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Smylen

Get better dental care

Web App, E-Commerce, Dental

New York City based Smylen is making waves in the dental industry. Their one-of-a-kind solution for finding, booking, and paying for a dentist online is a game-changer. Nick joined the team in early 2020 and has seen the company take off, adding feature after feature, and expanding the network to over 10,000 dentists across the US.

Index

Overview

Smylen is a complex web application, built with Vue/Nuxt on the frontend and Loopback.io handling the REST API. Patients can use the site to search for dental or vision care in their zipcode, and can book and pay directly through the application. Patients can either pay with credit card, or use their insurance. Doctors select which procedures they would like to offer, set their own prices, and select which insurance networks their office accepts. Smylen's new Airpay product offers dental offices the ability to verify their patients' insurance ahead of their appointment, saving staff hours per day.

The Technology Stack

MySQL, Redis
Loopback.io, AWS
Vue.js (Nuxt), SCSS

Implementing The Redesign

In early 2020, Smylen was in a kind of in-between state. New designs were prototyped, but were only partially integrated into the site. Nick's first project as part of the Smylen team was to handle the transition from the outdated frontend that remained in some pages, to the more modern redesign. Nick finished consolidating the new designs on the homepage, doctor landing page, search, treatments/deals pages, and more.

Smylen's search page was revamped with a fresh design in spring 2020. An appointment grid component was added to the search results, allowing users to check a doctor's availability without clicking into their profile. This posed some challenges, as it meant that all search result would need to include a up to date list of appointments. Moreover, the users had to be able to expand the range of dates available by clicking forwards or backwards in the search header. Finally, if a doctor didn't have any dates available in the upcoming week, users could click on their appointment grid to jump to their next available appointment. In addition to these updates, new designs for the map pins and tooltips were implemented, along with further styling improvements to the search results.

About a year after the major search updates, we went back again, this time to add more functionality in the form of an advanced search. Taking inspiration from around the web, Nick designed and implemented both the frontend and backend for a pop-out search drawer with options to filter search results by price, rating, distance, specialties, and amenities.

Web Scraping

Over the course of 2020, and 2021, more than ten thousand doctors joined the Smylen platform. While this was very exciting, it posed serval challenges. Many of the newly onboarded doctors came in batches from an agreement with a group of dental offices. This meant hundreds of doctors joining up at once, leaving the customer service team spread thin and unable to review each doctor's profile. Ususally Smylen admins would check each doctor's information, add reviews from Yelp, Google, & Zocdoc, and upload images of both their office and their headshot. Using several different scraping approaches we were able to pull information & images for each of these doctors, so they could be integrated into the site without needing to go through a lengthy review process.

Nicholas Harrison

nicholas.robin.harrison[at]gmail.com© 2022