How it Works


Build a descriptive walkthrough of the daily lives of patients, caregivers, and providers experiencing a particular product or service. Consider the community your organization aims to serve—what do you know about their daily lives? Their beliefs, values, motivations, habits, thoughts, and emotions—all of these play a critical role in an individual’s experience of health and wellbeing.

Map out a patient (or provider’s) day from start to finish, including daily activities, challenges, successes and associated thoughts, actions, and emotions. Envisioning the everyday lives of individuals on all sides of the healthcare transaction offers a personal look at their experiences—illuminating issues as well as opportunities to play a meaningful role in impacting their health and well-being, and improving the delivery of care.

This exercise is valuable as it considers the broader context in which patients and providers exist. As healthcare leaders, so often we focus on the experience itself that we aim to improve—however, this is only one dimension to consider. Keep in mind that users are people—with lives lived outside of the hospital.

We recommend conducting the appropriate user research prior to engaging in this exercise. Be cognizant of your organization’s policies and procedures when conducting research.


How to Get Started


  1. Brainstorm which users may (or may not) engage in the product, service, or experience you are exploring.
  2. Identify primary, secondary, and tertiary users and focus on one particular group.
  3. Determine key qualities, characteristics, and contexts that are important to consider when interacting with your product, service, or experience.
  4. Create low-level personas, selecting a particular user to "bring to life." List out who they are and what they care about. Think about how you would describe a close friend or family member—their values, beliefs, motivations, and personality. Give them a name, a face, and a story.
  5. Incorporate the vantage point of your user, walking through their daily activities from morning to night. Map out their routine and habits, what they think about, and how they feel over the course of a day.
  6. Once complete, review, identify, and label issues and opportunities to intersect their everyday experience. 

What are the critical moments that cause stress, pain, joy, and hope? When are important decisions made that impact health and well-being? Use these insights to shed light on the experience of patients and providers outside of the hospital.