Improving Healthcare UX Design: Key Strategies, Best Practices, Trends
UX Design
Product Design
May 23, 2023
3 mins read
Healthcare UX design best practices, trends and app design

Why is UX Design Important in Healthcare?


In the last few years, there has been a significant rise in the use of technology in the healthcare segment. From drug discovery to analyzing medical records for better diagnosis, there have been numerous examples where technology has proven to be a catalytic factor in the growth of the healthcare industry. This brings us to yet another important term: Healthcare UX.

Imagine this: A hospital with clear signage that's easy to navigate or a medication label with simple instructions that are easy to understand. That's good UX design in healthcare in action.

What is Healthcare UX?

The healthcare sector is not limited to medical diagnosis. Rather, it also takes into account the maintenance or improvement of health through the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. It encompasses a wide range of services provided by medical professionals, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions.

UX in healthcare, or healthcare user experience, is all about creating user-friendly experiences for everyone interacting with the medical field. This applies to both digital products and physical interactions.


Here's a breakdown of its core goals:

  • Improved Patient Satisfaction and Engagement
  • Increased Efficiency for Providers
  • Enhanced Accessibility


Healthcare and UX Design


‍Improved user experience is the key objective of every industry. Since the healthcare industry began with the past amount of data and the recent shift towards digital platforms, it has become imperative for healthcare UX design to focus on creating user-friendly interfaces. This is applicable on both the front: digital products and physical interactions.

Imagine an appointment scheduling app that's easy to navigate or clear instructions on a medication label. That's good healthcare UX design.

By prioritizing user needs, healthcare UX design aims to:

  • Improved patient satisfaction and engagement on the healthcare front. Having a clear interface and accessible health record can help achieve this.
  • Enhancing the health care providers' job efficiency by streamlining the workflow and reducing errors.
  • Making the data accessible to all. Creating a design that considers people with disability or limited technical knowledge.

Discover the top healthcare UX design trends to watch for in the years if you are buidling a healthcare product.

Eventually, a good healthcare US design is not just about convenience; rather it promotes better health outcomes, saves time, and reduces cost.

Importance of UX in Healthcare - Key Strategies, Best Practices, Trends
Importance of UX in Healthcare - Key Strategies, Best Practices, Trends

Challenges in Helathcare UX Design

Despite the exponential growth in the industry, there's a major healthcare UX problem in the digital healthcare system with the training required to navigate through the difficult interface of electronic medical record systems.

Besides, transferring data between hospitals is challenging as text-based files make it harder for medical professionals or healthcare apps to instantly find medications or diseases or understand a patient's medical history. Healthcare professionals also have to remember lengthy and multiple passwords for multiple accounts to share reports. This can add stress and burden to doctors and nurses who work long hours and odd shifts.


The audience for healthcare applications won't be just professionals such as doctors and nurses but also patients who come from diverse backgrounds. The challenge is to ensure that healthcare information is accessible and addresses the needs of both patients and professionals.


5 Challenges in Healthcare UX Design

challenges and problems with user experience in healthcare
challenges and problems with user experience in healthcare

Source: Image

1. Complex Workflows

One of the key challenges is the intricate process of scheduling appointments and managing prescriptions. With thousands of patients coming in and out, managing this vast amount of data can be challenging. The next aspect the medical UX designer needs to focus on creating workflows that are clear and intuitive for patients and providers alike.

2. Balancing User Needs with Regulations

Healthcare data privacy is also significant. While designing user-friendly features, medical UX designers must focus on complying with the safety regulations to protect sensitive data.

3. Accessibility for All

Making the information accessible to a wide range of users, even to people with disability and limited technical know-how, is important. The US designer needs to design interfaces that are easy to understand and offer seamless interaction.

4. Data Visualization

Dealing with volumes of medical data can be overwhelming, even for healthcare service providers. The challenge for the US designer here is to present this information in a concise yet clear format.

5. Emotional Sensitivity

People often use healthcare services during stressful or vulnerable times. UX design needs to be sensitive to these emotions and create interfaces that are calming, supportive, and easy to navigate.



Overcoming Challenges in Healthcare UX Design: A Step-by-Step Approach

To start, conducting user research on both segments of users (professionals and patients) is equally important. This will help in understanding the common terms, issues, and the overall healthcare industry to come up with an application that takes into account all these factors and improves healthcare UX.


Here's a breakdown of how to tackle the top five challenges discussed previously:

Challenge 1: Complex Workflows

  • Step 1: User Research & Process Mapping: conducting in-depth interviews and shadowing sessions with patients and providers will help in understanding the pain points within the existing mode of operation. Mapping out each step will help in unfolding areas of confusion and inefficiency.
  • Step 2: Prioritization & Simplification: mapping the workflows and prioritizing the most frequent and critical user journeys. The UX designer should focus on simplifying the key journeys through information architecture. It involves progressive disclosure where users only see the essential information initially.

Challenge 2: Balancing User Needs with Regulations

  • Step 1: Early Collaboration: a clear flow of communication between the UX designers and legal teams, along with the compliance officer, from the very beginning, is important. This ensures that while designing the app, the designer follows all the key compliances.
  • Step 2: Secure and User-Friendly Solutions: Explore design patterns that prioritize both usability and security. For example, two-factor authentication can enhance security without overly complicating login processes.

Challenge 3: Accessibility for All

  • Step 1: User Research with Diverse Groups: the end objective of any healthcare app is to make it user-friendly. Enhancing user engagement is significant. Hence, while designing the healthcare app, the UX designer focuses on different types of consumers, which include people with disability and tech-wary individuals.
  • Step 2: WCAG Compliance: Adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. WCAG outlines specific design principles for ensuring interfaces are usable by people with disabilities, such as screen reader compatibility and keyboard navigation.

