Tackling the Medical Field


T H E  S T O R Y

The medical field is not an easy one to tackle in design. There tends to be a stereotype that it's complex - which is possibly true, and could be relatively limiting. For my last interactive design project in my senior year, I knew that I wanted to do something in the medical field, for me, there is a lot of opportunities that can emerge from it. True, it gets very complicated, a huge amount research must be put into it but what could come out of it also be very powerful. It's always good to be able to make a beautiful design, but I find it greatly satisfying when I could create something that is not only beautiful, but something that also creates an impact to those who use it in the real world. So I started with the basic question of the problems that the hospitals are now facing.

I N I T I A L  R E S E A R C H

I find it quite shocking that medication errors is one of the biggest preventable issues that is still happening in hospital. I'm lucky to have my brother who is currently a doctor, so he knows what is going on in the medical field. I talked to him and a couple of his colleagues to gather more insight on this problem and decided that I want to create a digital experience that focuses solely on tackling medication errors. Below is a picture of my initial research and brainstorm sessions on my notebook.



Medication errors has costs not only financially, but it causes more than 98,000 deaths each year. These errors can happen during the dispensation of medication, administration, or patient compliance. Ordering or prescribing the wrong drug, dosage, or route contributes to almost half of medication errors and nurses intercept 48% of these types of ordering errors.



With that said, the target of this digital experience would be for the nurses, and secondarily for assigned physicians. Justifying my reason is this - when the practitioner makes a mistake in medication order or whatnot, the pharmacists and nurses have a chance to intercept it. If the pharmacist makes an error in filing the order, the nurses have a chance to intercept it before it reaches the patient. Unfortunately, errors nurses make are likely to reach the patient.



However this project is in no way attacking the nurses. They have SO much things to juggle at once, more than I could comprehend. So more than anything, one of the goals of this project is to hopefully really help them out! I've broken down my insight and goal below. 

U S E R  J O U R N E Y

The flow of this experience is a huge priority when I was designing the experience. As mentioned before, the nurses have a lot to juggle at once, they must be able to multitask quickly. I want the experience to be quick, concise and easy. In terms of where this experience lives, Capsule is going to live as an iPad system will be mostly used by nurses and doctors who are taking care of inpatient (overnight patients, so not in-and-out patients), system will be connected to hospital database for easy input and statistics; It will also incorporate the sensory wristbands - a crucial part of the experience - an updated version of the current barcode wristband that will read vital signs such as heart rate and body temperature, recorded real time for easier data input and tracking. Below is a diagram of how the journey goes.

V I S U A L  E X P L O R A T I O N S

Before I go to do my visuals, I like to gather inspirations. I want to know what exists out there so that I could give Capsule a unique voice visually. Below is my inspiration board for Capsule. Just because its a medical app, doesn't mean that it has to feel too corporate or boring. I decided to use colors to separate different features in the app, which functionally also works as a quick indication of which page the nurse is on.



Because the user experience is the key that measures the success of this project, I also start prototyping my visuals starting from the early stage. Per usual, I start with sketches that I eventually use as the guide for my high fidelity wireframes. And then I quickly put these wireframes on InVision to get a quick feedback from a couple real life physicians and nurses to see if they understand the flow of the journey. This process is quite challenging, because as visual designers, our focus tend to make everything look pretty, but for the target, their focus is to get things done as quickly as possible and to see things clearly.



Hierarchy is the biggest challenge of this project, prioritizing what is important and making things that are less important secondary - to achieve the right hierarchy, I had to experiment a lot with scale, shapes, placement of shapes, space, typeface to font sizes. Below are some of my design explorations before I end up with my final decision.