How to Design Mobile Healthcare Application in User-Centered Way? [For Founders]
Let us begin with an awesome quote by Hippocrates,
Health is the greatest of human blessings.
Indeed it is, and the year 2020 was the best example of it. The world was locked down just because people’s health was a priority. The events of 2020 led to the development of various medical applications around the world.
Moreover, the acceptance of healthcare apps also saw a massive boost as compared to the previous years.
As per stats, in the maiden week of March 2020, there was an increase of 200% in the time spent on the Mayo clinic application in the US. If we look at the shares of the digital health market, it is expected that the market will rise by a CAGR of 15.1% from 2021 to 2028.
So, if you are building a healthcare application and want to make it super successful, this is the right time. However, it is equally imperative to focus on the healthcare app design primarily.
Design is what makes your app unique and usable!
What Makes the Design of a Healthcare App Special?
The design factor of the app includes two basic elements, namely user interface, and user experience. Both of them have to be top-notch to make sure your app rocks.
Here are some factors that make the design of the healthcare application special.
Factor 1. Accessibility
If your app is not easily accessible by people, it will be of no use. Hence, it is necessary to make sure that your medical mobile app design can serve people with disabilities.
For instance, if the person is blind, he or she needs a screen reader to know what’s on the screen. Hence, it will be better to integrate one into your app.
Voice recognition can also be used in the application to help people with mobility disabilities. CardioCube is a great medical application that uses Alexa virtual assistants for communicating with patients.
Factor 2. A Positive Attitude
When working on healthcare mobile app design, it is necessary to make sure that the app is warm on the user’s eyes and mind. It should have the right color psychology and fonts that promote a positive attitude.
For instance, it will be best to use a combination of primarily white, yellow, and blue to add liveliness to the informational health applications.
Moreover, use a blend of purple, blue and pink for personal wellness apps. These colors fit well with the mindset to improve the patient’s health.
Apart from this, you can also add funny pictures and motivational messages to make the app usage smooth.
Factor 3. Trust
Most of the fitness and wellness applications today can inform users about their vitals while connected to an external device. They also collect other user health data. But do the users trust these applications?
It may be difficult to know until you have analyzed its usability. Healthcare app design that holds the user’s trust is really important. And one can achieve this by giving the control to share the app data to the users themselves.
This way, the user will be free from the fear that his or her data can get compromised.
Carely, a family caregiving app allows users to share their data at their will.
How to Design a Healthcare Application?
The development of a healthcare app comes way after you have decided what kind of app you want to build.
As mobile healthcare applications are of various types, you need to decide if you want to build a mental health app, fitness application, or any other.
Once you have made your mind, then you can proceed with the healthcare app design part. Make sure that your app is HIPAA compliant.
Now, it is not rocket science to design a mobile medical app; anyone can do it, even the founder of the firm with sufficient designing skills.
However, if you want to make it one of a kind, you need to hire professional designers or developers.
If you are looking for professional designers, you can go for SpdLoad (no push lol). The firm has a foolproof process for medical mobile app design.
Here is the workflow that SpdLoad and most of the best designing agencies follow!
Step 1. Design Planning
The pre-design phase of healthcare application designing includes various crucial things like:
Interview with the Customer
This section involves interviewing the customer to know his or her vision. For instance, if they have an idea, what led them to it?
What issues they faced when they arrived at this idea. Moreover, how they want their idea to be implemented. Based on this, the following process is put into action.
Component 1. Validating a Pain Statement
When the customer’s vision is clear, it is time to do some real-time research of your own. For instance, you need to talk to the users to analyze their views on the current healthcare applications.
To know about the issues they face with the present healthcare mobile app design, you can interview them. And the best way to gather user views are:
- One on one interview
- Surveys (Survey Monkey)
- Focus groups
- Field analysis
- Social media groups and chats
- Buy research reports
Using these ways, you will get to know about the pain points.
An example to support this is DocKids. It is an app developed by Spdload that helps users get in touch with doctors in no time.
We analyzed the pain points of the customers before making this application. They were like “Customers have to wait in long queues for a doctor’s consultation, and they cannot find a proven doctor on their own.”
Component 2. Identifying Customer or User Journey
Ok, so when we know about the pains of the users, we need to analyze the user journey wherein the application the user goes and faces a problem.
- A user might not be able to go past the payment page of a medicine application due to the complexity of the payment form.
- The user might not be able to understand what’s written on the screen because of complex medical terminology.
These points where the users face issues are essential to identify as they form a part of healthcare mobile app design and affect the UX.
Component 3. Identify Persona and Start to Ideate Persona-Based Design
As you have the information about the user pain points and user journey, you can now easily imagine what type of customers need your application.
