Guideline Central Wins Sourcebits App Redesign

guideline central mobile makeover

We get a lot of requests for app design concepts. Whether you need to visualize your idea (great for funding efforts and initial user feedback) or radically refine an existing app design to improve ROI – Sourcebits can help. A few months ago we brainstormed our Apps World North America sponsorship, and came up with The Sourcebits Mobile Makeover as a special offer. The plan: one lucky winner would receive a free app redesign of 3-4 screens. The Apps World connection? The redesigned app would be revealed live on stage during our Tuesday, May 12th speaking session – “The Power of Great App Design.”

We received an incredible response – hundreds of apps around the world entered our app redesign contest. (By the way, keep reading to learn how the contest transformed into an exciting new design service from Sourcebits.) It certainly wasn’t easy choosing just one app – but we had to do it. The winner? Guideline Central.


Founded in 1999, Guideline Central partners with more than 25 of the country’s leading medical associations to create quick-reference pocket cards from full-text guidelines. Guideline Central launched its first iOS app in March 2013, providing clinicians with 2600+ guidelines summaries, plus millions of other clinical resources. The company’s products are used by more than 1.5 million healthcare professionals at the point of care.


The VP of Marketing at Guideline Central (read his reaction to the redesign further down in this post) came to Sourcebits for a mobile app redesign to explore potential user interface improvements. The company had launched a complete app overhaul in January 2015 but weren’t satisfied with user engagement and retention. The goal of the Sourcebits Mobile Makeover: make it easier for clinicians to navigate and use a large repository of medical care content on demand.


  • Established hierarchy and consistency to the screens – making content access the app’s focus.
  • Consolidated functionality into a more cohesive flow.
  • Made all content viewable at a glance with meaning and purpose.
  • Made note-taking a focal point of the app’s redesign – directly integrating the functionality into all content for a better user experience.


David Forgash, Sourcebits senior creative director, led the redesign team working on Guideline Central’s app. He had this to say:

“Working on Guideline Central was an experience that, on the surface, seemed easy and simple to do. However, the deep dive revealed that due to the app’s millions of pieces of content, simplistic was the hardest experience to achieve. We looked at the problem from many angles before deciding on our approach to consolidating the user experience. By doing this, we were able to put the content at the forefront and allow it to shine for both Guideline Central and the app’s users.”

Home Screen:

app home screen: before and after
  • Redesigned for a more visually appealing presentation.
  • Restructured for content cohesion.
  • Settings moved from navigation to tab bar.
  • Cleaner content – 1 library in tab (previosly 2).
  • Better use of category colors to enhance content readability.
  • Improved whitespace.
  • Text resizing options improve readability.
  • Reduced clutter with simplified content structure.

Store Screen:

Redesign App Store Screen
Tile View

  • Standardized content format connects home and store.
  • Segment control to allow the user to select between various content.

Card View

  • New design feature: Swap between large card and grid views.
  • Improved flexibility in viewing content based on use case.

Article Content Screen:

redesigned mobile app article content screen
  • Improved reader skimming: Highlights shown in content and represented in the scrollbar.
  • New design feature: Expand and collapse content sections for easier overview of the article.
  • Consolidated tools into a user-friendly action bar.
  • Content presented more clearly and cleanly.
  • Color coding of notes.


Design thinking is in our DNA – we love what we do. It’s especially rewarding to receive positive feedback from a new client. Chris Wise, VP Marketing at Guideline Central, shared this reaction to the Sourcebits Mobile Makeover of their iOS app.

“We were thrilled to learn that Guideline Central was chosen by Sourcebits to redesign our user interface and make improvements on how clinicians access critical guidelines recommendations at the point of care. When you have an app that serves up millions of pieces of content, spanning dozens of medical specialties and use cases, ease of use and quick access to the most relevant information is critical.

The simplicity of the new designs really resonated with the entire team. Large pages of content were easier to navigate in simple, collapsible blocks. This allows users to easily see all of the main sections (key points, diagnosis, treatment, drug tables, sources, etc.) and quickly jump to the desired sections with no unnecessary taps. The new color-codes also made the various sections stand out more, and added some much needed life to screens. Again, this makes long pages of text easier to navigate and absorb. We especially appreciated the redesigned “dark” theme – the blues make for a much better reading experience – especially in bright fluorescent lights found in hospital settings.

Another big improvement was made in the content view. By removing the toolbar in the header and replacing this with an expandable menu in the lower right corner, additional screen space was freed up to make larger tables and figures easier to view. Some of our drug tables have many, many rows, so this additional screen space has a big impact in how content can be viewed. Included in the expandable toolbar is the option to sort and categorize notes – we agreed that this new approach is a great way to put a new spin on an otherwise commonplace feature.

The home page redesign also came with nice new enhancements. This includes a more visual representation of the main content that helps break up the monotony of text heavy screens. Also, with a side-swipe option we can fit more call-outs on the page. This is something we have been thinking about doing for some time, and this layout works great.

We were excited when the Sourcebits team went beyond the app redesign and showed us early prototypes of how our clinical calculators and algorithms could be incorporated into an app for the Apple Watch. It’s no secret that the majority of healthcare professionals are using Apple products, so we’re thankful that Sourcebits was able to give us a head start on the competition.

All in all we couldn’t be happier with the new designs – Sourcebits fully understood the challenges, and was able to address those with the new UI/UX. It doesn’t just look pretty (which anyone can do), it provides practical solutions to some of our UI problems. Our entire company revolves around taking long, complicated issues and condensing them down into something manageable….and that’s exactly what Sourcebits was able to do with this app design.”


Because of the big response to The Sourcebits Mobile Makeover contest, we are now offering mobile makeovers as a design service – delivering a new look for your app in just a couple weeks. You’ll get a custom visual design by our mobile experts.


    • Sourcebits evaluates your existing design / app concept
    • 2 experienced designers dive in to the redesign
    • You get an interactive visual design in just 2 weeks
    • Sourcebits provides a development plan estimate


Piotr Gajos, Chief Innovation Officer

Piotr is Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer. A 2006 Apple Design Award winner, Piotr draws much of his inspiration from film and music, and focuses on leading our Innovation Strategy Workshops, generating new ideas for Sourcebits, and consulting on projects.