A UX/UI designer has a tremendous challenge when she is assigned the duties of translating a real-world process in to an electronic or digital process. The UX designer must keep the user’s mental model in mind when designing an electronic system.
When working on EMR, or electronic medical records, it is a completely different set up and system than the paper recording method the user has been using. They key to designing a successful EMR, is to closely match the work flow and system that the user is used to. That success has not really been achieved in most EMR systems. Often, software designers get too excited and caught up in the features and flash of digital possibilities. When working on any electronic system, it is crucial to always understand how the user works, and make your system as similar to that work flow as possible.
If you have any suggestions on how to bridge the gap between the real world and electronic world, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!
For all P.C. (politically correct) purposes, I am not promoting skinning a cat. I work for a veterinary company, I am certainly not going to condone harming animals in any way.
But the headline did get your attention. ha ha
For the feature I am currently designing, pictured above, I used a variety of research methods to gather user feedback.
Interview users about how they use the smartphone app.
Observe users on how they operate the smarphone app.
Mock up an interface, and ask users questions about the design.
Create a clickable prototype to see if users understand how to operate the feature.
Observe QA to see technical of UI issues that arise in testing environment.
Be prepared to iterate once the feature has been released to make improvements.
User feedback is key. Don’t design in a bubble and assume you understand your user’s mental model. After talking to several users, and observing their behavior, I learned a lot of the assumptions I had were wrong. So talking to users early helped me to build a better product early, before it got too far in to the code. I encourage you to always run your design ideas by at least one person, very early in the process.
Jennifer Blatz explores the world of UX through words and imagery