James Buyayo, Designer


Making people, and their emotions, the center of the healthcare experience


Invitae's mission is to make healthcare more personalized through the integration of a person's genetic information into the process of diagnosing and treating disease. The design team at Hattery worked with leadership from Invitae on everything from product ideation and user research to delivering coded pages and design guidelines.

In gathering information to start the project we had conversations with employees at Invitae, doctors and genetic counselors, and patients who've had genetic tests performed. We needed to understand the experience from all sides, and not just from one point in time, but through the stories they told.

Our user research unearthed a complex emotional journey–a process that had deep and profound ramifications for patients and their families, a new technology doctors were trying to make sense of, and reams of information counselors needed to sift through. The process was simultaneously information overload and a void of unknowns. 

Our challenge was to create a platform to guide the doctor and patient through what can be a complex and high-anxiety process.


We identified key moments of anxiety, and focused our efforts on those areas—questions arose like 'how can we make the test assay more comprehendible?' to 'what is the right amount of information and at what point is it most relevant?'. Answering these types of questions led us to define an experience that guided users through the process. By providing tools and information that create understanding, the experience assuages anxieties and empowers action.


Concurrent with defining the user experience for the online platform, we also designed the core aspects of the company's visual identity as well as other touch points like the patient reports and DNA kit packaging. The end goal was to create a cohesive experience that extended beyond the screen and into the real world, still held together by the same defining goal of easing the user's anxieties around the product.


Invitae made their IPO in 2015, their first product is an assay of 216 genes including multiple genes associated with hereditary cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disorders and other hereditary conditions.