With world in your palms, user experience is becoming a necessity in every domain. Everyone is looking for a memorable and seamless experience that is intuitive, intelligent and definitely a solution provider.
This is why today UX is gaining extreme importance and is playing a major role in simplifying the complexities. It is undoubtedly the foundation to success and all the passionate designers have proven this time and again. Many companies, be it product or service oriented are acknowledging the role of designing in the pavement of success like Fintech, Travel & Tourism, E-commerce, Enterprise Applications. But, there are few industries who still lag behind like Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Insurance etc.
Our first step in Healthcare UX
We started in the field with ‘Context media’, a US based client that aimed at designing an interactive tab app that helped patients gain more knowledge about the chronic diseases. Though, it was not a big project but helped us touch the unanswered vacuum of the industry. Soon, we got our milestone project ‘Surgeon logbook’, a project of ‘Narayana Health’. Dr. Varun Shetty approached us to design an extremely simple app that would aid surgeons in maintaining their log book digitally. We spent hours with the doctors understanding their requirement (conscious and sub-conscious) and them. We were appalled to discover how healthcare industry was so heavily paper dependent in 21st century! With our mobile first approach and research, we were happy to unearth that the world of surgeon’s was looking forward to an App like this.
3 Years in Healthcare industry and after spending 4000 plus hours with doctors, nurses, surgeons and patients, we have been entrusted with immense knowledge and thrust to design many more healthcare products. Below are important tips before you begin designing for Healthcare industry:
Start with Design Thinking aka Solution Based Thinking Session
This session with the stakeholders is the first and most crucial step. Involve the entire team, right from product owners, dev team and marketing team. Here are some links for a design thinking workshops.
Keep it device friendly
Desktop version of EMR is history; let’s think of mobile or tabs. In one of our research, we found that doctors were more comfortable using EMR on iPad. IoT can be smartly used to supplement patient treatment through remote monitoring and communication, and to keep track of patients as they move through a healthcare facility or connect your EMR with smart wearables.
Create a UX Process
Every project has its own challenges, be it budget, timelines or development constraints. It is very important to understand them, sit back and draw your process that is adaptive to the project. We followed following steps for one of the healthcare projects:
- Empathy: Understand users (doctors and Patients) wants and needs.
- Discover: Research, create user scenarios, interview stakeholders, users and others playing a major role, create personas, competitor analysis.
- Define: Create user journey, process flows. wireframes, clickable prototypes.
- Test: Wireframes can be turned into clickable prototype, test it before you fine tune the pixels, heuristic evaluation.
Know your Users and Know them better than them
A good product is the result of good IA. Card sorting helps you group and organize necessary information by getting users involved. For example: What information doctor needs before prescribing medicine and in which flow can be easily determined by having an internal discussion and also by involving doctors involved.
Our team at Lollypop loves this activity, as Card sorting is simple, cheap, fast and user-focused. Card sorting also helps in bonding with clients and knowing the users better.
Understand HIPAA Compliance - Health Insurance, portability and Accountability.
Make sure you are aware of all the laws before you start designing fancy things. Few healthcare products fall under regulations that can impact the User Experience. Not being aware of these laws could delay the products release and could also lead to other issues. Understand the laws in handling and protecting personal healthcare information. Most of these laws are around who can access what information.
Once your personas are ready, map it to the roles and create user flows. Health insurances and their coverage are different in every country, it’s important to understand insurances role and regulations while building a product. As a designer be responsible and consider privacy of patient’s information.
Follow “Intelligent Devices, Dumb People” rule
Yes, you read it right. We should not overweigh anyone to go out of there genre and become extremely tech savvy. Keep it simple, doctors are interested in treating patients and definitely not learning your software.
When you understand “What users need and not what they want” you are treading on a right path. We can order pizza, call for a taxi, maintain our finances, plan our holidays with few clicks, because, these products have invested time and finances continuously in UX and making the experience emotional intelligent. Now it’s time for healthcare to pace up and build an amazing product for hospitals and patients.
@Anil Reddy, Founder/Creative Director, Lollypop Design Studio