In recent years, the mobile health market has experienced strong growth and with digital technology constantly evolving, not having an app presence can sometimes be detrimental to your business.
More … than 318,000 apps are available on the App Store, with over 200 added daily. However, application usage data reveals that most apps have less than 10,000 downloads. This raises a serious concern for app makers.
Apps that address general health and wellness, health management, general fitness, or telemedicine have fewer customers despite their initial interest. So what is it that keeps them away? Is it about the features or the functionality? We’ll find out in the sections below.
The challenges of designing healthcare applications
Due to the aforementioned concerns and many others, app designers face challenges ranging from patient engagement, security, data privacy and many more. Additionally, these apps should meet the following requirements to drive traffic and engagement.
Explanation to patients
Not an easy thing to do. In face-to-face interaction, a doctor can convey information easily and repeat it, if necessary. However, replicating the same thing on an application is not that simple. Therefore, adding functionality to convey information is strongly recommended. Patients should be able to add questions, dispel doubts and receive appropriate assistance.
Providing distressing information
Empathy is central to design and is an inclusive tenet of the healthcare industry. Thus, disclosing distressing news to the patient poses another challenge. How to provide sensitive information therefore remains difficult, but it can be managed by delivering messages that support and motivate patients.
A healthcare app cannot replace a doctor. And even the best fitness apps cannot replace a strength trainer.
And for this reason alone, many patients do not use them. Whatever the concern, in order for a patient to consider the information to be trustworthy, you should always add authoritative sources.
Steps in designing a healthcare application
Let’s take a look at the process of designing healthcare applications!
Before starting the design
Healthcare apps are used by doctors or their patients. When you start to work on the design and development of a health application, conduct market research.
Discover your potential users and also research which apps can provide fierce competition for your futuristic goals.
Do user research
A healthcare professional searches for drug specifications, EHR / EMR, therapy and diagnostic suggestions, reference materials, etc.
On the other hand, a patient looks for information in a simple and understandable format.
Therefore, the functionality and design of the user interface should be different to meet the requirements of the two types of users. It’s not simple. But it can be accomplished by asking basic questions.
- Who are you targeting (audience)?
- What kind of health apps are they using or not using?
- What are the shortcomings of these applications?
- What is the healthcare app for?
With the answers to the above questions, you can build a database of potential customers.
Research your competitors
Everyone wants to create a product without competition. Unfortunately, the market is already buzzing with healthcare apps. So you need to find your niche and then build your product around it.
Perform extensive research on competitors. Start by checking out which apps offer the same services you intend to provide. Look for their strengths and weaknesses. Study their functionality to get a feel for the user experience you need to create for your app.
This research will also help you decide on the price range for your app.
When you start to conceive
When you start turning research into design, there are many notable things you need to accomplish. These are described one by one in detail below.
Pay attention to a clear UX and user interface
Clear UI and UX design requires creative thinking and freedom. The designer must follow all the rules to meet a wide range of users. In addition, to achieve the maximum, the design should be user-friendly and follow some basic but essential rules:
- Create a user character and rate it. Base it on the desires and expectations of users to optimize the user journey.
- Have as little action as possible. Group all related content with one click. Use the gradual reduction method.
- Display vital information at the start of the user journey.
- Keep the design simple with all the necessary sections of the app nearby (with a few finger clicks whenever possible).
Create a responsive design
While a healthcare app should be visually appealing, it’s also important to pay attention to how it looks on screens of different sizes. Yes, it makes the design process difficult, but it cannot be removed. Regardless of the form factor of the device, be it a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the design should fit the screen of the device well.
Try a empathetic design
You can’t please everyone. Additionally, a healthcare app should display empathy throughout its design. For example, the older generation is not tech savvy and has weaker eyesight. They prefer larger fonts, an easy-to-navigate layout, and minimal animation.
On the contrary, younger people prefer bright colors and flexible settings. A designer must be able to find a balance between the two.
Build a clear navigation system
Navigation is the backbone of a healthcare app’s user interface. This equates to ease of use and speed. In comparison, confusing navigation does not help a user.
A Stanford Medicine A survey found that a doctor spends 62% of patent time checking EHR reports. The verification of the EHR itself takes sufficient time. If an application does not respond quickly, it will not be efficient for the healthcare professional to complete their work.
For this reason, a healthcare professional needs a fast application with clear and faster navigation patterns and information architecture.
There are notable differences between the types of phones used in different parts of the world and the internet bandwidth used by most of the population.
Therefore, there are all kinds of people to keep in mind when designing an application. Make sure that your app is available for the maximum type of devices and also for patients with disabilities such as sight, hearing and movement disorders.
Pay attention to the colors
It boils down to two things: the theme of the healthcare app and the target audience. Usually neutral shades are used in the design of a healthcare application. Green colors and cool blue tones with white as the background are mainly used.
Designers choose these colors because they are calming and associated with the health industry in the physical world. These colors are known to ease anxiety, bring credibility, and build confidence.
That said, there is no standard for using only pastel colors. The idea is to leave a positive impression on users, and the app’s color scheme can do that for you.
Make sure you write UX
With UX writing, designers aim to tune the communication between users and the application. In other words, it is a copy-making practice for use in user interfaces to help users engage and interact with the app. The copy created is known as a microcopy.
This microcopy includes a copy of menu and buttons, safety notes, error messages, terms and conditions, and instructions on the product page. Since bad copy is a threat to even a good UI, it is important to have UX writing. This influences both the UX and the user interface.
Perform usability tests
Finally, evaluate the UI data with the application interface. Ensuring the consistency of architecture and navigation is not enough. Just as important, or so to speak, even more so is testing their viability.
Active user engagement is crucial for the success of the app. Usability testing helps establish interaction, gain instant feedback and insight into application behavior patterns. Choose your test audience of the same age as your target audience. Ask them to use all the main functions and get their feedback.
If you follow the steps above, you should be in a good position to create a strategy that will help you achieve a robust health app design.