By, Andrew Schall, Director of Publications, UXPA International
Did you know that November 10th is World Usability Day (WUD)? Established in 2005 by the User Experience Professionals Association (formerly the Usability Professionals Association, UPA), World Usability Day (WUD) occurs annually to promote the values of usability, usability engineering, user-centered design, universal usability, and every user’s responsibility to ask for things that work better.
The goal of the World Usability Initiative (WUI) is to connect the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and the User Experience (UX) communities and everyone who believes that great design is inclusive and usable by all, to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by establishing World Usability Day as an internationally observed day, listed on the United Nations calendar.
In this year’s theme “Our Health” we explore systems that provide healthcare in many forms such as virtual/telehealth, electronic health records, healthcare products, and all digital health-related solutions. This theme will help us explore timely and important issues such as continuity of care, access to treatment, telemedicine, systems for mental health, exercise, nutrition, and many more. In addition, this theme includes health problems related to environmental issues such as air and water pollution’s impact on health.
There are many challenges that face our healthcare ecosystem including increased costs, clinician burnout, and unequal access to quality care for patients. This past year has created one of the most difficult situations yet with a global pandemic impacting an already strained healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for patient-focused healthcare and shortfalls in the industry – urging for a dire transformation of the healthcare industry going forward. UX design has enormous potential to drive much-needed change in healthcare.
Health-focused government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations have been making significant headway in enhancing the lives of their users by focusing on improving usability. Large healthcare organizations such as Mayo Clinic have invested heavily in UX to ensure that the patient is at the center of the digital experience. “Technology and data-driven innovation are making it possible for us to solve some of the most complex medical problems as well as expand our capabilities to provide high-quality health care with a human touch in the digital space,” says Jeffrey Bolton, Mayo Clinic’s former chief administrative officer.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has greatly improved the usability of its public-facing websites including a redesign of its vaccinations site. According to Lisa Richman, Health Communication Specialist at the CDC, the agency uses a digital-first approach to make digital content more usable, effective, and accessible on multiple devices. “With digital-first, we optimize our content for digital delivery from the very beginning, recognizing that digital is the primary way our audiences access CDC information.”
Learn More About Health & UX
There are many opportunities to see how user experience is having a positive impact on healthcare.
UXPA Magazine recently featured articles on the theme of UX and healthcare in the September issue.
There are many WUD events being held throughout the world and also healthcare-themed conferences held during the year. Several UXPA chapters are hosting WUD virtual and in-person events such as UXPA MN and UXPA UK, and Triangle (NC) UXPA.
HXD is a two-day event hosted by the Center for Health Experience Design that attracts more than 500 health visionaries — people from health, design, technology, business, and government – to create solutions to the challenges of today’s health system.
Since being established in 2015, UX Healthcare has held events on 4 different continents, across multiple time zones, and reached a diverse audience. Their goal is to help UX practitioners, clinicians, and stakeholders improve the holistic patient experience.
The Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (HFES) hosts an annual International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Healthcare. This event attracts a diverse group of UX professionals, human factors experts, pharmaceutical and medical device vendors, biomedical engineers, health care providers, FDA representatives, patient safety researchers, and more.