In addition to the changes in the HealthVault API, there have also been changes in this release to the HealthVault shell. 

Sign In User Experience

We simplified the sign-in process in our PB3 release. Until now, users have have to view two pages when signing in: a “1-2-3” page explaining the complex process that lay ahead, and then a Live ID sign-in page. We eliminated the “1-2-3” page in PB3, and users now go straight to the Live ID sign-in page. One page instead of two … a good thing.

The “1-2-3” page did have one benefit: It included partner cobranding and the “Keep me signed in” checkbox. We moved those to the left side of the Live ID sign-in page, and have also added a line of explanatory text in the header for users coming from partner applications.

Sign Up User Experience

Our UX team made a major effort in PB3 to simplify the lives of users who sign up for a HealthVault account and decide to create a new Live ID en route. When we released our beta last fall, this process could take up to 11 pages with a dizzying combination of HealthVault, MSN and MSN Account Services branding. In PB3, we shortened this flow by more than half. Users who click on “Create a Live ID” on our sign-in page can now create a Live ID in only two pages instead of as many as seven (and we hear the two pages might be combined into one later this year). All the pages in our core sign-up flow now have HealthVault branding, with no MSN branding. The “You have created an MSN account” page is gone. All good news.

At the end of the sign-up process, we’ve added a confirmation page that comes in three flavors: one for users coming from partner applications, one for users coming from Connection Center, and one for users coming from HealthVault.com. The page lets users know what they just did (you now have a HealthVault record) and what they can do next (continue to the partner app, or add records for others in your family, or…). We expect to improve this page in future releases. If we find that it’s just getting in the way, we can quickly disable it by updating a config setting.

We think we’ve significantly simplified the process of signing in to and up for HealthVault, thereby removing a non-trivial barrier to adoption.

The following images show the flow of the old and new sign-up processes:

Old Flow

New Flow