Hospital SMS - Need Confirmation for Doctor’s Appointment
I strongly believe UX is everywhere and that it doesn’t always involves a website, an application, or a product. In fact it often involves services and that’s why I decided to share my lates experience about bad UX in SMS.
Recently, I had to schedule a visit with a doctor at certain hospital. I called them, I chose a day, they said they would send a reminder sms the day before. So far so good.
The day before comes and they actually sent a reminder sms.
“We are waiting for you to confirm your presence?” What??? Why? Too bad!
Some of you might think this is not a big deal, that by instinct user would answer to this message “I confirm”, but it was a big deal for me and I tell you why:
At the time I received the sms I didn’t have any phone credit (yeah… this is even more embarrassing) and I had no internet connection available, so I could not answer to the sms, nor call them.
The thing is that I’ve been waiting to meet this doctor for a long time and I was afraid of what could have happened if I didn’t answer. I decided not to worry and to wait a little bit before trying to find a way to reach them out. I thought eventually they would call if they don’t receive an answer.
“How long should I wait? and what if I wait to long and in the meanwhile they give for granted that I’m not going and they cancel my appointment?”
Despite the fact that I was in the middle of something, I decided to find a way to get phone credit, because I was worried.
So at the end I called them and I confirmed the appointment. I don’t really know what would have happened if I could not confirm but this was definitely a bad, painful, User Experience to me.
1. SMS communication should be well defined and required deep work. If your communication via SMS fails then it can create confusion and that can lead to frustration.
1. If you want users to confirm anything, make sure they are always able to do it: in my case “just call me!”
2. If you don’t want to make a call why not just putting the sms in this way:
“Tell us please if you are not coming”
“If you are not coming please cancel the appointment”
In this way users are not forced to do something unnecessary that, like in my experience, can also turn into a waste of time and peace of mind.
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