Challenge 4: Data Visualization

  • Step 1: User Personas & Content Strategy: developing a user persona that highlights the different audience segments is important. The tailored representation of data based on that mean and knowledge of medical know-how will make it simpler for the user to understand the details.
  • Step 2: Visual Hierarchy & Interactive Elements: focusing on adding interactive elements like charts and graphs will allow the user to explore the data as they require.

Challenge 5: Emotional Sensitivity

  • Step 1: User Empathy & Emotional Design: Develop empathy for the user's emotional state. Consider the anxieties or frustrations users might experience while using the healthcare system.
  • Step 2: Calming Aesthetics & Supportive Language: Utilize calming color palettes, clear language, and positive messaging to create a supportive user experience. Offer clear instructions and progress indicators to reduce user anxiety.

By following these steps and prioritizing user needs throughout the design process, healthcare UX professionals can create user-friendly experiences that navigate the complexities of the healthcare system while adhering to regulations and remaining sensitive to user emotions.


Essential Strategies and Practices for Healthcare User Experience (UX)


1. Minimalistic UI


Minimalistic UI in healthcare design

Minimalistic UI is ideal in healthcare UX, where users need to access large chunks of information. Making the information clear and concise is important. Since the healthcare app will be used by different sets of audiences, the app must have a minimalistic approach.


 It helps users to navigate through the information quickly and find out what they are looking for. It increases focus on certain pieces of information and reduces cognitive load. Make sure not to eliminate the complexity of information but manage it since a lot of healthcare data is nuanced, such as statistical analysis.

This can be done by following the best healthcare UX design practices, such as progressive disclosure and minimalistic color theme. Choosing blue can be effective as it is proven to have a calming effect, which can help reduce the stress of both patients and medical professionals.


2. Design for Accessibility

Accessibility ux design in healthcare
Accessibility ux design in healthcare


While doctors and nurses are educated professionals, patients will come from different backgrounds. Many patients will be elderly and people with disabilities. According to WHO, people with any kind of disability form 15% of the world's population, and this number is going to be naturally higher in the healthcare sector.

Designing for accessibility can be achieved by following these things:

- Larger Font

- Color Contrast

- Simple Language

- Easy Navigation

- Text-to-speech, caption, and video options


Such factors ensure that not only the elderly or people with disabilities can access information easily, but also everyone can have a seamless user experience. Remember how subtitles helped you understand a YouTube video in a noisy environment? Thus, designing for accessibility can have a positive impact on all types of users. 


3. Data Visualization

visualizing data in health design


Visualizing the data helps manage healthcare information efficiently. Lengthy and tedious reports are presented in the form of colorful charts and graphs that can be understood at one glance.


This allows healthcare professionals to understand key points, find patterns, and establish correlations. Patients can also track their medical history and understand health reports without getting caught up in medical jargon and difficult information.

4. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

live chatbots and supports for healthcare product design

Often, even with the most user-friendly interface, users might struggle to find some information. This is an important challenge while working on enhancing UX for healthcare, where there are colossal pieces of information, and medical professionals have to search for data at odd hours to treat patients.

The stakes are high, and humans cannot solve queries instantly or 24/7. Using AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can help in resolving such issues. Besides answering questions, chatbots can book doctor appointments and guide the user to relevant information.

These chatbots will lead to improved communication between the hospital, medical professionals, and patients.


5. AI-powered technology

AI technology in healthcare design ux


Artificial intelligence has become a password. There is no industry left and touched by the Mirage effect of this technology. The chatbots that we have discussed above are yet another AI application. However, it is not limited to this. Artificial intelligence can help automate tasks. Besides, it also focuses on scheduling appointments, reminders, and data entry; AI can analyze large data sets. These include electronic patient records and test results. AI can identify patterns and generate insights that are more accurate than what humans are capable of.


AI can also use insights from patient data and behavior to give more personalized care and recommendations to users. This increases user retention and overall satisfaction.



For ages, the healthcare applications developed by software developers and UX designers have been a far cry from what is usable for medical professionals and patients. This industry needs UX designers who are specialists in designing healthcare apps.

Healthcare UX designers need to be aware of the audience and familiar with the industry's terminologies. If you're looking to enhance your healthcare app or website, we have a team of healthcare UX specialists who are the perfect fit for building healthcare products. The Alien Design has a user-centric approach that aligns the design process with the requirements of the clients.


So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to us now and create your healthcare product with the right UX expertise.


Building Alien and helping startups and enterprises with Branding, Websites, Mobile & Web Apps. Alien crew deployed 20+ Projects across industries in the last two and half years: - Banking - Financal services - Ecommerce - Healthcare - Edutech - Enterprise softwares

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How can healthcare organizations gather user feedback to improve UX?

Healthcare organizations can gather user feedback through methods such as surveys, interviews, usability testing, and analytics. Feedback loops and continuous iteration based on user insights are essential for refining and optimizing the UX of healthcare applications.

Why is UX important in healthcare?

UX is crucial in healthcare as it directly impacts patient satisfaction, engagement, and overall experience. Well-designed healthcare systems and applications can enhance usability, reduce errors, and improve healthcare outcomes.

How can healthcare UX improve patient engagement?

Healthcare UX can improve patient engagement by providing personalized experiences, integrating interactive features such as appointment scheduling and medication reminders, and offering educational resources and self-management tools.

What role does data visualization play in healthcare UX?

Data visualization helps healthcare professionals and patients understand complex medical information, trends, and patterns, facilitating informed decision-making and patient empowerment.

How can healthcare UX contribute to reducing medical errors?

Healthcare UX can reduce medical errors by designing intuitive interfaces, implementing decision support systems, providing medication alerts, and facilitating accurate information exchange between healthcare providers.