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Analysis on business, brand, and breadth of work to increase efficiency in the workplace.

Designing a modern medical digital workspace

AnesthesiaGo is a digital program used by anesthesiologists to automatically generates daily case assignments in accordance with group policies — saving time, driving efficiency, minimizing human error and allowing greater focus on patient care. The target market consists of anesthesia groups, in particular members participating in administrative tasks like data input, data import, schedule making, and overall management.

I combined in-depth research in standardized medical procedures to modernize and streamline the digital experience. By creating a well designed platform, it allowed users to organize dynamically evolving schedules, increase work efficiency, improve communications between medical parties, and establish a modern working platform and interface.

Project Details

Team

3 UX Designers

Duration

2 Months

Role

UX Researcher, Project Manager, UI Illustrator, Presenter

Methods

User Interviews, Heuristic Evaluation, Task Analysis, Competitive & Comparative Analysis, Affinity Mapping, Personas, MoSCoW Prioritization, User Flows, Sketching & Wireframing, Style Guide, Rapid Prototyping, Usability Testing, Double Diamond. Agile Development, Information Architecture

Tools

Figma, Google Docs, Trello, Zoom, Slack, Photoshop, Illustrator, Miro, Mural, Google Slides, Overflow, Adobe Creative Cloud

Discovery and Research

What is the issue?

The Challenge

Software and programs in the medical field often use "old-school" interfaces and inputs which are difficult to use. It's not uncommon to use analog solutions in response to lacking digital features or accessibility difficulty. These methods are a time burden on practitioners who's jobs save lives and tasks can go up to 60+ hours per week. Some practitioners act as "schedule runners" who are responsible for scheduling and modifying others' schedules as well as their own, further complicating the process on top of their on responsibilities.

The Goals

Create a modern, simple, and clean platform for anesthesiologists to focus on their patients instead of the planning. 

Competitive and comparative analysis against industry design standards.

Streamlining the platform across a network of practitioners for dynamic scheduling and usability.

 

Standardize design and development principles to allow easy updates and consistent future developments 

Success Measurability 

By utilizing a task analysis comparing project iterations and user feedback, we can determine success through the metrics of time elapsed, the number of actions, and the success rate of using intended features. 

 

We can also screen overall user satisfaction and impressions, determining how streamlined the whole experience is for their practice.

Discovery and Research

Finding our Ideas

Heuristics

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We looked at the issues with the digital platforms to define best practices we can use to improve its design.

We found that the current program is overall functional and serviceable for the end goal, which is a positive sign. Some aspects, like the navigation bars or certain buttons, should be improved for greater consistency, readability, and ease of function. Other smaller aspects such as the alignment, spacing, iconography, and color could use slight adjustments for an enhanced experience.

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Competitive Analysis

We establishing a detailed competitor/comparator analysis to to develop a hierarchy of important features and refine our design direction. Using other products to compare and research (such as other medical programs, airline industry scheduling technology, and social media platforms) we were able to pinpoint specific needs for the redesign.

Simplified but informative interfaces to get the point across easily. 

More robust sidebar that is collapsible and easier to scan and read.

Digital productively calendar tools can boost accuracy, always having fast access to schedules.

Equalize difficult on-call shifts across providers

Accurately document hours worked

Discovery and Research

Understanding the People

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User Surveys

We surveyed anesthesiologists across the US to gain insight on common practices and how we can accommodate these principles in our applications. Alongside these data we also parsed out:

 

About 50% used pen-paper for scheduling, nearly 30% used a specific digital software or tool, while the rest used other miscellaneous programs such as Excel.

On a 1-10 scale (10 best) about their current schedule experience, about 20% responded with 1 and 2 with the rest rating 4-6. 

User Interviews

We interviewed practitioners to understand the procedures and helps conceptualize common patterns and feelings of people in similar fields with varying backgrounds and experiences. We asked questions regarding their specialty, routine, their current scheduling procedures and glow/grow opinions, and any particular pain points with their experience and what they wish could be improved. From the responses we're able to group their thoughts into several descriptions:

Stressful

"Being floor runner is a thankless, horrific job. It's such a burdensome task"

"I have to make sure people make it through surgery, but admin work is tedious and takes a lot of my energy."

"It's hard enough that there's so many moving parts, from people to the operations, that adding more time having to focus on menial actions in the scheduling process is a massive pain.

Error Prone

"Making mistakes is bad and changes must be made urgently. Any changes or mistakes has to be resent and mailed to everybody. There's nothing to help prevent mistakes besides our own attention."

"Schedules can be inconsistent. Some floor runners make it quickly, but some don't always put in the same thought while others input info with their own jargons and terms. It's just difficult to look at. "

"I schedule with pen and paper because the program I use is hard to adjust and even harder to notify my colleagues. While it's a lot slower than I'd like, at least I can make adjustments a little bit easier."

Detail Anxiety

"There are lots of nuances to consider, like the type of room, surgery, or maybe a part should be done by a particular person. It's hard to get those points across when your program input is limited but handwritten isn't clear from time constraints."

"The Color Layout in our program can be confusing. There's not much to distinguish different doctors or tasks so sometimes we have to take extra time to double check."

