needs. An expert user was someone who had a long history with KP providers and had very specific healthcare wants and needs. 

Early Motion Explorations

We designed the overall layout first, and then refined each component. This is a video of an early motion sample I created to show the overall layout of the content. 

Rethinking Reviews

One of the most interesting things in our interviews was how differently people felt about reviews. Younger patients tended to rely heavily on them, while other patients were skeptical and felt they were often skewed or unhelpful. Clinicians themselves didn't feel they reflected the quality of care, because the best decision for the patient is not always the one that makes them the most happy. 

I wanted to completely change the idea of reviews from answering the question, "is this doctor good?" to "is this doctor a good fit for me?". In the short term, we redesigned the presentation of the review content to address the clinicians concerns of biased reviews. For the long term, I designed a new system that allows patients to "endorse" a doctor for certain qualities, and also place them on a spectrum of based on their approach to care. Are they focused more on medical intervention or lifestyle intervention? Shared decision-making or directed decision-making? 

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washington trails association hike finder redesign

View the first release of the redesigned map

View the old map

I was so honored and excited to have the opportunity to volunteer with the Washington Trails Association to redesign their Hike Finder Map. I've used their website and app to find numerous amazing hikes, so I was very grateful to be able to give back in a small way to this wonderful non-profit. I've also always been impressed with what an active community WTA has fostered (trail reports are so helpful), and the amount of data that they have on hikes (did you know you can filter hikes by features like wildflowers or lakes?). Last shoutout to WTA, you can make a map of hikes that you've completed via My Backpack on the website! 

Why This Project Was Interesting

The WTA has a unique problem that other map-based experiences like Airbnb or Zillow don't have. They don't want to overcrowd trails by sending too many people to the same hike. While Airbnb orders their listings by various rating metrics so that the most popular and well-rated always appear at the top, the WTA wanted to do almost the opposite. How do you help people find the "best" hikes but not send too many people to the same one? We tackled this problem by randomizing the order of the hikes in the photo panel, and providing a very robust set of filters and sort options. 

My Role

I designed the UI surrounding the map and provided guidance on styles and colors for the map itself. Who knew maps were so complicated? This map has over 40 different styles of roads! 


Massage Envy Website Redesign

In addition to the suite of apps we built for Massage Envy, I worked with a visual designer to redesign their website. I'm very proud of what we created, but I also have a lot of lessons learned from this project. Creating a template for someone else to use is really challenging. It has to be flexible enough to accommodate all future content, but restrictive enough that it's hard to mess up.  I shed a few design tears recently for the craziness that has become the top navigation on their website, but it also helped me reflect on things I can do differently next time.

My Role

I was responsible for the information architecture and wireframes for all of the pages, including the online booking process (not launched yet). 

ExxonMobil and budapest

In 2015 I moved to Budapest, Hungary to lead the design of a new e-commerce platform for businesses purchasing fuels and lubricants from ExxonMobil worldwide.  

Why This Project Was Interesting

I had never worked on an international product before, so this was my first time dealing with localization (deciding on a standard date format turned out to be quite the issue, QA for the Arabic site was also interesting), coordinating interviews and usability tests across time zones and languages (how do you test in Thailand when you only have an English prototype?). Also my first time leading a team of designers and front-end developers. It was also by far the largest, most diverse, and most spread out team I've ever been part of, so I learned a lot of project management skills. 

Budapest is a lovely city and ExxonMobil has a fascinating corporate safety culture, both of which I have many stories about. 

Hospital Patient Experience Concept

This was my very first project at Deloitte! It was a short concept project I worked on in 2014 with a visual designer and an illustrator to help a hospital group imagine how they could digitally transform their patient care experience. We conducted research with both hospital staff and patients to help us rethink a few specific experiences: finding a primary care doctor, estimating costs for specific types of care like prenatal, preparing for surgery, going through surgery as a patient or a family member, post-surgery recovery, and urgent care appointments. Based on what we learned, we created designs and customer journeys that showed a family using the hospital's website and mobile app to manage their care and go through each of these experiences. 

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Managing rheumatoid arthritis concept

Interestingly enough, we created this concept for a large pharmaceutical company. They wanted to create a better support system for people with rheumatoid arthritis taking one of their drugs. This support system included an app and a care assistant (a real person) assigned to each customer. Rheumatologists told us that patients regularly log their symptoms do better in the long run because they are more in tune with their bodies. People with RA echoed this, and expressed a desire to look back at their own history to understand the interactions between medications and symptoms. We ran with this and set out to create a tracking experience that was fun and easy enough for people to do consistently, as well as way for them to connect with their care assistant. 

Why This Project Was Interesting

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a topic near to my heart because my mom suffers from it. In the few weeks we had to pull this concept together, she and her rheumatologists were some of the people we talked to. I showed her the concepts at the end and she asked when the app was coming out! 

I'm in the process of updating my portfolio. In the meantime, here's a little bit about me:  


Side Projects

Currently redesigning this website: 

Launched this redesign in March 2018:


Work Projects launched

Massage Envy iOS App 

Kaiser Permanente WA Clinician Profile


View my resume