User Experience (UX) is a big deal – a make or break for designers of everything from toasters to hospital apps.

In fact, consider your toaster. Imagine if instead of simply turning a dial to regulate how crispy you want the toast, you had to open it up and hardwire it every time.

That’s UX!

It can carry enormous influence when deciding whether to implement a new system. A poor UX can leave a bad taste in your mouth – or worse, in your manager’s mouth – and ultimately risk alienating customers and losing business.

UX involves all the features of a product, site or system that make it easy to use.

Why is UX so important in healthcare?

The market for better products, sites and systems promising to streamline health data is nearing saturation. Costs savings, quality improvement, better access to patients are just some of the promises made to decision makers in our hospitals. But are they living up to their promises?

The User Xperience: The UX design of software in healthcare and its impact

The User Xperience: The UX design of software in healthcare and its impact

Prof Chris Bain, Health Tech UX, said one fundamental flaw is that a lot of medical systems don’t serve clinical staff well.

“Many clinicians are on the back-foot of new clinical systems,” he said.

“Systems are actually requiring more time, more decision-making and are not easy to use. A lot of systems are desktop-based, which can pose a problem in hospitals where the computer to clinician ratio is unbalanced.

“We’d all be in a much better place if systems were more usable and clinicians have a positive experience.”

This thinking is what’s driving the UX Workshop at HIC, to be delivered by Prof Bain, Bernard Schokman, Grahame Grieve, Dr Stuart Marshall and Dr David Wrede.

“We want people to walk away with a better understanding of what UX is and what it’s not,” Prof Bain said.

“Clinicians can sometimes be poor at communicating their exact IT problem. Not providing specifics can lead to ambiguity and frustration, and problems can remain unsolved.

“We want to empower people and give them the knowledge and language to articulate their system problems and work with IT on collaborative solutions.”

Bernard Schokman will be leading the second half of the workshop and will discuss details about how we think of a product, from conception to implementation, concentrating on UX the whole way.

“We want to make the point ‘It’s you!’ and make it clear it’s not technology, resources or capability holding health back, but rather it’s people and their design application,” Bernard said.

“We’ll discuss ‘The Disruption’ and how those outside healthcare work when focussed on user experience, highlighting tricks and techniques that can be adopted by the health sector.”

Read more about the HIC 2016 program here, and the conference workshops.