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I'm working on a find a doctor consumer product where a patient can go online and find a doctor that matches their needs. Each doctor is unique in how a patient can book an appointment with them. There are possibly three different ways to get in touch and book an appointment. It's important to make it clear to the patient that they can book an appointment, the question is how "clear" is it ok to be.

We've been looking to 2 potential options.

Option 1: Show the patient every CTA (possible way to book an appointment) in the search results.

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Option 2: Show 1 consistent CTA for every provider that when clicked opens a modal with all of the ways that the patient can book an appointment. Then using other indicators to highlight a special Online Booking, when available.

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Which of these would make more sense being presented to a user?

  • From your wireframes, it looks like this would be desktop only. But are there any plans for this to be responsive or mobile friendly? – Cynthia Mar 9 '16 at 16:35
  • yes it's responsive. – Jason Frade Mar 9 '16 at 16:41
  • Using one button per doctor is more consistent and elegant, but it might hide information that users want. I've certainly scanned through lists for an option that had online booking instead of making me phone. – octern Mar 9 '16 at 22:34
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In this case, the top would be better because it is glanceable; you can instantly see which companies have what forms of contact.

However, have you considered listing all methods but highlighting one?

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This makes the content glanceable and instantly accessible, while indicating the preferred method of contact, and reducing the amount of strongly noticeable elements. By using only one button, you guide the user, and by using same-colored text you still show cohesion between all contact options. (arguably even more so than using different-colored buttons)

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I clearly prefer second option. The less user has to think, the better is the perceptual ease of use. Then you can make a little trick to offer other options and satisfy primary success scenario:

I guess, Book Online is the encouraged method of dealing with the system (otherwise why is it highlighted?). Then clicking Book Appointment should proceed with the booking online, if such option is available. In the book online form provide two other options as alternatives, but visually deemphasized. Something like this:

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If Book Online option is not available display the same window which you currently use when user clicks Call, but provide a fallback option to send a Contact form, similar to the first case.

If calling in is not available, just open the Contact Form page.

Thus, user will have only one button, always proceeds to default contact option, always can choose an alternative, if it's available. For 80% of the users this will be a one-click solution (primary success scenario).

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