You can easily identify user personas and develop a persona-based design.
For instance, Teladoc is an application that connects you to a professional doctor anytime. Hence, it is made for the users who need doctor’s consultations more frequently.
As per the design perspective, you can add a detailed or simple form for the users to fill. You can add filters for finding doctors for specific issues like allergies, cold, flu, etc., to make it easy for the customers.
Ok, as of now, you have interviewed the customers, studied user journey, user personas, and pain statements.
Now, it is time to perform some actual research for the application design. With the data collected so far, it will be pretty easy to pick a design using which you can develop an MVP.
Here are some methods by which you can arrive at a better medical mobile app design.
Component 1. Competitors’ Research
Irrespective of what kind of application you are designing, you are going to find competitors for all of them.
So is the healthcare app market, which is vast. There are over 49,000 apps on Google Play Store as of the third quarter of 2020. So, it will be tough for you to outperform without analyzing your competitors.
Make sure that you don’t end up creating a replica of your competitor’s application design. It is possible that some aspects of it might be disliked by the users. In such a case, you will end up getting the same feedback for yours.
Moreover, it is imperative to analyze what features of the medical app are liked by the users and what is not.
For instance, the medical app of your competitor might be having a cluttered home screen that the users might not like. To solve this issue in your app, study the design of their app and build a simple design. Add only the required elements on the screen.
MySugr – Diabetes Tracker app is a great example of this. It has a simple yet informative home screen.
You will get to learn a lot from your competitors. So, keep a close eye on their work.
Component 2. Use of Top Practices in the Industry
This is something you will have to research and you may also learn from your competitors.
Keeping up with the top industry healthcare mobile app design practices is crucial to make your app unique.
For instance, to enhance the usability of the app, consider adding features like:
- Search bar
- Booking page
- Color Psychology
- Payment gateway
- Video conferencing
- Health record dashboard
- Chatting feature
- Faster navigation (relevant pages should be less than three, clicks away.
- Reminders (user color-coding or animation based on the type and urgency)
- Artificial Intelligence (Sensely is a great example of it)
These and many other UX design features will garner more potential leads for your medical app.
So, these all are the pre-design steps for making a healthcare app design. In order to produce a medical solution that is functional as well as interactive, undertake these steps very carefully.
Step 2. UX Design
Now, the medical mobile app design is not just limited to the looks. The ease of use and other user experience features also play a key role in the success of an app.
Here are some crucial aspects of the UX design:
Make sure that the design of your medical app is easy to access, no matter which user uses it. For example,
- Keep your app ready for various inabilities like hearing or visual. Make your app fit for those with hearing inability by letting them see captions while on the call with a doctor.
- Reduce animations in your app to make it fit for people with motion sickness.
- For those with body pain or lack of required body motion, add a feature of speech-to-text conversion or hands-free voice input. Aiva is an app that works entirely on voice inputs.
The one thing that can make or break your medical app is navigation. It should be super smooth, well guided, and easy to learn in a few attempts. Make sure that the screens of your app are as less as possible.
Moreover, keep all the important screens of your app close (the user should reach them in minimum clicks).
3. Information architecture
The way information is arranged on your mobile app can either keep your user engaged or let them off the app instantly.
Hence, you should keep all the necessary info in proper order. You need to focus on:
- Organizational structure
- Website labeling
- Search systems of the app
These will make your app more user-friendly. Check out the information architecture of a telemedicine app made by SpdLoad here!
Step 1. Mind Mapping
|Definition||A mind map is nothing but a simple visual representation of a concept, process, or system. It includes all the elements of the design and how they are interconnected with one another. |
In terms of a healthcare app design, a mind map may represent a user’s journey while using the app.
For instance, selecting the symptoms of the issue > connecting to a doctor > chat screen > medication screen.
It can have many other flows like this and can be drawn in two ways, the tree model and the graph model.
|Significance||The significance of a mind map is extremely high in designing the app. It has various benefits such as: |
When it comes to the end-user perspective, a good mind map of a healthcare app design will make the app easy to use for the users.
Users will learn the functionality of the app quickly and it will become a bit more predictable for them.
Here is an example of the mind map created by Jack Magma studio of Netflix.
Step 2. Low/High-Fidelity Prototypes
|Definition||A prototype is the version of the final product that allows interaction to test if the embedded features work as intended. |
Moreover, a prototype can also be used to test if the end-users will be able to use the product or not. This helps in further improvement of the product or the application before launch.
|Significance||The use of prototypes is imperative, as mentioned above. And, you can create two types of prototypes based on the fidelity of it. |
The Fidelity of the prototype is defined as how well it can convey the look and feel of the product. The level of detail and interaction depicts fidelity.
