COVID-19 has forced companies across a variety of sectors, healthcare included, to embrace new technologies that allow work to go on in the new, socially distanced world. However, the global digital health market has been growing steadily even before the pandemic hit. Now, in 2022, there’s an even more substantial increase projected.
By 2025, the medical software market is expected to reach almost $660 billion. Thus, indicating that even as COVID-19 steps into the background, technology and the opportunities it has created will not.
Of course, as is the case with any innovation, there’s a lot that must go into making software truly useful and differentiated. One of these important things is delivering an excellent user experience, and in the healthcare industry, it’s a definite must-have. For that reason, more and more organizations are focusing on UI/UX design to develop solutions that impress both — healthcare professionals and patients.
So, if you think your company might benefit from enhancing its user experience across various channels — you’re on the right page. In today’s article we’re going to share some tips on creating truly intuitive solutions and discuss the technological advancements evolving around medical UI/UX design. Let’s get started.
The Importance of User-Friendly UI/UX in Healthcare
As we have seen, digital devices are being used more frequently within the healthcare sector every year. They help medical professionals do their jobs swiftly and diligently, often delivering better results.
Additionally, the entire industry is undergoing a change in terms of the quality of services it tries to provide. Patients aren’t only seen as patients. In fact, they’ve become more like customers who want their well-being monitored not only when a problem arises. As such, a patient-centric approach has become imperative when developing medical software.
Naturally, as the presence of technology expands, so do the requirements for the user experience it delivers. You see, in an industry as sensitive as healthcare, a UX that doesn’t create a smooth interaction between the system and the user only adds unnecessary stress.
Lack of relevant integrations, glitches, and other issues may cause people to stop using your software and leave you with an investment that doesn’t offer any returns.
On top of all this, it’s worth remembering the importance of accessibility and inclusivity in medical apps. After all, they’ve got to cater to the broadest user base possible, including the elderly and people with disabilities.
The only way to ensure all of the above-mentioned concerns is to place a big emphasis on the UI/UX design of your healthcare solution. Now, it’s time to find out how to do that.
Medical UI/UX Design Tips
In order to create good UX design in a healthcare tool, it’s important to remember a few best practices that, although might be applicable across all kinds of industries, are especially relevant in the medical field.
Everything starts with knowing your app’s audience and having a good understanding of the healthcare industry, its relevant terms, and common issues users may face. So, if you’re developing a solution for medical professionals — consider getting their input on the features they’d like to have and challenges they want it to solve. Similarly, if your software is patient-facing, start by analyzing common requests you receive and think if your tool can cater to them.
So, when you start assembling a development team, it’s best to select one with experience in building medical software and the requirements its users tend to have. Otherwise, you might struggle creating a solution that enhances the services you deliver and delights users while being compliant with relevant regulations.
Clear and Coherent Visuals
The very first thing users notice when opening an application is the look and feel of it. Theme, colors, fonts, text sizes, and other visuals have a large impact on the user interface. Hence, you’ve got to ensure that all these elements are coherent throughout the software you’re developing.
For example, it might be a good idea to avoid too many bright colors and small fonts. Instead, consider using variations of blue as it has been proven to instill calmness and serenity, precisely the feelings you want your users to experience.
Since medical software might often be used by people who aren’t feeling too well, don’t forget to keep your texts large enough and use simple fonts so that everything is clear and easy to read.
Lastly, don’t cram too much information into a single screen. Especially if you’re building a mobile app. Rather, spread your visual elements out, allow for empty space, and simply create additional app screens. However, be cautious with the latter as there is a fine line between visual appeal and complex navigation.
Another important tip that’s crucial for you to keep in mind is that your solution should be easy to use for both — tech-savvy users and those who are not. That means, the navigation should be intuitive and designed in a logical way.
For example, you might want to provide a hamburger menu with all the key pages your users might be interested in. Alternatively, a top or bottom navigation can be a good fit, too, so that people can easily switch between the app areas they need.
In short, there are many ways to design an intuitive UI and deliver a smooth user experience. It just depends on the goals you’re trying to achieve.
If your software is used to display some kind of medical data, be it for healthcare professionals or patients themselves, you should make sure that it’s presented in an easy-to-understand format.
For instance, if you want to showcase a patients’ progress over a certain time period, it might be a good idea to do so by using a chart. Plus, you could add some interactive elements like the ability to click a date and for test results to show up. That way, the visualization would be truly all-encompassing and insights — easier to analyze.
