Designing with the Patient in Mind

Progress Week 5

January 23rd, 2012 | Posted by admin in Feedback - (Comments Off)

Here is the feedback I received last week.

  • “Add Another Contact” under emergency contacts and the “Save” button need to be smaller
  • There should be a “Submit” button for each section
  • Is the rule necessary under certain headings for the content of each section? If so, color is something to think about
  • Work on typography and contrast
  • Point size in text of mainNav could be slightly larger and centered
  • Sizing of input boxes should have consistency (use smaller boxes as guide for larger boxes)
  • Consider a drop shadow or some other type of depth for the “You are here” state in the mainNav
  • Content in each section should be color coded so that it related to the color of the button in the mainNav

I also need to conduct my first usability test, which will be a quick, mini test to determine which color scheme people prefer out of the few mock-ups I designed. Of course, there is the possibility that none of them are well received, but hopefully that won’t happen!

That is plenty to keep me busy!!


Week 4 Progress

January 14th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Feedback - (Comments Off)

Things are progressing, just not at the rate I would like them to. While designing the wireframes, I’ve become aware of many things that would be helpful and problems that need to be worked out. I definitely picked a challenging design problem to solve!

This week I’m at the point where I can start designing the GUI in Photoshop. Once I’ve got the design of one page down, it will mostly be just a matter of changing content with each page because I’ll have a template done so I should be able to catch up to where I want to be at this point in the process. Here is a round-up of major changes, new additions, and other ideas:

  • I thought I had a name, but have now decided to scrap it after a quick search yielded some results with the same name in technology related software. I don’t want there to be any confusion so I am back at square one with the name game. Sigh.
  • The print-out will be one color leaving me with more freedom to work with a large a color scheme
  • Choosing a color scheme is proving to be harder than I thought. It seems I need more colors in this palette than I am used to in terms of designing for the screen.
  • Pop-ups will be utilized to save screen real estate.
  • I included pagination to reduce the amount of scrolling.
  • There will be a specific list of activity that the user will be able to showing everything they updated during their last sign-on
  • Some type of a “Why are you asking me this?/Why is this information important? link or button will be somewhere in certain sections for information that has to be filled in
  • The risk of losing information after spending quite a bit of time filling it all in is a worry I will take into account. Users will be prompted with a warning pop-up message to save their information if they forget to click the “Save” button in the bottom right corner.

I think I’m actually at one of the most difficult points with regards to the design process because the challenges from the wireframes all seem to be colliding with the start of the design of the interface in Photoshop and I’m still trying to finalize features. Just trying to keep pushing through at this point!


December 22nd, 2011 | Posted by admin in Feedback | Planning - (Comments Off)

I am in the revision stage of the wireframes and it looks like things are moving in the right direction. Next up is to do a color treatment on the wireframes and make a final decision on the color scheme. The “Medical Testing History” is the section of the EMR that is taking the longest because I want to add a few helpful features for interactivity, i.e. tracking numbers, personal normal baseline numbers, what the numbers mean, and possibly graphs.

I would also like to add a button for an “Archive” feature to archive information that is outdated. For example, if a patient is doing well and they no longer need to see a doctor that is listed under their current medical team, they would be able to archive that specific detail and have a record of past information. The layout of this archive will follow the design of the print layout and will be a list of outdated information combined in one section. To get to the archive, the patient will click on the archive button in their personal welcome panel.

Week 3 Progress

December 12th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Planning - (Comments Off)

Things are moving along here in a good way. I am currently working on finalizing wireframes for the interface and still trying to come up with a name.

New developments:

  • - there will be a login screen on the intro page – once you log in your two choices of where you can go pop up
  • - I am considering accordion menus to decrease the amount of scrolling once information is added
  • - need to remember to add a “save” button for each section
  • - each section will have instructions for how to fill out the information for that specific page
  • - I am now planning on designing this EMR in Flash to allow for different ways to output the final project (i.e. for demo purposes, training, simulation, etc)

Next up? Try a few different color treatments on the wireframes, select a color scheme and start designing the GUI in Photoshop.

Thesis Baby Needs a Name!

