5 min read

Over the last ten years, our UX/UI team has crafted numerous digital products—spanning websites, apps, custom software, and programs—tailored specifically for the healthcare sector. This journey has illuminated the necessity for a distinctive approach to healthcare compared to other industries.

Central to success is an acute understanding of your users and their specific needs within the healthcare realm. For instance, if your focus is on vision-related applications, prioritizing visual accessibility becomes paramount. Likewise, catering to children necessitates incorporating elements like cartoons. However, beyond these overt design components, the subtler nuances wield significant influence over a product's success or failure.

Navigating this terrain requires striking a balance: creating healthcare digital products that are accessible without compromising on aesthetics or functionality. To aid in this pursuit, here are the top considerations our product teams have identified when crafting UX/UI for healthcare.

Collect a broad range of valuable viewpoints.

To initiate a healthcare product roadmap, it's vital to assemble diverse teams and establish transparent communication channels with end users.

Forming a comprehensive, mixed team is key—a recent Rethinken® project, for example, involved seven designers collaborating in unison. Embracing varied perspectives enables a holistic approach to design.

Incorporating user feedback is paramount in healthcare. Consider employing a co-design approach, involving real users throughout the design process. This allows users to actively contribute their insights and preferences, fostering a more user-centric product.

Engage in interviews, surveys, and usability tests with your team to gather valuable feedback. Testing medical products with actual users is critical for ensuring safety and precision. Given that each end-user might have unique health challenges, approach each test with tailored attention. Sensitively addressing individual needs is crucial to ensuring an inclusive and accommodating participation experience.

Ensure it's highly accessible.
In many industries, meeting basic accessibility standards is often deemed sufficient.

However, in healthcare, adhering solely to the standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) checklist isn't enough. We firmly believe that disabilities don't reside within individuals; they result from barriers hindering equal participation. Therefore, the emphasis placed on ensuring accessibility reflects a commitment to inclusivity.

Within this sector, designing your product demands a focus on those facing the greatest challenges with technology. Typically, this includes older demographics unfamiliar with the digital landscape and individuals dealing with visual impairments. Prioritize designing for this group, a departure from other digital product designs where engagement typically takes precedence.

Using a digital product should be straightforward.

Accessibility remains crucial, yet ensuring users can easily locate information and functions is equally vital—especially given the complexity of medical information and the intricacies of healthcare services.

Therefore, establishing an intuitive and clear information structure is paramount, alongside employing an appropriate tone and language.

Menu item names and navigational elements should resonate universally and be instantly comprehensible. Organizing information and functionalities within the website or app hierarchy should align with users' natural navigation tendencies. Additionally, the language used across pages should be straightforward, presented in a sleek and uncluttered manner.

Avoid overwhelming users by limiting the amount of information on a single page. Utilize tabs, links, and videos to convey messages clearly, maintaining a clean interface. Gradually presenting information and focusing on one message at a time tends to be most effective.

Ensure the most important elements are easily accessible.

While aesthetics matter, prioritizing your product's essential functions over looks is crucial in healthcare design. Consider these user-related factors:

Users may not constantly use the product.There could be urgency when they do use it.Designs should be easily understood in high-stress situations.

Given these points, it's evident why ensuring users can readily access and utilize your product's critical features, even if it means compromising on visuals, is imperative in healthcare design.

Ensure regular updates are part of the plan.

Your product's information must be accurate, regularly updated, and verified by medical experts. Diagnoses or treatments should only come from healthcare professionals.

Additionally, global regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, HITECH, and CCPA safeguard user data. Adhering to these rules is crucial for launching and sustaining healthcare applications, devices, and websites.

Regular updates are necessary. While backend and security systems face higher risks, maintaining compliance throughout your product's lifecycle is vital.

Remember, healthcare regulations vary by country and evolve. For the latest information on digital privacy laws, refer to your jurisdiction's specific regulations.

Lastly, bugs occur in custom applications and websites, posing serious issues. Clear error messages are essential to notify users of any issues promptly.