All You Should Know About the Healthcare App Design Process in 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Research and planning are key steps in the healthcare app design process. It helps to analyze the target audience, design flow, budget, and understand competitor apps.
  • UX design flow ensures that app features are organized and displayed where users can find them. Creating prototypes, navigation, interactivity, and body content are major aspects included in the UX.
  • Color scheme, font, graphics, CTA, and icons are selected from the user’s perspective. The idea is to provide a calm and soothing effect for patients who visit the app, rather than invoking irritation.

Billions are lost due to poor UX and UI designs. If the product isn’t living up to its expectations, then the ship is already going down. People will stop coming back to the healthcare app due to poor design. A well-thought design always gives higher returns and brings in more users.

According to a report by Forrester, a well-conceived, frictionless UX design raises the customer conversion rate to 400 percent. It is not only important for a higher ROI, but also to establish a competitive edge in the market. Healthcare app designs need to be patient-centric, easy to use, and convenient. Hence, the healthcare app design process may vary compared to other industry apps. Let’s look at it in detail below.

10 Essential Steps of the Healthcare App Design Process

1. Research and Planning

Research and planning simplify the workflow for any major and minor project. For the healthcare app design process, research and planning involve the following steps.

Analyzing Competitors’ Healthcare Apps

As a healthcare app designer, analysis of competitors’ apps gives a fair idea of how things should be. Log in as a user and check every feature and functionality they have to offer. Note down the color scheme, fonts, graphics, and overall look and feel of the app. Check for mistakes or aspects which could’ve been better represented. It will help to design a better and more effective healthcare app.

Confirm Target Audience

Who is the app for? Knowing the correct target audience helps to bring in elements that are suitable for them. For instance, a healthcare app is used by practitioners, patients, and admin staff. They’re likely to use it for documentation work, appointment booking, reminders, and so on. So, include navigational tools and features that aid with their work.

Market Evaluation

Study market trends to understand what people prefer nowadays. Patients are likely to go with features that give them fast results and makes their life easier. Keep a close eye on upcoming technologies which can be integrated within a healthcare app.

Pain Points of Target Audience

Understand patients’ problems and deliver solutions accordingly. A healthcare app design that fails to address users’ issues will be discarded sooner or later.

2. UX Design Flow

UX or user experience includes integrating a product, acquiring it, branding, usability check, design, and functionalities. Designers focus on the following UX aspects for healthcare app design.

Information Architecture (IA)

Information architecture helps to keep things simple for the users. It ensures that all features are organized and displayed where users can find them easily. If users find it difficult to locate information, they’re likely to abandon the app.

Low and High Fidelity Prototypes

Prototypes represent the actual product and they can be used to test on users. It is made to check the app’s operations and improve it if needed. User feedback helps to modify the application before its launch. There are two types of prototypes, based on fidelity: low and high.

A low-fidelity prototype is the paper version of the actual design and doesn’t include user interactions. However, a high-fidelity prototype allows interactivity and is the closest version of the final product.


Wireframing connects the site’s IA to its visual design. It also determines the functionality of the interface. Standard wireframe elements used for the healthcare app design process are the logo, share button, navigation systems, search field, body content, contact information, and much more.

3. Select the Right UI

UI covers an app’s look or feel and not usability. An attractive user interface is welcoming and increases the user base. Consider using the following UI facets during healthcare app design processing.


Healthcare apps are expressed better with cold colors compared to warm ones such as red or orange. The idea is to provide a calming and serene effect, and not cause too much irritation. Colors such as blue, white, green, and pink are considered ideal for healthcare app design. Each one has a soothing effect to it if used appropriately.

Fonts and Alignments

Fonts can be balanced with each other and with the UI design. It influences the readability of an app. Further, text alignment depends on the positioning of the CTA, content, and images.

Graphics and Images

The purpose of graphics and images is to make an app interesting. Also, it helps users understand the features and functionalities of a healthcare app design better. However, avoid using too many images or graphics as it’ll be distracting for users.

4. Prioritize Functionality

Design and functionality go hand-in-hand. While designing a healthcare app with functionality in mind, try to find the right balance between features and minimalism. Users will get distracted if designers include too many features to spice up an app. This will prevent them from finding the necessary information.

Whereas, a minimalist design with too much white space can cause designers to leave out relevant content. A poorly designed healthcare app cannot entice new users in the same way as a stylish design would. Hence, it’s best to find a balance and prioritize functionality. Assure that the app is fulfilling its purpose and is aesthetically pleasing as well.

5. Keep it Simple

A simple mobile healthcare app design keeps the users focused. A complex design will only frustrate people. They may not be able to get to the main section of the app fluently and eventually discard it due to complexities. A simple app prevents users from using a manual, they can learn how to use it on their own. Designers can slowly introduce them to new and advanced features.

Divide the app into small categories and provide one instruction or tip at a time. This way users won’t be flooded with information and they will enjoy the whole process.

6. Ensure Accessibility

People who use healthcare apps may have poor eyesight, different psychological conditions, or disability. So, design an inclusive and accessible application. For instance, use a font size that is visible to people with poor eyesight; use audio instructions for those who are blind. Choice of color scheme helps color blind patients.

A healthcare app must be accessible to everyone, irrespective of their medical conditions. Consider going through WC3’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for mobile app accessibility best practices.

7. Focus on Security

Healthcare apps contain crucial patient data, hence it needs to be protected. Developers and designers incorporate HIPAA compliance to safeguard healthcare applications. Failure to do so results in data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cyber crimes.

Apps without HIPAA compliance face criminal charges and penalties, which can cost a development company around $100 to $50,000 per individual violation. It can go up to $1.5 million per calendar year for violations. Apart from HIPAA compliance, follow FDA norms, HL7 protocols, and other government policies for healthcare security.

8. Don’t Forget the Navigation

Patients visit a healthcare app for a purpose, which could be to access medical records or to get an appointment. So, position all the information, tools, and buttons where patients can find them easily.

A complex navigation system leaves users in a dilemma and they may exit the app sooner, only to turn to another one with simple navigation. Place a menu bar where it is easily detected, design a search bar to find tools, and use gesture-based navigation if needed.

9. Make the App Interactive

Interactive healthcare apps are more attractive compared to static ones. It engages users in activities and they tend to stick around a bit longer. Some interactive features to include are:

  • Micro animations
  • Hand gestures
  • Screen transitions

Keep it as simple as possible and don’t flood the app with animations. It will be distracting and irritating for the users. The aim is to design an interactive for building a connection with users and to make the app lively.

10. Check if the Design Works

Testing the healthcare app design allows us to spot UX and UI issues quickly and fix them before launch. It also helps to improve the app design based on the test results. Designers can dig deep into the users’ perspective and expectations, and mold the app as per users’ requirements. Once the testing process is successful, then the app is ready to launch in the market.

The healthcare app design process requires skilled developers and designers who are aware of the complaint policies of the healthcare software. So, partnering with a healthcare software development company helps to design the right product. Arkenea, a healthcare software development company offers design and development services. With over 12 years of experience, Arkenea has delivered world-class software to its clients. So, if you are looking for a healthcare app, get in touch with Arkenea.