"It's important to look at the following day’s schedule and see how many people are needed at the beginning of the day. This is hard with pen and paper since there's a lot of separate pages and pieces of information to go through. We have to make sure we don't misread anything or repeat things by accident. "

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Define and Ideate

Affinity Mapping

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The affinity map helped organize important points into insights to truly understand our user's needs, wants and motivations. With this understanding in mind, we can create suitable user personas.

We categorized and identified the feedback and comments to get an understanding and sense of what users expect. We divided it as such:

 

Usage Feedback: Users want the experience to be easy and stress free. Their jobs are hectic enough and this shouldn't be an extra burden onto their daily schedules. The functions should make be intuitive, easy to navigate, and troubleshooting should be self explanatory.

 

Communication: Information needs to be clear and concise with the correct details that are easily legible. Users like it when the design is clean and aesthetically pleasing with defined colors and symbols that's distinguishable.

 

Relationships: I want ways to know how my group will work together and to organize everyone in the most efficient way. Cooperation is key in the field and making sure that people are working in the best cases they know is the optimal solution users aim to always achieve. Any metric that identify or highlight patterns to help make decisions is desired.

Roles: By understanding the roles and responsibilities, we can see what the users have to do and what they look forward to in their tasks.

Efficiency: Users define their metrics about what is considered efficient. Some thinks it's time, others thinks its resources like money or manpower, some thinks it's all. Regardless, all users believe that efficiency is important in a high paced environment and whatever that's needed to be done should be done productively and well.

 

Dynamic: Because the floor changes all the time with different cases and situations constantly coming up, there needs to be ways to integrate dynamic changes and make sure they're looked into in a timely manner. Things should be set up with the understanding and intent that they can change and adapt accordingly.

Current Systems: Users have different tool sets at their disposal ranging from digital platforms to pen and paper. This looks into what they use and how long it takes for them to accomplish their tasks. It also looks into what they think about their current methods and a look into what are some alternative opportunities.

Demographic: Looking into the background the users, we can see that even within similar fields there's a large diversity of people and their respective understanding of tools and skill sets. One similar aspect is the low tech capabilities of most users which indicates that whatever tool they're using must be easy to understand and even easier to use and pick up.

Define and Ideate

Personas

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We discovered that time and efficiency are cornerstone aspects throughout the procedure regardless of role.

 

For the inputter, they need to get the information quickly and concisely so they know what steps to take. They also need to make sure the features and functions to input are easy to use and help mitigate errors to ensure accuracy.

 

For the Receiver, they want to be able to read and understand the schedule with ease. The information needs to be clear for them so they know how to prepare their work. Ways to add updates throughout the day would also be welcomed.

Define and Ideate

Feature Priority & MVP

The Priorities

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The Solution

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Define and Ideate

User Flow

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Design and Develop

From Ideas to Craft

We started by conceptualizing our ideas in basic sketch, bridging the gap between visual and function while slowly updating each iteration through feedback and testing. With each round of test, we gradually improved our final product.

Starting with the Basics

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We wanted to get a basic idea of the layout, orientation, and information architecture of the redesign.

Applying our research into visuals, we had a framework to work and to lay out features necessary for the final iteration.

Adding Some Details

Next we refined our initial drafts to a workable checkpoint visualizing all the possibilities for layouts, features and writing we could ideate. We incorporated a number of features aimed to solve the pain points and reaching our project goals.

Design and Develop

Usability Testing

In order to ensure the application is usable by AnesthesiaGo's target market, we specifically targeted the following communities and demographics: anesthesiologists (highest priority), individuals associated or working within the medical field (psychiatrists, occupational therapists, etc.), and adults between the ages of 25-60 years old with low to moderate tech literacy.

Between each usability test, we acquired useful feedback that we utilized between design iterations. This allowed us to improve the design moving forward and guarantee the designs were usable.

Total Users

20 Users

Overall

18/20 users finished all 4 tasks

Users came from a variety of tech literacy

16/20 users are a part of or work within the medical industry

Pluses

Frequently received the feedback of: "simple", "streamlined" and "easy"

20/20 found the data input very simple and streamlined

15/20 easily understood where to find the "Import" feature

18/20 were able to complete the "Positions" tasks

18/20 found the schedule easy to read and intuitive

16/20 appreciated the idea of checking the email contents prior to sending it out

Generally all users had a great time using the application!

Deltas

The drag and drop was not as intuitive for 1 user

Users were confused why the event automatically became "unassigned", despite assigning to a specific anesthesiologist

Users wanted more freedom to edit more fields

3 user didn't realize the names on the left were Anesthesiologists, and assumed them to be patients

5 user hesitated before using the "Create" button and was not expecting that wording

2 user recommended a "Scheduling Assistant" feature that would rebuild/refresh the schedule after changes are made to assure the schedule is properly generated

3 user expected to receive a notification when the preference was entered

Design and Develop

Finalizing the Design

Final Thoughts

Closing Reflections

The Next Steps

Our next steps includes additional iterations and features to be perfected. These include:

Expanding upon pre-existing features to improve user experience

 

Develop an On-boarding process to help introduce new users effectively

 

Create tooltips + FAQ guides that assist the user in troubleshooting

Shift focus to the schedule receiver and determine what features best help them

Increase client numbers and test samples to increase data collection and feedback on future iterations.

Integrate features onto mobile for a dynamic scheduling experience that can be used on the go.

Thanks for Reading!

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