Highlighted In-Demand Features
Lastly, we couldn’t finish our list of top tips for UX design in healthcare without mentioning the importance of prominently displaying in-demand features. Chances are, your innovative digital solution has a range of functions it can perform. However, it doesn’t mean that they are all equally valuable.
So, when designing the application, remember to identify the features that are most appreciated by users and display them clearly. People shouldn’t have to spend too much time searching for something they require.
To help in this endeavor, make sure you are tracking and analyzing how the software is being used. Additionally, listen to your users and collect feedback from time to time so that you can spot any frustrations they might be having and quickly address them.
Top UI/UX-Reliant Healthcare Innovations
Now that we’ve discussed the best practices to follow so that any type of software you choose to develop has an impeccable user experience, it’s time to talk about the latest UI/UX-reliant innovations.
Of course, all technology needs a great UX. However, the solutions we outline below are disrupting the healthcare industry, and the evolution of their UX design is precisely what’s driving their adoption.
Telemedicine isn’t a new concept per se, but its popularity has certainly taken off during and in the aftermath of the pandemic. In short, telehealth is all about providing medical care over a distance with the help of modern technology and telecommunications. It allows for remote patient monitoring, video consultations, and plenty of other services that can be facilitated online.
As you can imagine, in order for telemedicine to deliver all of its capabilities to medical professionals and patients, it has to be well designed. Specifically, it’s got to make the lives of everyone involved easier, not harder. Otherwise, people would rather drive up to the hospital and do everything in-person.
So, if you’re looking to leverage telemedicine for business growth, don’t forget to prioritize the user experience from the get-go.
Thanks to the emergence of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), tracking health-related data has become easier than ever and can be done from the comfort of a person’s home.
You see, with IoT-powered connected devices, monitoring heart rates, blood sugar levels, and other metrics no longer has to involve going to a hospital. Instead, wearables with sensors can transmit all the relevant data onto a software and make it easier to analyze for a physician.
However, a health tracking app is only successful if it is used diligently and regularly. Without a solid UX design, that’s not likely to happen. So, if you’re interested in relying on wearables, make sure they are created with simplicity, usability, data safety, and lasting interconnectivity in mind.
Intelligent chatbots are AI-powered machines programmed to respond to queries in the most efficient manner possible, without the help of a human. As such, they can swiftly answer simple questions from patients, help book appointments, and guide them to relevant information when needed.
However, in order to be of true value, the answers chatbots provide must be delivered within a suitable interface. Naturally, this can only be achieved through careful planning of healthcare UI/UX design.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) have immense potential within the medical sector. By providing 3D visualization, these technologies can help healthcare professionals during procedures or be used to train students in real-life environments.
Additionally, VR can be used to treat anxiety by immersing a patient into calm surroundings and getting the mind off the stress or memory of unpleasant experiences.
In the case of healthcare AR and VR, UX design is crucial. If implemented poorly, users may quickly experience motion sickness, dizziness, and eye strain. Thus, doing a lot more harm than good. So, pursue such developments with caution and only with software providers who are experienced in delivering such projects.
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
Lastly, even if you develop all of the above-mentioned innovations, sometimes a physical presence of a patient might be required. Unfortunately, for many, it can be a real challenge to get to a hospital safely and quickly.
People with disabilities, chronic conditions, in need of post-acute care, or those with nobody to help them and living in rural areas might struggle to make it to an in-person examination. In this case, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) might come in handy.
NEMT is essentially a way of providing dedicated rides and taxis to those who need medical help but can’t get to the hospital easily. Some institutions choose to design their own NEMT programs in order to expand and improve the scope of services they offer to patients.
Once again though, this is only valuable if the user experience in the healthcare solution is top-notch. That is to say, it provides easy booking, reliable ride updates, and other information the patient and the medical staff might find valuable.
Create a Top-Notch User Experience for Your Patients
UX design in healthcare can be tricky to handle. However, that is precisely why it needs to be prioritized and carefully executed, not overlooked and dismissed. The good news is, when done correctly, it can be a game changer for your users and your business.
So, if you want to bypass your competitors and develop a medical solution with an excellent UI/UX — don’t hesitate to reach out to Velvetech. Our team can help deliver state of the art UX design services for organizations across a variety of sectors, healthcare included.
In fact, Velvetech has years of experience in building innovative healthcare software that delights end users. Hence, we’d be happy to guide through the entire process and develop tools that leave a lasting positive impression on anyone who uses them.