Semalytix is a extremely powerful semantic analysis tool made simple for pharmaceutical companies. Traditionally, pharmaceutical companies will send out research teams, that on average take several months to gather insights critical to the drug development process. These projects culminate in a static, read-only report, that is tedious to analyze.
The Semalytix platform shortens the data-gathering window to weeks, resulting in a dynamic, continuously updated dashboard that allows analysts to dig deeper, and gain insights impossible to discover using the traditional research methods.
Pharos, Semalytix's flagship product, uses its algorithms to scour unstructured public data, such as blogs, academic articles, social media feeds, and online discussion groups, to help pharma companies gain insights into the real-life experience of the patients who use their drugs. It's AI technology that discovers unknown patient needs, in order to generate the deepest understanding of how humans cope with disease.
"If asked, a patient will often tell a different story about how a disease impacts their life and what they need to improve it, compared to what a doctor would say. This is why we don’t analyse physician or hospital data. Instead, we are looking at existing public data that patients share online, in their own authentic voice, all around the world."
— Janik Jaskolski, CEO Semalytix
Over six months, I designed a complete product experience, including core features where users can synthesize and surface key insights from unstructured data, as well as collaboration tools, and a visual design identity. This product is truly about helping pharma companies transition to a more patient-centric focus. We identified a few key themes to address throughout the design process:
Giving users freedom to sift through data in multiple ways
The Pharos prototype guided users on predetermined paths, but this didn’t align well with how users want to sift through the data. Working with massive sets of semantic data, the product needed to give users the freedom to look at the data from different angles, while ensuring that it is still easy and intuitive to use.
Fostering team collaboration
Insight gathering and synthesis is deeply collaborative work, so it was crucial that Pharos had a full suite of collaboration features built in. Commenting, sharing, and tagging features enable teams to work together on a data set, allowing them to pull out the most relevant insights.
Visualizing the macro and micro
The analysts who make up Semalytix's most frequent user cohort are looking for insights and trends that they can be aggregated, however they also want proof points that can be as specific as a single sentence from a message board user. The product needed to seamlessly support both use cases.
The Semalytix team had a functional prototype built and were actively learning from customers. The basic functionality for important features was lacking; existing dashboards were underperforming and required a new toolbox of components and functions.
Before diving into design, we identified two key user personas that needed to be addressed throughout:
Medical Science Liaison (MSL)
Not only were we redesigning the current prototype and upcoming features to meet the needs of the product and engineering teams, but also upcoming product features. Because of this, everything had to be designed with the future in mind, and ensure that present-day user experiences would not be hindered by a lack of functionality.
Written report view, hovering on a Sankey column
As mentioned already, the ability to work together as a team and share locked reports with management was crucial. An activity feed kept everyone updated on the latest changes and comments/feedback on relevant charts and data points.
Collaboration is a huge part of what makes Semalytix unique and powerful, allowing analysts and leadership to navigate the same workspace.
One feature that was particularly difficult to simplify was what we referred to as "snapshots". Frequently, users needed to take a huge amount of data, to create either private or public custom views for filtering and highlights that they had found particularly useful or interesting.
The snapshot UI. Contributors are able to add labels, filter data, and even highlight relevant portions.
Another interesting problem we had was how to connect what was on the visible dashboard to the raw data insights (also known as "verbatims") that helped drive the datapoints in the charts. We built a simple way to quickly parse thousands of sentences, phrases, and datapoints and even highlight those pieces of information for easy collaboration.
Often these word trees would have multiple columns of information, so we built a "minimap" that allowed users to quickly pan around the tree as they saw fit.
An interactive word tree allows users to quickly navigate relevant popular phrases and strings to discover new ways of interacting with patients' experiences.
The Pharos brand was a similarly interesting challenge: it had to instill trust, reliability, and professionalism with a bleeding-edge technological lean. After some disparate iterations, we landed on a style that would be familiar for analysts familiar with reading large volumes of data and text, but would still feel powerful.
The typography stack: elegant and modern. Tiempos and Atlas Grotesk make a nice pair.
Various charting elements, custom iconography, and select styleguide pieces.
Admin panel, enabling advanced user and group management.
We created over one hundred unique screens, including advanced data visualizations and workflows. With such a passionate team intent on improving the patient experience, it was an extremely rewarding project to lead. Semalytix has gone on to raise Series A funding and define themselves as a world-class leader in the industry.