Product Designer (UX/UI)


- Product Manager
- Eng. Manager
- 3 Front-end dev.
- 2 Back end dev.

Project Overview - In case you are in a rush ⚡️

In February 2022, I joined Lantum as a squad product designer. Lantum is a UK-based startup working on a fantastic healthcare platform that aims to make it easier for the NHS to mobilize its workforce and for clinicians to work more flexibly.

Our seven people squad objective was to focus on helping secondary care rota managers to create, manage and fill thousands of shifts within a rolling rota in a matter of minutes (instead of weeks/months)

What did I do?
-  Worked side-by-side with the Product Manager, Engineers, and other stakeholders to take ideas from conception to production
- Sometimes worked on early-stage concepts, and sometimes on narrowly defined deliverables
- Partnered closely with  Product Manager on research projects to measure impact, test ideas, and validate assumptions
- Created a research plan, conduct interviews and tests
- Created final UI design and documentation for development
- Participated in design reviews and share work regularly, across the design team and beyond
-  Helped  improve the design practice, making improvements in the design system, copy, accessibility,
     and brand application

About the project

Scope and team

I joined the team in February 2022 and worked closely with Engineering Manager Luis and Product Manager Sumika. Daily, I also interacted with the front-end developers to ideate some solutions and prototypes, collect feedback, and bring support by documenting the designs. 

Defining the problem

I found the beginning of the process exciting because of the complex problem we faced. We needed to understand how we introduce a new rolling rota feature in our product. It would provide rota managers with a tool that is not only better than the one they currently use but would cover all their needs so we can retain them to use our products. Now you may ask: "what is a rolling rota? what is a secondary care rota manager?" great question! I had no clue either when starting, not to mention the complexity of the NHS :D 

Initial research

First, we needed to understand how the Rota manager currently managed their rolling rota, so we had to dive deep into the details. Since we already had a rota feature in place that some RM would use, we decided to couple generative interviews about some legacy testing of the product to find out how they were proceeding and their current pain points.

We also conducted a competitor analysis to find out more about the best practices in place. Still, thanks to the interviews, we realized that despite solutions on the market, our biggest competitor was no one else than Microsoft Excel.


The main finding was that all Rota managers interviewed, without exception, were using super complex Excel sheets to create and manage their Rolling Rota, and for all of them, it would take them weeks, if not months, to create and fill those. Our tool was used only to implement these complex rota into the system so the doctors could see their allocated slots on the platform (meager added value). Fortunately, while being extremely difficult, we identified clear patterns. We were able to map the critical steps regarding the creation and management of rolling rota, giving us a good understanding of their expectation from the platform for them to use in the first place:

1) Providing them with the ability to create a compliant rolling rota

2) Allowing them to apply these rotas for an extended period (up to 12 weeks = junior doctor rotation in secondary care)

3) Helping them to allocate all these shifts at once Of course, we needed to remember that no other product on the market fit their need better than Excel. Therefore we needed to ensure we would provide them with features that would match and exceed the current excel sheets. Otherwise, we would not have them transition to our platform.

‍‍Note to the reader: limited amount of screens due to confidentiality

1) Integrating the new feature: The template manager

We identify three critical actions that the rota manager would take within the process: (1) creating rolling rota, (2) applying these rolling rotas (3) applying and allocating shifts into the rota (calendar)

On our side, the first step was to think about how we could integrate these features within the current product information architecture. Hence, the navigation is intuitive, and users can quickly locate and interact with it.

We first had the idea to integrate it within the Tools drop-down. Still, after testing the prototype and seeing the user struggle to locate it, we decided to break down the activities: on the one hand, the RM need an area to create a template; on the other hand, they need to apply and allocate these shifts to the calendar. Therefore, as we already had a rota tab, we decided to add a template tab to separate the two. And, as the template tab would be a dedicated area to work and simulate allocation, we introduce the template manager.

2) Create template

Once we got the template manager feature in place, the next logical step was to provide the user with the ability to create a compliant rolling rota template. Rolling rota is a beast as they need to include particular types of shifts while being compliant with the NHS HR rules and ... roll, so each week is interdependent to the previous one. Nevertheless, when a rolling rota is defined and approved for 12 weeks, it can be rolled over 6 to 12 months.

Creating a compliant rolling rota could take up to 4 weeks for rota managers as they would need to create a different version, get feedback from HR and iterate until finding the perfect combination. It is why we decided to implement our template creator, keeping in mind these important factors:

Being able to quickly design and modify it while keeping track of the template compliance

For this I created 4 key areas (from left to right -  picture below):

(1) A template details panel for RM to enter the important details about the template they are creating and that also dynamically generate the shift type selector and the number of weeks. Moreover, it can be collapsed to offer more real estate.

(2) The main tab bar to indicate clearly to the user that they can save their progress from the first shift added and publish it when ready

(3) Shift selector that allows RM to quickly select and add shift to the template.

(4) The template creator area speeds up the process (add, and remove shifts in seconds via the paint interaction) and helps RM to keep track of compliance.

As prototyping with Figma brought its limitation to testing how interactive our product would be, we decided, with my colleague Ash Clarke, to create a quick prototype on React. We then combined it with the main one so the user could test the primary interaction on the template creator. You can play with it here or see the demo video below.

Prototype made in React with Ash Clarke

3) Apply and allocate thousands of shifts

Once the template has been created, RM needs not only to apply it to a specific period but also to allocate these shifts, which is the equivalent of playing a Tetris level 100. Currently, RM would have to create each change in the Lantum calendar and allocate all of them manually! Hours of work! A rolling rota will have the junior doctors rolling down the weeks following specific shift patterns designed in our template.

We decided to create a new feature under the tool that would allow them to apply a template in the calendar and, simultaneously, define the allocation of all the staff. The results: thousands of shifts created and allocated in a matter of seconds!

Preparing for the next steps

As we shipped this MVP, we organized a workshop with some of the RM that we initially interviewed and test with to gather what would be the "smart features" of our rolling rota planner, such as:
- Being able to simulate different allocations directly in the template manager (the rota manager playground)
- Introducing the possibility of sharing with HR the original template and with juniors doctors the preliminary allocation
- Enable the RM to identify quickly if the minimum staff requirement was met or not on a given day based on the allocation
- Allowing replacement of staff without affecting the rest of the rolling allocation.


These seven months of collaboration were super exciting as I had the chance to join a great squad that was also super complimentary. Also, having an agency background, it was great to take part in the entire process and see the feature coming to life. Also, working on such a complex problem was a great challenge that helped me grow as a designer.

My main takeaways are the following:

Take time to understand the problem. It might sound cliché, but you cannot solve a problem if you don’t know what it is. Discussing with the Rota Manager and taking the time to go in-depth through their process helped us understand what they were looking for and what they needed the most.

Test, test and test again. Building quick prototypes helped us uncover many problems that did not emerge while conducting interviews. Always test with the target audience because they will use the product you’re building and test early.

Detach these instances. Jumping into an existing product comes with some perks, the IA is defined, there is a library, and existing components are ready to be used design and front-end wise. Nevertheless, be brave and break things up! If the current navigation does not fit your new features, be bold and propose to rearrange it. Better do it now than when it is too late!