• Medical Devices
  • Case Study

Patient-Facing UI Development

Unfortunately, much of my recent work is currently under NDA. I can provide specific details on request.

In 2015, I was brought onboard at a large medical device company to help them design their next-generation therapy controller used by patients. The company was replacing their outdated, custom hardware with off-the-shelf touchscreen devices, and needed all the functionality of their existing controller ported to their new touchscreen application.

The nature of the patient population required specialized design considerations to make up for physical and cognitive limitations. I designed and executed seven studies that took place in the United States and Europe, meeting with more than fifty patients over the course of two years. The studies were casual but rigorous — I wanted to see the prototypes being used to find any problems, as well as listen to what users needed and what they liked or disliked. Success metrics could range from a simple task completion to something more complex like knowledge of a system state and how to use that information to make a correct decision.

After each study, my fellow UX teammates and I worked with the systems and software developers to figure out the best solution to our patients’ problems and what the right user interface would look like. I wrote presentations for the core development team to communicate general trends as well as specific results that were important to our users. These presentations were given to a cross-disciplinary core team. It was important that everyone working on the project understood not only what our users needed, but why so we could make good, user-focused choices together. This approach meant that when problems arose with proposed designs, the team could collaborate to find new solutions that met all the stakeholder’s needs. This collaborative approach led to a constantly-evolving application that met the user’s needs and worked within our own development constraints.

UI designs began as wireframes and shifted into high-fidelity prototypes as key features were nailed down. Paper prototypes, click-through PDFs, InVision prototypes, affinity diagrams, and ranked choices were some of the methods I used to understand our users’ mental models of the system and where the problems in our designs were.

My contract was completed at the end of the formative research studies, and I handed the project off to another UX engineer responsible for assembling documents for submission to the FDA. In mid-2019, the project was approved for use.