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What is „User Experience“ in the medical sector?

Author: Marvin Kolb

Reading time:

Mar 2022
What does the term “user experience” mean? What is the concept behind it? Why is it so relevant for the medical sector? What does the user experience encompass? Why is it so important for your product and how can you improve it? If you have asked yourself one or more of these questions, then you will find the appropriate answers here.

In this article, we will explain to you quickly and precisely what is behind the term “user experience”. In addition, we will show you why it is becoming increasingly important, especially in the medical sector.

 

What is „User Experience“ or „UX“?

User Experience, or UX for short, describes the experience and the response a user has, when using a product. The user experience includes all emotions, perceptions and reactions before, during and after the use of this product.

The DIN EN ISO 9241-210 describes the user experience as “the perception and reaction of a person to the use or expected use of a product”.

Examples of the perceptions and reactions mentioned:

  • Emotions during use can cause dislike and frustration. But the joy of use, i.e. a perceived love when using the product, is also a possibility.
  • Physical and psychological perceptions during the use of the product can, for example, be the stimuli that are processed. Feedback (warning sounds, visual input) that the product gives the user also belongs in this context.
  • Reactions can also be actions that are anticipated by the device.

User experience involves three factors: the product, the user, and the context of use.

 

What does the user experience encompass?

  • The user’s perception of the user interface. Is a user interface clearly designed and intuitive to use?
  • The structure of an interface or a website. Is it easy to find one’s way around or is everything confusing and unambiguously structured?
  • The user’s expectations and whether they are met also play a role in the user experience.
  • Haptics and all physical stimuli emanating from the product. How does your product feel to the user? How does it look and does it perhaps even have a pleasant smell?

 

Why is a good user experience especially important in the medical sector?

A good UX of a medical product helps medical staff to work more error- and stress-free. In the medical sector, errors and incorrect operation due to stress often mean damage to patients’ health.

Another factor why UX is becoming increasingly important in the medical sector is the rising expectations of users. As technology with a very good UX is becoming more and more present in private everyday use, users also expect it in the workplace. This applies to both doctors and nurses, but also to lay users of medical devices for home use.

If you want to keep up, you have to meet the high standards users are used to in their everyday use of technology. If you manage to ensure an outstanding user experience for your product, this can create a clear market advantage.

 

How do you achieve a good UX for your product?

For a good user experience, you need the feedback of real users on your product. This needs to be found out with UX Research in iterative test runs.

The data obtained here is then incorporated into the product design by a UX designer.

Since you have to do usability engineering for your medical product, this is an opportunity to combine it with UX design. Why “only” test the usability of a product with real users when the UX can be tested directly in the course of this and thus be increased? Here you have a clear advantage over competitors who have only dutifully dealt with the usability of their medical product.

 

Criteria for a good UX

Even though user experience is something subjective, some factors can be defined that contribute to a good UX.

  • The most error-free operation possible is the top priority here. A medical product that allows many errors in operation can quickly become frustrating for the user. The following applies: without good usability , there is no good UX.
  • It evokes a “Joy of Use”, i.e. a positive feeling while using the product.
  • The product offers very good assistance with a user problem.
  • User needs and user expectations of the product are met.
  • Design and visual appearance are such that operation is immediately apparent and no questions about use remain unanswered.

 

Conclusion

A good user experience is essential for medical products. It can be optimally integrated in the course of the required usability engineering. In addition to satisfied users, good UX primarily brings an advantage over competing products.

With which medical product could you experience or observe an outstanding user experience? Feel free to comment on this post or get in touch via contact form.

 

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