November 29th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Planning - (Comments Off)

I would like to brand this EMR so name ideas for the application itself are taking up a lot of my headspace lately. Not easy trying to name it! Right now I affectionately refer to this project as my thesis baby. :)


November 29th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Inspiration - (Comments Off)

These are some interface elements that I am using for inspiration in the design of my project.

A Day Made of Glass by Corning

FL Studo Mobile

40 Detailed Examples of User Interface Design

50 Examples of Pixel Perfect Button Design

15 UI Design Patterns Web Designers Should Keep Handy

Exploring Graphic User Interface Styles – from Minimalistic to Futuristic

Huge Showcase of Detailed Interface Design Elements

30 Best Examples of New Web Interface Design

30 Beautiful Uses of Icons in Web Design

50 High Quality Free PSD Files for Designers

7 Photoshop Tips for Designing Clean and Modern Websites


Evaluation Plan

November 7th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Planning - (Comments Off)

The plan to test this project includes the following:

The group tested will consist of patients eighteen and above with chronic illnesses

Questionnaires will be provided

  • if the patient is local: it might be helpful to watch the patient interact with the EMR
  • if the patient is not local: an online survey will be created
  • ‐ all patients will be asked the same questions

Feedback will be qualitative

Based on the feedback, design changes will be made to the GUI and print out

The final project will be assessed using the following criteria:

Consider feedback from usability testing

Balance of design – does it take into consideration patients concerns/feedback while maintaining hierarchy, design principles, and a strong grid structure?

How well did I achieve my goals?

How successful is the project in its delivery?


November 7th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Planning - (Comments Off)

Plans for submission of thesis project include:

Adobe Design Achievement Awards

These awards celebrate student work created with Adobe creative software.

Adobe MAX

The purpose of the Adobe MAX event is to promote the latest releases from Adobe and discover the latest technologies being used in the computer graphics industry.

CIAS Student Showcase Portal

This website allows RIT CIAS students to upload projects from their experience at RIT.

Communication Arts

Print publication that features feature articles, competitions and resources for designers.

Core77 Design Awards

This design competition features several award categories from “client work to self‐initiated projects, entrepreneurial to pro‐bono engagements.”

Health Management Technology

This magazine features news from the healthcare industry on how technology is making an impact in this field. Lately, special focus has been on EMR coverage.

HOW Magazine

A magazine for designers on how to be more “creative, successful, productive, and connected.”

Modern Healthcare

This magazine is for those in the healthcare industry covering a wide array of topics.

Print Magazine

A magazine for designers about “design that places contemporary visual culture in its social, political and historical contexts.”


From their website: “TEDMED’s mission is to help America and the world understand the great challenges of health and medicine, connect the right people and inspire the leadership we need.”

Implementation Strategies

November 7th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Planning - (Comments Off)

The interface of this project will be designed in Adobe Photoshop and a prototype will be built in Adobe Flash Catalyst. Photoshop is the best way to achieve certain interface design elements such as gradients, the use of blending modes, opacity, and texture to name a few. The patient will be concerned with getting their information and clicking through content, not on animated graphics that are intended to capture attention. Because of this, Flash Catalyst will be a good tool to display visually how buttons, rollovers, links, and other interactive elements will work in this project. The interactive part of this project will be designed for the computer and designing for a tablet screen size will be considered.

The print out of the EMR will be designed in Adobe Illustrator to allow for the design of a strong grid structure. The design of the graphical user interface will influence the design of the print out and will be adapted for continuity.

Proposal Wrap-Up

November 5th, 2011 | Posted by admin in Planning - (Comments Off)

I will be defending my thesis proposal Wednesday and while I wrap things up for this quarter, I am still finding new research that will be helpful. I recently learned there are over 300+ EMRs and a lot of them try to do too much I think, to the point of overwhelming the user with information overload. Managing prescriptions (fill/refill), appointment scheduling, and patient billing are popular features of current EMRs, but will not be included in my project. The EMR I am designing is for the storage of information.

I also thought it was worth noting that I keep seeing the phrase “decent UI” mentioned when referring to the design of EMR interfaces. That sounds to me like it translates to, “since it works, we’ll settle for it.” Not good! Design is key here to making a successful, understandable, simplified EMR.