Medical tech UX design is the design and development of all aspects of the end-users interaction with a medical devices, medicines, systems etc. that help solve health problems and improve quality of life.
Healthcare and medtech are increasingly looking for UX UI design professionals. Why? Healthcare is becoming more of a consumer product. Devices and services need to be more aesthetically pleasing than ever before. They’re also an increased demand for personalisation and bespoke for individual users’ needs. They need to be functional and slot in seamlessly to care environments so that they ultimately improve the overall quality of care.
What is driving the increased focus on UX UI Design Services?
- Consumerisation of healthcare: Patient expectations will be higher because of general market trends in consumer goods. They expect devices to not only be functional and user friendly but also interact with them like they would their household appliance or smartphones.
- COVID-19 has put increased pressure on the global health care system. Weak points were exposed and UX design was increasingly sought as a solution to improve functionality. a lot of mobile and web applications were launched in the last few years to track the symptoms and spread of COVID-19 and to ensure that the health of individuals is prioritized.
- Mistakes are costly – A bad UX in healthcare isn’t just frustrating it can be very costly. It leads to a decline in patient outcomes. If a device interface is slow or not designed with the user in mind then it slows down their work, leading to ineffcieicnies, and can be a major challenge for patient care. Demand for increased efficiencies has led us to a focus on Ux design processes as a solution.
The design of products and services in the digital environment, however, can be challenging. The challenges get more pronounced when dealing with sensitive issues, such as healthcare. The modern digital healthcare industry cannot be successful without design professionals as they bring a user-centered approach to the process. Let’s take a look at what is involved in UX Design services and UX MedTech.
The role of empathy in user experience design
Empathy is a vital part of the UX design strategy. In healthcare it’s also a key pillar. It means placing the user at the heart of all design decisions.
Empathy design is really important when the end product, app or website could have a great impact on the life and death of the patients. It is a space with high sensitivity, and considerations need to be made when it comes to privacy, ethics, and laws around conducting research.
In healthcare technology if you make any mistakes in UX the consequences are a lot more damaging than other industries. For example, if something as simple as a failure to process a password reset or new password means the patient doesn’t have access to information that really could be life or death.
There are three users that need to be considered
- The healthcare provider
- Healthcare enterprises
Good UX design will consider each of the above and how they are likely to engage with the device, app or website.
This is the most important user. The role of empathetic design is vital here (as outlined above)
The patient may be in severe pain or in immediate need of attention. how the user is interacting with the design is vital here. Design that is slow, not intuitive or frustrating will make the situation worse. It’s also possible that healthy people will use the application or design, so the UX design needs to be widely applicable. User testing is important to determine what the user needs are.
The design should also consider the healthcare providers. Depoending on theproduct or service their interaction might be regular. Tasks could include record updates, communication with patients, research. This information needs to be accessed quickly and easily. User interface design principle of familiarity should be applied.
Another important user consideration will be the organisations that provide the healthcare. For example, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, government bodies, and insurance companies.
Considering their needs (i.e profit) is a challenge versus the other two users. Updates, tutorials, technical assistance will likely be important features they will need access to.
Research and UX Design Processes
A human-centered approach incorporates the five whys of The Design of Everyday Things. They can help you discover the root cause of any given problem.
In order to meet the needs of each user the research phase is vital. During this phase, as a ux ui designer you will need to go in with a clean slate mindset. Ask questions that help you understand the personality of each user group and what challenges they face (especially ones they tend to ignore or overlook because of convenience). Empathy is key to understanding their needs and meeting them with effective UX UI design.
Interview physicians and observe patients using the devices. Learn how each user operates the product or system. This will guide you to better UX UI design decisions. This gives you a better view of their challenges or constraints.
User research is a crucial part of the design process. It helps inform physical and emotional context to help with the end design.
If you’re interested in learning more Google’s UX Playbook for Healthcare has a collection of design tips for designers.
Key pain points in UX UI design
There are always challenges when it comes to user interfaces. In healthcare there are some challenges that are very specific to the industry. Below are what we believe to be the most important considerations
Ease of use
The device may be used in life or death scenarios. There’s a lot of pressure on the design in this sense. Being able to access records quickly, being user friendly to patients etc. are all important considerations. Ultimately, the app or website needs to be helpful and functional.
Data security and privacy
Patient information is very sensitive. Privacy and data security is paramount on UX UY design in healthcare. Control needs to be in the hands of the users and all measures taken to be transparent.
Accessibility is always a key consideration in UX UI design. It’s even more of a concern when it comes to healthcare products and services. Those who have any disabilities or special assistance is required will need to be taken into consideration at the empathy mapping stage. Having a built-in screen reader can help users with hearing disabilities would be very helpful, for example.
UX UI Design always needs to be flexible, adaptable, and scalable. If a healthcare product is to be used in another culture or country then it needs to be able to adapt. Research into cultural factors, or cultural intelligence, is important here. /UX designers should factor this in and create designs that are easy to update or adapt.
While it’s true that healthcare and medtech have more restrictions when it comes to what you can achieve it doesn’t mean that engaging and exciting design is impossible. There is a lot of room for innovation and this makes the role fulfilling. Knowing that you’re creating design that makes a difference and matters. This is incredibly rewarding.