A Comprehensive Guide to Healthcare UX/UI Designing

Visual or audio information is soaked in more easily as compared to written text, hence to develop a satisfactory healthcare app and website experience for ameliorating patient experience, consider focusing more on UX/UI designing.

As per a research report, benefits of data visualization are task completion, understanding, and decision-making, which are critical for healthcare sector. Designing better UX/UI healthcare apps and websites helps to minimize cognitive load and saves lives too.

Read on to know the importance of UI/UX in healthcare, trending applications, and tips on designing best healthcare UI/UX designs.

Why Healthcare UX/UI is Important For Healthcare Websites and Apps?

1. Accessibility

Accessibility allows patients and healthcare staff to understand, enjoy, and use website/app seamlessly. Designers are responsible for creating a healthcare website/app that can be used by users irrespective of their abilities, context, and situation.

A common misconception is that accessibility requires focus on those users with some disability, however it means that design is inclusive for everyone. Furthermore, accxessibility is an essential aspect in SEO as businesses want to get the content to the target audience, and cover a wider audience.

A greater accessibility increases market population, for example healthcare websites that use screen reader will surge audience, awareness, and engagement rate. Designers can refer to WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) on accessibilities which is based on four principles while designing healthcare website/app –

1. Robust: Website is to be understood by varied assistive devices such as screen readers.

2. Understandable: Grasping site information, functions, and user interface by the users.

3. Operable: Functioning without complex interactions and confusions.

4. Perceivable: Consumption of content in numerous ways.

While designing with accessibility consider designing an inclusive product and include user personas (also users with disabilities). Selection of colors is essential as even a color-blind person can use the website/app with ease (high contrast colors helps in this case).

Follow responsive design best practices when designing UX/UI of healthcare website and set clear boundaries while designing forms as those with cognitive disabilities can use it as well. These are some of the ways to increase accessibility for users during UX/UI design.

2. Building Trust

Building trust amongst patients is vital for the healthcare sector, hence consider designing healthcare UX/UI such that it imbibes trust in them. One of the ways to do this is being consistent in everything that’s done because it displays an organization that users can rely on, along with it helps to build a notable brand in the healthcare industry. Tips to master consistency are as follows –

1. Keep messages concise, clear, simple, and smart.

2. Ensure to use the same tone across all content formats.

3. Stick to one color scheme.

4. Use the same healthcare organization logo across all websites, apps, and products.

5. Develop congruency between landing pages and websites.

Furthermore, consider designing an engaging UX/UI by using real-time engagement methods such as instant recommendations via chatbots, targeted ads, or interacting directly on social media. Usability and appearance makes or breaks a user experience, therefore an app/website that’s outdated, takes too long to respond, or lacks white space are major red flags for designing and to build trust.

3. Patient Focused

Developing medical website/app is different from creating a general user experience designs, as several aspects related to patients’ such as care team or healthcare providers, socioeconomic status, medical conditions, healthcare outcome, and medical experience is complex and nuanced. Therefore, to tackle this situation consider designing for an optimal result (and not software), by considering patients’ conditions and world.

Its recommended to take a focused and pragmatic approach to build an optimized outcome. Focus on patients’ state of the disease for creating an ideal UX/UI design, for instance, an Alzheimer’s patient with limited cognitive abilities or a chronic disease patient.

Furthermore, goal while designing is the patient outcome, rather than displaying software capabilities, for example a congestive heart failure patient with good network will have access to all the care needed, designers’ goal is to ensure that disease conditions are managed through optimal UX/UI design.

4. To Increase User Retention and Satisfaction

For patients who want quick medical attention, a easy-to-use and attractive user interface helps to manage patients needs. With an excellent interface, user experience ameliorates and retains patients.

Clear navigation is the key to create a dynamic healthcare website/app as patients can move from one section to the next faster and seamlessly. Improving website navigation when designing healthcare UX/UI pushes patients to stay on site for a longer time, thus increasing their satisfaction and retention.

