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Customer Experience and Design

3 Ways to Use Human-Centered Design Strategy in Healthcare

Innovation in healthcare has become a trending topic in today’s world, with payers, providers, and patients expecting the same level of ease and access from their healthcare systems as they’ve come to expect across other essential services. With the technology driving efficiency in nearly every other aspect of our day-to-day lives, it is long overdue for healthcare to undergo a much needed upgrade and technological reform. Since product design is an integral component of technology and a successful product, it is important for product owners to understand the key things to keep in mind when designing a healthcare product. Integrating a human-centered design approach, which calls for a design strategy that is focused on the user’s human needs and experiences, is essential to building a successful product. Below are 3 ways you can incorporate human-centered design into your healthcare product:

  1. Empathize with your user’s frame of mind when they will be using your product
    What situations will most frequently warrant the use of your product? Will users be interacting with the product in an emergency situation? These types of questions are key to understanding and empathizing with your end user’s state of mind while they’re engaging with your product. For example, if your product is designed to be used in a medical situation, it’s possible that your typical user may be experiencing anxiety as they’re interacting with your product. Keeping this in mind will help product owners enhance the visual and contextual tone of the product, so that it is complimentary to your user’s human needs and emotions. It’s important to empathize with the type of situation that users will be in and ensure the tone and visualization of the product complements the user’s state of mind in the moment they are engaging with your product.
  2. Understand what motivates your users to use your product
    When a user is engaging with your product, why are they doing it? Are they looking for something specific or searching for general information? Are they aiming to track an activity or act on a certain call-to-action? What are all of the potential situations that may warrant them to engage with your product? And most importantly, why are they using your product over a competitor’s? All of these questions are key to understanding the user’s motivations when engaging with your product and what they are looking to accomplish. Keeping these motivations in mind will help designers build a more engaging user experience that not only empathizes with the user’s needs, but also aids them in achieving the task they set out to do.
  3. Consider the spectrum of needs that your target audience may fall within
    How can you personalize your product to fit individual user needs? A product’s target audience can encompass a range of demographics, expertise, and technological aptitude. Your product should be versatile enough to appeal to a broad range of users. For example, as digital accessibility and inclusiveness is increasing at the forefront of product design conversations, it’s essential for product managers to keep the different types of audience needs in mind.

The human-centered design approach encourages designers and product managers to think critically about a user’s needs in a given moment. With the number of daunting layers of complexity within the healthcare industry, it is more essential than ever to be mindful of the user’s state of mind by empathizing with them, understanding their motivations, and tailoring the product to their needs. How is your design strategy incorporating these three essential design components?

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Sonia Goraya

Sonia Goraya is a senior business consultant within Perficient's national healthcare practice. She has experience in public health, digital marketing, analytics, and operations. Sonia is passionate about transforming the way businesses value the investment between technology and healthcare while improving health outcomes for patients of all economic backgrounds.

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