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UX in Healthcare Tech: Humanistic Design to Motivate User Behavior

Aimee Richardson, Lead UX Researcher at Kaiser Permanente, presents on user research and design in healthcare tech, using a Prediabetes patient app she worked on as an example.

UX in healthcare tech necessitates sensitive in-depth user research, understanding and empathy with users, and design sense for creating software that meets their needs and motivates behavioral change, whether to eat better or keep to their medication schedule.

Aimee's presentation was part of the UX in Healthcare Tech webinar hosted by TryMyUI. Learn more at

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UX in Healthcare Tech: Humanistic Design to Motivate User Behavior

  1. 1. UX Healthcare in Tech: Prediabetes In-depth Interviews Aimee Richardson | Lead User Experience Researcher 9/26/2016
  2. 2. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Goals of the Study: • Discover the patient’s (i.e. user) experience post diagnosis – their thoughts, feelings and emotions around being prediabetic • Identify what motivates them to make lifestyle changes and what tools and/or resources help them make these changes • Determine if the Prediabetes website was instrumental in helping them learn more and make changes • Identify where we could better fulfill the patient’s content needs
  3. 3. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes How we did it using 3 different methodologies: • In-person interviews – good for gaining a better understanding of a person’s goals, needs, mindset and behaviors • Task-based usability study using the think-aloud protocol – good for uncovering functional issues and the fundamental value to the user • Desirability List (Adjective test) – good to use in conjunction with collecting quantitative data because it can elicit more honest responses • We also collected Satisfaction ratings using 0-10 scale Age Range 27 to 63 Gender 3 female 2 male Timeframe of diagnosis 2 within last few weeks 3 for last several years Ethnicity 3 African-American 2 Caucasian Socio-economics 2 High-income 1 Middle-income 2 Low-income
  4. 4. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes How can we meet the needs of both types of users? Robin* – 27 year old, African-American, female • very busy with work, school, and a 4 year old son • diagnosed since she was 10 years old • has developed many strategies to keep prediabetes under control Raymond* – 63 year old, Caucasian, male • stressful job running his own business • diagnosed about 6 weeks ago • overwhelmed with his diagnosis and all the perceived changes he’ll have to make *Names have been changed to protect PHI
  5. 5. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Provide direction and guidance • Their healthcare provider is a trusted source for users according to their self reports • Users said there is a lot of incorrect information in the community about what is healthy (e.g. juicing, gluten- free) • Users want to look to their healthcare provider as a credible source of medical information for Prediabetes User quote: “It’s a place to learn. I want facts from doctors, not questionable information from the community.” – P1
  6. 6. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Make the goals specific and attainable “I hear this all the time. There’s nothing here that would motivate me or make me stay on the site.” – P5 • Patients want to know what they can do right now to make a difference with small, actionable steps • Those who’ve had the diagnosis for a while wanted to develop more refined meal plans • (i.e. alternatives/substitutions) • Users also wanted to be reassured that they would be okay if they continued to make small changes User quotes: “I was glad to find out that the situation is not as permanent as I thought it was.” – P2 Specific – Two 15-minute walks Not specific enough – Eat Healthy
  7. 7. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Provide motivation and support • Users wanted the website to feel supportive and motivational and suggested that the patient testimonials could do this • They wanted the abstracts for the testimonials to be realistic, not idealistic • They also wanted the testimonials to provide them with tips and successful strategies others had used • Most users wanted to connect online with each other or through hearing other’s stories, but not in person User quote: “I’m not into groups, but I like hearing other’s stories.” – P5 Too idealistic Didn’t want to connect in person because of time commitment More realistic user quote: “I used to skip breakfast and lunch, and then eat too much at dinnertime. Now I eat every 3 to 4 hours-- breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
  8. 8. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Help create a sustainable meal plan • Users wanted help making small tweaks to their current diet instead of a major overhaul • Their philosophy was that changing everything about their diet at once would set them up for failure • They wanted specific substitutions and alternatives for things they liked to eat • Overall, making changes to their diet was perceived as not fun User quote: “When a person makes dramatic changes, they don’t maintain them. I’m not going to be perfect...Most of us know what we should do, it doesn’t really help.” – P5
  9. 9. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Raise awareness around stress management • Users were interested in learning more about the connection between stress and its impact on their condition • Some realized it was more difficult to avoid unhealthy snacks and weight gain when stressed with work or family • Making information about stress more available could educate them on the association between stress and prediabetes User quote: “You need a reminder that you don’t have to put food in your mouth just because you’re stressed.” – P3 UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes
  10. 10. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Additional points of interest: • The main way we can add value to the website is by adding content users are asking for. • The overall satisfaction rating was 6.5/10 indicating there is room for improvement. • The current tools provided in the “Track” section would not be used by most (4/5) users. • Users did not struggle to use the website, but said it was easy to use and helpful. User quotes: “It’s just a graph… I don’t see the value in just have the exercise tracker graph your numbers.” “Easy, very simply laid out, not a lot of options under each tab, not too busy. It flowed pretty well.” – P5 Word cloud from Adjective Test
  11. 11. UX in Healthcare: Prediabetes Additional points of interest: • The organization of the content could be more in line with what users want. First, they wanted to quickly know more about what Prediabetes is and what they can do now. • Most (4/5) users said they did not learn anything new from the website they didn’t already know. However, their desire to learn was high (6.2/7). • Most (4/5) had difficulty identifying that the primary change they could make to impact their Prediabetes, is to lose weight. Some thought diet was most important and others thought it was exercise. User quotes: “I would do “on your own” at first because it's twelve minutes long whereas the other options are 2 hours. “ – P3 “I would like to see the video first. It would be more welcoming.” – P5 “On Your Own” video from the Learn tab