Furthermore, high-quality content on healthcare apps/websites ensures that patients keep coming back for more, for instance this can include infographics, new data on healthcare or diseases, and blogs.

Content helps to provide value to the users and keep them attracting towards that app or website even more. While designing healthcare UX/UI, assure to check for broken links through periodic checks, as this takes users to core part of the website and offer value. Highlight essential aspects while designing such as booking appointments, online forms, medical services provided, and insurance.

Applications of UX/UI in Healthcare

1. Telemedicine

Telemedicine platforms help patients communicate with healthcare professionals by facilitating various features. Collecting user data and understanding issues while using telemedicine platforms, helps healthcare organizations to develop user-friendly and simple telemedicine app design through UX/UI.

With customized UX/UI home screen design, patients can organize it as per their preferences and needs. UI research helps to identify functions that patients often access, based on which easy-to-use features and functions can be developed to perform tasks in minimum clicks.

Quick interface and appointment actions in telemedicine apps helps patients to access care without having to go through different steps.

2. AR and VR in Healthcare

With technological advancements, UX/UI is dominating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the healthcare sector. Designers can leverage VR and AR to create user experience and real-world experience.

AR and VR offers immersive experience to the users/patients, hence healthcare can benefit from UI/UX for providing a different experience altogether for users.

Furthermore, UX designs can help out in developing stunning designs for VR and AR healthcare applications, and help to automate tasks on AR and VR apps, thus simplifying workflows and developing personal user experience. UX designs in VR and AR brings out interactive and intuitive behavior these technologies.

3. EHR

Usability is one of the quality features of a UX design, and it aims at making it satisfying and effective to achieve software goals. EHR (Electronic Health Records) faces usability problems such as information support problems and basic interface and design issues.

Usability can be measured through SUS (System Usability Scale) method, which consists of 10 questionnaire items and five response options ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. This score helps in designing better for the EHR systems. Some of the ways to improve usability are as follows –

1. Simple coded design: This helps to highlight information that’s important, and denotes medical severity through color codes – red/green.

2. Customized alerts: Signs such as ‘don’t warn me again’ helps to decrease alert fatigue, for instance if a patient has certain allergy, physician doesn’t want to be reminded about it for every dosage.

3. Passive alerts: These appear at the corner of the screen to acknowledge the level of medical severity and for physicians to not miss an essential alert.

4. Wearables

Wearables equipped with latest technologies and customized UX/UI designs are preferred by people as they are trendy and popular. UX/UI designing for healthcare wearables helps to locate unique interactions and spaces, as there’s limited space for communication.

Consider focusing on giving useful information in a limited screen space for better experience, such as designing data that’s consistent in the form of pictures. Privacy is a crucial aspect when it comes to healthcare, hence UX designers can showcase content in a secure way (implementing HIPAA compliance while designing).

Tips For Creating Healthcare UX/UI App and Website

1. Compliance

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 stated that all federal agencies offer those with disabilities a reasonable accommodation, and these regulations were updated in 1998 and included in the Section 508 – the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards.

In 2018, the Access Board incorporated new standards in Section 508, and these standards are for UX design on healthcare apps and websites, which are as follows –

The healthcare website and application must be accessible by those people –

1. With limited or no hearing at all

2. Without or with restricted eyesight

3. Without perception of color

4. Without speech

5. Those with restricted manipulation

6. Less or no learning, cognitive, and language abilities

7. With limited strength and reach

Ensure that while designing for healthcare apps and websites, these standards for compliance are adhered to . This requires highly-skilled designing skills and a comprehensive understanding of how varied designs affect people with varying levels of disability. Furthermore, HIPAA compliant website design is a must for security and privacy of ePHI.

By comprehending to UX principles, healthcare organizations can ensure to optimize their services. This helps to augment quality of patient interaction, productivity, and give a safe access to information that’s HIPAA compliant.

