IXD303 – Week One: Introduction & Research

During our first week of Paul’s class this semester, Paul introduced us to the module overview. This semester, we will be focusing on designing and creating a digital product for a user of our choice in the healthcare sector.

When considering our projects, we should conisder:

  • Who is your digital product aimed at?
  • Are you targeting healthcare professionals? If so, who? Nurses, doctors, surgeons, support staff?
  • Are you targeting the public? If so in what capacity? As a patient in hospital, a doctors surgery? Hospital visitors? At home? Travelling abroad?

When we have chosen our target audience we should ask ourselves:

  • What age are they?
  • Where are they?
  • Do they have access to digital devices?
  • Can they afford to use your product?
  • Can the afford to not use your product?
  • Can they use/understand digital devices?
  • Do they require additional support digital/physical for your product?

Jakob’s Law

Jakob’s Law states that users spend most of their time on other sites. That’s why they prefer sites that work the same way as all the other sites.

For designers this means that it is always better to choose usual design solutions that are familiar to users.

Who is Jacob?

Jakob Nielsen is a usability expert and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group — UX research and consulting company. In 2000 he described his observations on users’ behaviour. According to Nielsen, users’ feel confused and frustrated when they face uncommon patterns in design. In these cases they tend to abandon tasks and leave the site.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Use familiar UX patterns – Users should focus directly on products, services, offers and other content, instead of complex and creative innovations in UX

  2. Keep balance – Sites overloaded with creativity and non-standard elements confuse users. Try to limit the amount of unfamiliar elements

  3. Help users – Give them clues when it comes to non-obvious patterns

  4. Meet expectations – The user should feel complete control over your site. Let users’ expectations come true, and they will trust the site and probably come back again

  5. Do not deny users’ experience – Keep in mind the past user experience, focus on it and use it. It’s better than creating something new just because you want to be different

Paul wanted us to consider doing some research firstly on the modern healthcare sector, and how technology has had its influence on how medicine and help is received to patients nowadays.
What are some of the trends in UX Healthcare today?

Medical Wearables

Smart devices have become common in the last years, and they are producing an unimaginable amount of data for researchers and experts. Almost everyone owns a smart bracelet, smartwatch, or at least a fitness monitor app on their phone.

Digital Therapeutics

Just as physicians prescribe lifestyle changes for a long time, it is expected that they will prescribe smartphone apps and digital technologies in the near future. According to the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, DTx delivers medical interventions directly to patients using evidence-based, clinically evaluated software (accessible via a smartphone or tablet) to treat, manage, and prevent a broad spectrum of diseases and disorders.

Virtual and Augmented Reality 

Virtual Reality (VR) can help to gain experience and simulate situations that we did not have a chance to explore until now. Some healthcare fields already use VR, and this tendency will be growing.

Virtual Reality gains space in more therapeutic situations. The AppliedVR platform specializes in healthcare and lets patients get out of scary medical treatments during a guided relaxation session assisted by a VR tool. Taking them into games or traveling to nice places will draw the patients’ attention away from the reality of unpleasant treatments.

AI and Chatbots

Medical teams are overwhelmed, and there is a lack of people when team members fall out due to illness. More help is needed, and AI technologies can take tasks over. Touch-free solutions are essentials in high-risk areas.

Chatbots are one way of helping to alleviate the healthcare support system. They need to be made intuitive and provide relevant and well-written responses. Some examples of simple usage of chatbots include appointment booking, medication reminders, or checking on health conditions.

With the advancement of AI, chatbot functionality will be improved to cover more areas in healthcare for both patients and doctors. The right AI will enable chatbots to help patients manage chronic illness, double-check on diagnosis, and provide more personalised and personal responses.

Voice User Interfaces

The pandemic has fundamentally changed our perceptions and behaviours in which we use devices. To deploy usage by touching on various devices nowadays carry a risk of being infected or spreading diseases. Hand sanitisation and device disinfection help alleviate such potentials. However, the need for frequent use of certain devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, ticket machines makes constant sanitisation and disinfection inconvenient or unrealistic.

For my research, I also wanted to map out all the different sectors of healthcare, and list a range of options which I could use to focus on for my own application.

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