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ACC's Primary Care Clinic

Designing Austin Community College's first-ever on site primary care clinic in the Eastview campus.

The beginning:

Client background:

Austin Community College (ACC) is a pillar of Central Texas, providing affordable access to higher education and workforce training to the community. The Riverbat Health Clinic will be opening on ACC’s Eastview campus, serving both ACC community health and clinical training needs. For patients, this clinic offers the potential for interprofessional and integrated primary care that truly puts them at the center, with potential for co-location of mental health, dentistry, and telehealth. For students across 14 health science disciplines, it would provide opportunities to develop and practice clinical skills on-site and collaborate and learn alongside faculty.

Design challenge:

How might we design a primary care clinic that serves both the ACC community's health care needs and the future clinical education needs of some or all of ACC's 14 health sciences?

Project Details


Semester-long class project with a client to create and design a health-related solutions. Topic: A community college primary care clinic.


Experience Designer & Researcher

  • Recruitment

  • Research

  • Prototyping

  • Testing

  • Meeting facilitation

  • Spatial & Service Design


  • Alisa Elliot

  • Ngan Hoang

  • Nina Lemieux

  • Rie Takeuchi


  • Miro

  • Adobe Illustrator

  • Canva

  • Google Workspace

  • UT Box

  • Zoom


Main learnings:
Our design research process:
Our design research process:

I fell in love with the iterating mindset. There were always new changes happening so I learned to adapt and keep a flexible mindset.

Discovering my new found love for research & testing. Participant found me inspiring seeing a POC talk to them and felt my interactions with them were inclusive and enjoyable.

Finding the balance between visual & content to help with communication between clients and teammates when expressing/presenting my ideas.

The importance of alignment in a team. Since large-scale project had a tight schedule, having standups, documentation, and checking in with teammates made our team and work ethic stronger.

Main Takeaway
Design Reserch

1. Planning

First our team took the time to understand our beginning challenges and understand who and what ACC is in order to prepare and overcome these challenges as soon as possible:

  1. Working with an existing space

  2. The project duration for a monstrous project

  3. Figuring out our final deliverable in a team that wants to conquer it all​​


We first decided on a strong client engagement strategy to ensure a great relationship focusing on:

  1. Introductions

    • Sharing our backgrounds​

    • Understand the best form of communication

  2. Weekly client meetings

    • Recapping the previous meeting​

    • Discussion items

    • Action items & best steps

    • Next weeks agenda

    • Rough meeting notes

  3. Emails with clients​

    • Designating a point of contact​

    • Rule of staying professional and consistent


2. Research

​In total my team interacted 51+ individuals. We decided on these stakeholders because these groups would be the main players and contributors to this clinic.

  • 21 ACC Students

  • 19+ Faculty & Staff

  • 8 Dell Med Students

  • 3 Subject Matter Experts

Primary Research:

  • In-person tour of the existing space and surround Eastview Campus area in order to understand what we are working with.

  • Contextual interviews (I led student interviews) to understand ACC student's point of view on health clinics in general.

  • Co-creation design activities including intercepts and card sorts at 2 ACC Campuses (I led activies at Eastview campus) to acquire qualitative data on the look and feel of current clinics.

  • Documentation - style diary studies on current med school students and students to understand the day to day journey of a provider/student going to a clinic.

  • Online surveys to understand what kinds of services students are interested in having for their clinic.

Secondary Research

  • Analogous desk research of existing clinical models to see what is currently out there and how we can leverage their ideas in ours.

  • Client-provided assets and locations to understand what our client values are and what their currently working on to find resources. We looked through documents/new builds such as:

    • Academic master plans​

    • District-wide master plans

    • Make it center

    • Welcome center

  • Existing design principles & guidelines from other designers to understand and learn best practices we can use when designing the clinic.

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I designed the flyer and led the recruitment of research participants.

3. Synthesis

When synthesizing our data, the tools we used were:

  • Miro


  • Zoom

  • Google sheets

Since I was focused only on students, I did Mixed Methods research acquiring qualitative data through contextual interviews and intercepts.


For qualitative, I conducted a 2 step contextual interview process:

  • ​Round 1 was to understand what students were looking for in a clinic

    • We found that students wanted a modern, inclusive, and accessible clinic

  • Round 2 was to take those 3 words and create a moodboard of what students thought of when they heard the words, modern, inclusive, and accesible. We asked them to let us know what that looks like, feels like, or sounds like inorder to take all the insights into the primary clinic design.

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For quantitative, I facilitated a intercept method where I had students:

  1. Look at a board filled with 8 different pictures of clinic spaces - both in the waiting room and clinic space.​

  2. Decide their top 3 and bottom 3 and explain why they chose it using descriptors about color, space, size, and feel.

  3. Think of other suggestions they would love to add to the clinic.

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4. Insights

With all our findings we narrowed down our focus to prepare us for the next part in the design process. the main insights we found is that:

  1. People want a modern, inclusive, and accessible space that accommodates and is flexible to the unique needs of ACC's diverse community and the populations they intend to serve.

  2. Navigating the clinic space and care delivery process needs to be intuitive and transparent. 

  3. The patient experience extends beyond the walls of the clinic and starts before they get to the parking lot.

So we designed...

Service Design

Design Guidelines

Our team decided on design guidelines as a deliverable since we felt it was the right hand-off to a project in the discovery phase. The design guidelines are organized in the flow of the patient journey: navigating to the clinic, pre-visit, appointment, and care beyond the clinic. Each section take a human-centered approach and follow under three principles: accesible, inclusive, and future-facing.

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