GTM No Script

What If Health: from idea to MVP in 17 short sprints


The Design Institute for Health is an innovative collaboration between The University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts. Design Institute’s goal is to provoke systemic change in health through human-centered design. One of their initiatives is What If Health, a web-based tool that presents alternative future scenarios for health and wellbeing.

What If Health will be used to engage a diverse group of participants, all weighing in on the future of health and wellbeing in the USA. Therefore, it must be easy to use, impactful and very clear. It needs to combine the detailed information of a scientific paper with intuitive and engaging design.

With support from various philanthropic organizations, The Design Institute for Health teamed up with Star to bring this project to light. 

  • Stunning site design that translates complex topics into understandable scenarios
  • Innovatively presents possible futures for health and wellbeing
  • Promotes dialog and out-of-the-box thinking within the healthcare ecosystem
  • Invites awareness and contribution from a wide audience


Essentially, the idea behind What If Health was a very large-scale futures-driven inquiry. There had to be a better way of examining alternative envisioned scenarios for health and wellbeing other than through just another multi-hundred page PDF. 

However, this site came with a special challenge: there were few specific upfront requirements and the data had not yet been formulated. Instead, the outcome was focused on presenting alternative future scenarios. The Star team had to use assumptions and mock data instead of concrete guidelines and tangible metrics.

what if health healthcare design
what if health - digital health design


We’d previously (and successfully) worked with The Design Institute for Health on Ecosystem of Care, a site presenting a birds-eye view of the healthcare system in Travis County, Texas. After overcoming competition from other design firms, we were selected to team up with them for another ground-breaking project. 

We kicked things off with a weeklong discovery workshop in Austin, Texas, where we wrestled with various approaches to project implementation. Both teams opted for Agile Methodology. We developed a roadmap to the desired solution, rolled up our proverbial sleeves and dug into the design and development process.

First, we had to validate our preliminary assumptions. This was vital, as we were working without hard data. Soon, our teams defined the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and the fully-functional solution.

Over the course of 17 two-week sprints, we worked with Design Institute to iteratively develop What If Health. Each iteration helped us further refine the project, and we delivered the MVP in December 2019. This was evaluated by outside partners through usability testing sessions and after additional updates based on testing, our teams finished a working prototype in February 2020. A fully-functional, complete version of What If Health debuted at the 2020 FORESIGHT National Convening in the Fall of 2020.

Project Scope

  • Backend development
  • Frontend development
  • 3D modeling
  • WebGL animation
  • Operations  
  • Digital Design
  • Software Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Software Operations