Improving the Patient Experience with
Thoughtful User Interface Design
Improving the Patient Experience with Thoughtful User Interface Design
When it comes to designing the next generation of Computrition browser-based applications, we are taking great care to ensure the experiences that will be in front of patients in the future enable the success of all users regardless of their age, ability, or comfort level with technology. Computrition strives to take the needs of all potential users and patients into consideration during the planning and development processes and to follow the most up-to-date accessibility guidelines as we build the future of our product line.
Considering Patient Personas
When tackling a new application (or new feature for an existing application), the first question that we ask is “what kind of user is going to be using this?” That question informs everything that follows.
As the product is designed, the targeted personas (the types of users expected to engage with the new application or feature) are kept first in mind when designing the user experience. Every possibility of how that persona interacts with technology is considered:
- What kinds of devices is the persona expected to use for this application?
- Could the persona be someone that relies on reading glasses to see text on a screen?
- Is the persona potentially a non-native English speaker?
- Could the persona be in a medicated state?
- What kinds of applications or software would the persona interact with on a regular basis (for example, Amazon or DoorDash)?
User Experience First
When we have a good idea of who will be using the new product, the next step is to ensure the design accommodates the personas that will have the most trouble with the new application or feature in each of the above questions. For example, if a persona is expected to potentially use a smartphone device to access the product, then it’s critical that the web pages are designed using Mobile First principles and then scaled up from the scenario that could present the most difficulty to the user experience (due to screen size limitations).
Other design choices that follow from the persona analysis include:
- Ensure that font sizes are larger at the default level and that they easily scale up based on device settings in a way that the page will not break at higher font scale percentages.
- Use simplified, direct, and non-idiomatic language on every page to ensure instructions and user actions are obvious to any user that is not a native English speaker or in a medicated state where complicated language can be a barrier to understanding how to interact with a web page.
- Keep product design in line with user’s existing experiences with industry standards of how a type of application should behave. That way a user doesn’t have to completely relearn a new mental model just to interact with the application/feature.
How User Experience Creates the Patient Experience
Ultimately, good and thoughtful user experience design will improve the patient experience at your facility each time those in your care interact with our products.
Products that are easy to learn and explore means that patients will not require additional staff assistance to succeed at their goals when using the product. Whether it’s something as simple as entering their birthdate without any frustration or something more complex like placing an order for tomorrow’s breakfast, the most important thing for the patient is knowing that they are going to get a nutritious and fulfilling meal without having to fight with technology to get it.
Matthew Walsh is the User Experience Manager at Computrition. He has 13+ years of experience communicating software concepts to a wide range of audiences, whether it be as an editor, writer, or as a UX designer. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in Technical Communication with a focus in software user experience. During his time at Computrition, his main goals have been to move all product documentation to a browser-based format for easier access and to improve the user experience/visual design of the next generation of CI applications.