You can make a healthcare app design prototype in two ways:
It is a cost-effective idea to check if your application design works or not. Most of the time, it is a paper version of the application design where one can make different screens of the app on paper to redefine new ideas. These prototypes do not allow user interactions.
Clickable wireframes are also low-fidelity prototypes. Unlike paper prototypes, these are clickable and can be modified easily. You can create wireframes by using tools like Figma, Balsamiq, Fluid UI, etc.
A high-fidelity prototype is the closest version of the actual product. It is usually designed by project teams when they are certain of what they have to design.
It is fully interactive for the testing teams and users to check. It can have two types, namely, digital prototypes and coded prototypes.
Step 3. UX Writing
|Definition||This is a crucial part of the user experience as it includes creating a copy of the content that helps the users interact with the application seamlessly.|
|Significance||There are many aspects that are included in UX writing, such as: |
And many more! You need to be really careful while writing these as they are one of the key pillars of medical mobile app design that enhance user experience.
Here are some tips to make your UX writing one of a kind:
More detailed and concise is the UX copy, better will be the customer interaction.
Step 3. UI Design
The UI part of the medical mobile app design is related more to its looks than usability. And it is pretty obvious that if you are making an application, it should have an elegant and attractive user interface.
The very initial thing that you need to consider here is the colors of the app.
Pay Attention While Choosing Colors
Colors play a critical role in impacting human psychology and enhancing conversion rate. You must have noticed that most of the fast-food chains have yellow and red in their logos. Have you wondered why?
Well, red and yellow are hunger-triggering colors, which is why they are included in the logos. Similarly, some colors will be perfectly fit for your healthcare application, while some will not.
Here is a table for reference:
|Type of Healthcare App||Colors and Significance|
|Informational health apps||White, Blue, and yellow denote freshness, power, cleanliness, liveliness, etc.|
|Patient engagement apps||Orange, green, and pink for happiness, progress, and kindness|
|EHR apps||A blend of Beige, White, and Grey as they signify confidence and trustworthiness|
|Personal wellness apps||As these applications motivate users in tracking their vitals, they need to have shades of pink, purple and blue.|
|Remote monitoring apps||Blue, Beige, and Yellow|
Other than colors, here are some more crucial aspects of the UI design:
- Breadcrumbs: These need to be a part of your application to help the user know where he or she is in the application. They are usually displayed towards the top of the screen.
- Images and graphics: Add high-quality images for users to understand. You can also add funny graphics to make the user experience better.
- Hamburger menu: This menu can be used by the users to quickly go to some relevant screens.
- Icons: Icons play a crucial role in providing necessary information to the users. Design them in the most interactive way possible.
- Progress bar: To gamify the user experience, it is best to add a progress bar in the healthcare app. This feature will be ideal for a fitness tracking app. Runtastic is an awesome fitness tracking app that uses graphs and tables to track your progress.
The Cost of Healthcare Mobile App Design
When it is about the cost of Healthcare Mobile App Design, there is no one factor that determines the total cost.
The overall cost of a healthcare application varies based on factors like:
1. Type of Cooperation
There are various types of cooperation that you can opt for, such as freelancers, in-house teams, or an overseas agency.
- Freelancers charge you less. However, the quality of work is not promised to be good.
- An in-house team, on the other hand, produces excellent results. It is easy to keep a check on the work progress, but the price will be remarkably high.
- An overseas agency will be an ideal choice for you as they deliver the best quality at economical prices.
2. The Complexity of the Application
The price of the application also varies based on the complexity of the application.
For instance, the application that needs integrations like Google Maps and payment gateways will be costlier than which doesn’t.
3. Location of Design Center
This is a factor that somehow depends on the type of cooperation specifically for hiring an overseas agency.
- US-based design: If you hire a US-based firm for your app design, the designers will cost you on average $120 per hour.
- Ukraine-based design: If you choose a Ukraine-based firm for your app designing process, it will cost you around $40 per hour.
So, hiring a Ukraine-based firm is a good idea. If we had to arrive at a price range for a healthcare mobile app design, it would lie between $1600 to $6400 for a simple app.
If you want to add extra features to your medical app design, the price may even go over $10k.
So, what do you think?
Do you want to bring your healthcare app vision to life? If yes, then you need to check out our development guides.
We at Spdload have worked on various healthcare app designing projects. MedPortal is one of those projects. It is an app used by doctors to check the mental health of their patients.
To learn more, you can also consult some of our detailed development guides like:
Other than this, you can also contact us to know more about our services or discuss your app idea.