Apart from HIPAA compliance, assure that healthcare websites/apps follow ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design). ADA is different from 508 compliance as it is a civil law that includes all people, especially those with disability. For both compliance – HIPAA and ADA, organizations can face penalties for not following these rules and regulations.

2. Color Selection

The healthcare sector is expressed better with cold colors that are soothing and calming to look at, and don’t irritate or pull too much attention.

A healthcare website with bright colors such as yellow or orange can be affect engagement of users. Top four recommended color schemes while designing healthcare UX/UI are –

a. Pink/Red

Red color is used for websites pertaining to cancer and heart diseases; pink color is associated with women and children. Consider using these colors as per target audience, client preferences, and healthcare app/website design.

People with a distaste for pink may not visit the site or spend too much time on it; ensure to use it without over doing it.

b. Blue

This color is popular in all healthcare sectors as a physicians’ clothing is always mostly blue. A blue background symbolizes tranquility, which is needed for patients while searching for medical site or apps.

Blue is the significance of trust, wisdom, strength, and loyalty, and this color can help to stand out in the crowd if done justice with it. Assure to keep a balance of blue as exaggerating it diminishes attractiveness.

c. White

This color is used for a clear and clean UX/UI design. White itself comes with a range of shades from sea sand and ivory, to snow and baby powder; designers can use these shades incase plain white looks simple. Bright and contrasting colors go well with white and averts giving a surgery room feeling to patients browsing sites/apps. Ensure to design a site that doesn’t give a clinical outlook for patients.

d. Green

This color connotes health and nature and is appropriate if the site is related to herbal medicine or Ayurveda. This color has a strong essence to it, so unless the site/app is related to natural treatments, ensure to keep it under control. Designers can think of being creative by mixing green and blue.

3. Typography

Decorative fonts fall out of place when it comes to healthcare apps and websites, hence give a professional outlook to it while designing UX/UI. Distance between two characters and balance of fonts with each other impacts the whole user interface design.

Fonts affects users’ comfort and readability, hence personalize font options based on the UI/UX design. As far as text alignment is concerned, consider using a format that’s widely used, for instance, right-to-left format. Another cornerstone of typography is a properly positioned text that makes a screen clear to look at.

4. Navigation

A simple navigation is preferable for healthcare websites and apps as patients might need immediate medical attention and hassle-free appointments.

Ways to design effective navigation are –

1. Showcasing tip tool under around the application or site.

2. Extra-large buttons at the bottom of the page.

3. Designing field tabbing, auto-populated fields, and over-sized fields for accessibility.

Navigation helps users to choose which page to go to, and icons placed directly under the main header bar increases the clicks. The UX/UI design for navigation assures that it leads to a desired action and averts unnecessary clicks.

5. Icons and Images

Intuitive icons and images increases patient engagement on site/app and offer better interaction. Illustrations too develop a positive impression, plus high resolution images are visually appealing. Consider pairing icons and images with a suitable text as it may mislead patients. Going beyond using stock images on websites can substantially ameliorate UX/UI design for healthcare websites/apps.

6. Buttons

Locate buttons at a convenient and visible location in order to avert struggle and dissatisfaction faced by patients while booking appointments or researching medical information. A user will lose interest if buttons aren’t spotted immediately upon entering the site/app.

Android’s Material Design recommends to use buttons the size of 48*48dp with 8dp between them, this assures usability and information density. Buttons can be larger if the target audience are with bad eyesight or elderly.

Usage of UX/UI in the healthcare sector will continue to grow with technological advancements, hence staying up-to-date with the trends is essential for improving designing.

Have questions regarding healthcare UX/UI designing, or already have a healthcare website/app to work on, then get in touch with Arkenea, the experts in healthcare software development with 11+ years of experience in the healthcare software domain and we’ll help you to design a professional healthcare UX/UI.