In the healthcare industry, it's more important than ever to provide a positive patient experience--both in-office and online.
When it comes to the online patient experience, one of the most important factors is your website's design.
More specifically, its "interaction design"--the behavior and structure of interactive systems.
The goal of this type of design in healthcare is to create lasting and meaningful relationships between patients and the products and services they use.
What's the difference between UI/UX and interaction design?
UI, or user interface design, refers to the visuals of a website or app. This includes everything from the layout to the colors and fonts used. UX, or user experience design, is about how easy and enjoyable it is to use a product. It takes into account factors like navigation, speed, and overall usability.
Interaction design (IxD) sits at the intersection of these two fields. By focusing on both the visuals and the usability of a product, interaction design creates a better overall experience for users.
However, it doesn't define the whole experience. Rather, these interactions can be thought of as engagements like clicks, typing, or mouse movements.
This constant interaction means that designers should be very mindful about tracking and analyzing these interactions. Free tools like HotJar are great for this purpose.
Principles of interaction design
There are four main principles of IxD: feedback, consistency, education, and flexibility.
Feedback is important because it lets users know that their actions have been registered by the system. This can be done through visual cues like color changes or animations.
On the other end, you should allow users to leave you feedback on how to improve their experience.
Consistency helps users understand how the system works and what they can expect from it. This means using similar terminology and layout across all pages. Keep in mind that users often interact with new interfaces the same way they do with existing ones.
One of the most efficient ways to communicate with patients is by facilitating a learning experience. Offer demos, previews, and instructions to help users better understand your technology.
Flexibility allows users to tailor the system to their own needs. This can be done through features like customization options and personalization settings.
Challenges of interaction design in healthcare
One of the biggest challenges of interaction design in healthcare is the need for compliance with regulations. HIPAA, for example, imposes strict rules on how patient data can be collected, used, and shared. This can make it difficult to design user-friendly systems that still meet all the necessary legal requirements.
Another challenge is the sheer amount of information that needs to be conveyed to users. Healthcare is a complex industry with a lot of jargon. Designers need to find ways to communicate all this information in a way that’s easy for patients to understand.
Finally, the healthcare industry is constantly changing. New technologies and treatments are being developed all the time. This means that interaction designers need to be able to adapt their designs quickly to keep up with the latest changes.
Tips for designing a better patient experience
Here are a few tips for designing a better patient experience:
- Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. More patients are using their smartphones to access healthcare information than ever before.
- Use clear and concise language on your website. Avoid jargon and medical terms that patients might not understand.
- Use visuals to help convey information. Patients are more likely to remember information if it is presented in a visually-appealing way.
- Allow patients to customize their experience. This could mean giving them the ability to select their preferred language or providing them with different options for receiving information.
- Make it easy for patients to contact you. Provide multiple ways for them to get in touch, such as by phone, email, or live chat.
IxD is an important tool that can be used to improve the patient experience. By following the principles of feedback, consistency, education, and flexibility, designers can create systems that are both user-friendly and compliant with regulations.
Additionally, by using clear and concise language, visuals, and customization options, designers can make it easier for patients to find the information they need. And finally, by making it easy for patients to contact you, designers can ensure that they are always available to answer any questions or concerns.
Interaction design is vital to the healthcare industry and patient experience. At Bizzuka, we have decades of experience in the healthcare web and software development industry. Schedule a free workflow consultation with us today to learn where you may be falling short.