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Why Invest in UX?

You Do What?

When friends and family ask what I do and I say “I am a UX designer”, they all give me the same puzzled look followed by the question: What is UX?

After stumbling through an explanation, usually the individual comes to the conclusion that I am a web developer, or that I am a graphic designer. Generally, I just agree and nod my head because it is easier. However, this generalization overlooks some of the most important aspects of UX design.

User Experience (UX) design is a rapidly growing field, and many companies are still weighing the benefits of investing in their own UX team, or paying to consult a UX designer.

I recently worked with a client, InovCares, on providing feedback and doing some user testing on the User Interface (UI) redesign of the patient side of their tele-health/holistic health management app.

The process of providing feedback and doing user testing for this client is a prime example of the need for UX to be at the core of any product (re)design.

You Can’t Love Something You Can’t Find

Upon initial examination of the prototype they provided us, something just didn’t add up. I wasn’t able to focus on the key features, as all my energy was funneled into figuring out how to navigate the app in the first place. By the time I figured it out, I was tired and frustrated. My initial thoughts on the app went something like this:

There is way too much going on here

Why can’t they just focus on one feature?

Nobody wants all these options in one place, it’s too much to sort through

Once I figured out how to navigate the app and how all the features worked, I then decided to branch out and see how a few users felt about the original prototype that was sent. I chose to first test the app out with a few young, tech-savvy healthcare professionals. My thinking was: if they can’t figure this out, then your average patient likely won’t be able to either.

The same themes kept coming up:

Why do they have so many features?

Why isn’t everything clickable?

How do I know if I did something right?

We didn’t even get into the meat of the app features, because we kept getting stuck on the flow and navigation. So I thought, OK, for the next round of tests, let’s try using the “corrected” version of the prototype where the flow has been reworked. I reorganized the flow of the app screens in order to get a better idea of what the flow should look like.

I did three more informal tests with the reorganized flow, still with young tech-savvy healthcare professionals. While they still felt that the flow wasn’t perfect, we were much better able to focus on the purpose of the app:

Providing patients with a holistic health management dashboard, where they can easily schedule appointments with their doctors and manage their healthcare.

All of my users saw value in the different features provided by the app, and felt that they would be beneficial to patients based on their own experiences working with them.

I decided to take testing a step further, doing three usability tests through usertesting.com. This time, I decided to hone in on a different demographic, recruiting three users between the ages of 40–65 with average web skills. Since the app was originally designed for those with chronic health conditions, I wanted to get closer to the intended demographic.

I saw similar results, in that the users spent a lot of time trying to navigate the app, and were frustrated by the fact that the fields were not clickable and they could not fully complete tasks. However, they did like the general concept of the app, and were happy with the new UI.

Just Go With the Flow

Based on this research and testing, and the findings and insights gleaned, there are a few things I think InovCares can do to instantly improve the user experience of their app.

  1. I would start the app with an onboarding tutorial, that goes over the key features the app has to offer and where the user should go to access them. I would also recommend that these tutorials be stored in a “Help” section of the app, where users can go back to them if they forget how to do something.
  2. I would have a global navigation bar on all screens the user encounters, with conventional icons that the user would recognize. One of the biggest icons the user was missing was a general Home icon, that would take them back to the main navigation dashboard.
  3. Finally, I would reorganize the flow of the app navigation to be more intuitive.

Once the prototype for the app has been reorganized, I would recommend that InovCares do further testing on the features. Like I said previously, the users were pleased with the concept of the app and the aesthetic appeal, so I would want to gain more insight on how they feel about getting into the nitty gritty of the details of the features, in order to provide them with a satisfying health management experience.

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Emily Quade

Emily Quade

Hi! I’m Emily, a UX/UI designer with an eye for the little things, and a big picture mentality. I love making things beautifully functional

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