The pandemic has accelerated the development of medtech solutions: remote patient monitoring, smart wearable devices, robotization of a number of processes, AI. Because of this, UX / UI specialists and developers of medtech systems have a new difficult task – to create a human-centered design for complex and specialized solutions. I propose to discuss the top 5 main trends in health UI /UX.
Ideal Medical Interface: Utopia or Reality?
The design of any IT product is as important as its functionality. A good UI, or “user interface”, helps to convey the most important details to the user, to highlight and guide the user through the entire service, to suggest how to use an application or a website.
This is especially important for the medical field, since poor design or difficulties with navigation here can not only leave a bad impression of the product, but cause real harm. So, if in an ordinary online store, an incorrect button press threatens the wrong product in the basket, then incorrect actions in the MIS can lead, at least, to incorrect filling of the patient’s fields, which will significantly complicate the work with data. On the other hand, a well-thought-out interface helps to establish communication between a doctor and a patient quickly and easily, saving both time by optimizing the storage and use of data.
That is why, for health applications and other IT products, it is so important what color a particular button is painted, where it is located and what it calls for. Designers are constantly trying to balance the extremely high safety and usability requirements of medical apps with the aesthetics of their interface.
TOP-5 key tendencies health UI/UX design
According to Business Insider, wearable devices can save doctors up to 15 hours a week. According to IDC forecasts, in 2021, 7 out of 10 bracelet manufacturers will rely on algorithms for recognizing ailments, including viral infections and covid-19. For example, scientists from the Mount Sinai Clinic in New York and Stanford have already taught Apple Watch to diagnose covid-19 by heart rate.
In the competition for users, the convenience of the interface comes to the fore. What does this mean for designers? They need to focus on aspects such as simplicity, usability, connectivity with other applications, storage usability, and interaction with the host device.
Chatbots in medicinal institutions are becoming more widespread. Of course, AI-based virtual assistants cannot make a diagnosis, but they can make an appointment or connect with a doctor of the desired profile. So, in Moscow there are bots for making appointments to clinics from the DIT of Moscow, including in Telegram.
In the future, the capabilities of chatbots will expand: for example, they will be able to provide personalized advice on health care. For UX / UI designers, this means that exactly now, chatbots need to include opportunities for the prospect of regular communication with a person, given that they will process personal information and data that are iatric secrets.
AR and VR systems
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are used both in the training of medical specialists and in the treatment of a number of diseases: they increase the accuracy of diagnostics, distract patients from unpleasant procedures, and serve to visualize various human systems. For example, in Canada, they developed an augmented reality system called ProjectDR: it allows you to display CT images or MRI data directly on the patient’s body.
For designers, in this case, a separate task is to develop the most accurate, realistic, reliable interfaces and visualizations.
Today’s human society is increasingly imbued with ideas of inclusiveness and creating equal opportunities for people to use infrastructure, environment and technology. This is the biggest problem in medical systems today: if it is for voice interaction, what about individuals who cannot speak? And if tactile and sensory, then what to do for those who have limited limb mobility? After all, its main buyers are often customers with various disabilities.
In the future, inclusive UX / UI is predicted to dominate the world of medical development: specialists today should simplify interfaces as much as possible and make them accessible for both tactile and voice, and even for eye contact and control.
According to Deloitte, in 2021, the number of virtual doctor visits worldwide reached 400 million. Services that allow wearable devices to exchange data, and doctors to write electronic prescriptions after remote consultations, require serious work on the part of UX / UI designers to integrate services and applications with each other.
Indeed, when developing solutions for medicine, much will depend on their appearance and functionality. In order for applications to serve people, the following principles must be considered when developing:
- simplicity and ease of use,
- ease of exchange of records with each other,
- variability of information input methods, taking into account the needs of people with different health conditions.
The main points that are significant to pay attention to when developing
1. Structure is your everything and more
For health information to be useful, it must be structured. The most general thing should be placed on the surface, and the parts should be placed in the “available on request” category. Try to remember the three-click rule. Do not remove records beyond three hops.
2. Intuitive visuals
The color scheme and clear button placement play a decisive role here.
3. Balance of beauty and functionality
“Flat” design, devoid of gradients and shadows, has long been synonymous with modern and clean aesthetics. However, you need to enable users to distinguish interactive controls from static text quickly.
4. Optimal amount of interactivity
The graphics should be simple and attractive. Implement it only when it increases the readability of the text. At the same time, animation is appropriate both for the design of basic tasks, such as data entry, and for illustrating microinteractions between a person and a system.
5. Big letters
Many modern creators apply small text to create an airy effect. However, medicinal services store a large amount of critical information, and to avoid errors, the text should be as legible as possible.
6. Minimum icons
As screens have gotten smaller, developers are increasingly relying on icons only to simplify visualization. However, despite its beautiful appearance, this approach is fraught with the risks of misinterpreting the images.
Health apps must be safe. It is necessary to ensure confidentiality, safety of personal information in accordance with the requirements of the law, as well as protection against hacking.