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Interactive Health Calendar

Introduction

Mobile tools have the capacity to be integrated into people’s daily lives easily, providing a fruitful base for healthcare solutions. Patient phones can act as more than tools of communication, helping organize and structure the healthcare delivery, as well as enhance the capacity of patients and specialists to interact. This assignment focuses on developing a specific mobile tool, conducive to the goal of enhancing people’s mental health journeys. The work will outline the main target demographics for the change project, and define their goals, wishes, and interaction with the tool. Furthermore, the potential expectations of the target audiences will be discussed, shaping the functionality of the future app. Using an experience map, the design aspects and important considerations for the tool will be visualized, helping to better portray a potential end result. Through the process of analysis and evaluation, then, the presented data will be improved and adjusted.

Mobile Tool Users’ Needs

In developing a calendar tool for psychiatric patients, it is important to identify the needs of future patients. An interactive calendar must help the patients properly keep up with their treatment, and assist in managing medication use, appointments, and doctor-patient interaction. As a tool, it must be capable of further streamlining the process of healthcare delivery. First, it must function as a calendar, capable of showing the patients their psychiatric clinic’s working hours, and any other relevant notices. Secondly, it should possess the capability to record and remind people about appointments. In order to help people be in the clinic on time, the calendar will let both doctors and their clients add the necessary reminders to the calendar. Once added, the reminder will play on a specific date or time, giving a person time to attend their meeting. A separate section must be allotted to the doctors’ contact information so that the patients are able to get in touch with their primary physician/doctor. Telehealth technology works well in improving communication between patients and doctors, making the calendar app suitable for connecting the two parties (“How Telehealth enhances the patient-doctor relationship,” 2020). Contact information section can allow for instant messaging capabilities, in order for any potential appointment changes can be discussed. Shifting toward more patient-centric concerns, the calendar must answer the need for better at-home continuation of care. In particular, the calendar should help its users to take medication on time, or complete the necessary exercises.

User Profiles and Possible Scenario

In order to test the ability of the application to meet the needs of the clients, a user profile can be created. This method is effective in analyzing the functionality of the app, and its ability to reach core goals (“The complete user analysis guide: Personas to design to analytics,” 2021. The first imaginary user for the calendar application is an elderly woman, named Grace, who receives regular psychiatric help. She has limited experience with technology and generally struggles to navigate both computer and phone applications. She finds most user interfaces inconvenient to handle with her hands, and the cluttered design prevents her from finding what she wants. However, Grace has significant trouble taking her medicine on time, often skipping doses as a result. Additionally, she sometimes finds it difficult to communicate with the health providers, either due to their phone lines being unavailable.

The other potential user for the calendar app is Rick, a young adult receiving psychiatric help with anxiety. Rick is capable and proficient with using technology, including both phone and computer programs. He has used calendars and communication apps before and finds them particularly useful for getting his tasks in order. Due to having a busy schedule, it is often difficult for Rick to find time for appointments, or keep track of them. He finds it frustrating having to call the clinic to find out about their schedule, or the doctor’s schedules.

Both of these people can benefit from using the calendar application. The simplistic design and user-friendly navigation ensure that patient with any level of proficiency or tech-savviness can use the interface. A smooth and minimal design meets goals of the end user and enhances their interactive experience (“What is simplicity?,” n.d.). Furthermore, the ability to set appointments for both medication and doctor visits helps Grace and Rick keep track of their medical needs. Grace is able to use the simple and straightforward navigation system to see her physician’s contact information, while Rick is able to take advantage of the chat functionality. This example showcases that the application is able to meet the needs of both older and younger patients, providing consistent standards of service.

System Requirement Analysis

User Stories

User stories are one of the potential ways system requirement analysis can be conducted. By employing user stories, it is possible to identify the needs of the users and answer them with varied solutions (“Requirement analysis techniques,” n.d.). This approach presents system requirements as a set of statements from various users.

  • As a doctor, I can use an interactive platform to talk with my patients
  • As a psychiatrist, I can use reminders to ensure my patients take medication on time and don’t forget appointments
  • As a doctor, I am able to help more people come for medical examinations/checkups and visitations, by using the calendar
  • As a doctor, I can use the calendar app to manage my daily patient flow
  • As a patient, I can set myself reminders to take medicine
  • As a patient, I can write down appointment dates to be reminded later
  • As a patient, I can quickly access doctors’ contact information
  • As a patient, I can easily navigate menus and easily discern their purpose
  • As a patient, I can find, install, and open the application with the help of the doctors, or singlehandedly.

User Tasks

User Interface Analysis

  1. User goals
    1. Create appointments
    2. Follow doctor’s appointments
    3. Track their medication use
    4. Communicate with doctors
    5. Access hospital contact information, working hours, and other data
  2. What users need to do to achieve their goals
    1. Use the calendar application to check appointments and medication reminders
    2. Use the calendar application to make new appointments
    3. Get doctor contact information to talk with doctors
  3. Workflow users follow to accomplish a task
    1. User registration
      1. Appointments
        1. Open calendar app
        2. Check main screen for appointments/Receive notification
        3. Schedule new appointments from the main screen
      2. Medication use
        1. Open calendar app
        2. Check main screen for today’s medication use/Receive notification
      3. Contact information
        1. Open calendar app
        2. Switch over to the contact information tab
        3. Check the contact information and opening hours on the front of the tab
        4. Open other pages to check the contact information for specific specialists
      4. Doctor Communication
        1. Open calendar app
        2. Switch over to the messaging tab
        3. Choose the specific specialists one needs to contact
  4. User experience
    1. Users with both limited and full experience using phone applications will be capable of using the interface
    2. The user registration process for older users may require external help from medical personnel
  5. Effects of the environment
    1. The environment requires the patients to possess a stable internet connection
  6. Visual Representation

The prototype design features the two main screens of the application – the calendar and the contact screen. The color scheme uses contrasting colors of red and blue to quickly attract the attention of the user to the necessary buttons. All of the text and buttons are purposely made to be large, due to the need to accommodate elderly users (Polyuk, 2019). Furthermore, the colors chosen are high-contrast, allowing to easily distinguish between interactive elements and improving older people’s user experience (Berezhnoi, 2020). The calendar menu features 7 days of the week and an ability to make appointments/track medication use. From this screen, the user will be able to see all of their scheduled events for the week, doctor’s appointments, and other potentially important events. In addition, the screen features two buttons for navigating between the two main screens.

Contact screen features three other buttons. “Settings” opens up the application’s settings menu, where patients are able to review and change their personal information and adjust the layout of the calendar, notification settings, and accessibility settings. Accessibility settings will include text-to-speech capabilities for those with poor sight and different color options for people with sensory troubles (Riley, 2019). These features can be adopted with the help of IOS and android accessibility tools (Geerlings, 2019). Text-to-speech, in particular, was shown to be helpful to older users (Bhavesh, 2022). The simplistic design makes it easy for a patient with any experience level to use the app, while also receiving its full functionality.

Prototype Evaluation

In order to improve upon the present prototype of an application, it is necessary to perform a heuristic evaluation of its usability and design. The process allows a designer or an organization to quickly determine the usability of their interface using rule-of-thumb principles.

Visibility of System Status

Visibility of system status refers to the visual feedback of an application, and its ability to reflect a user’s previous actions. Furthermore, this design principle allows target users to be more aware of what an application is doing (Nielsen, 2020). In the case of the calendar app, this can be done by highlighting the day of the week on the calendar, to signify active date tracking, and by making buttons look different depending on whether they have been pressed.

Match between the System and the Real World

This principle dictates design should use grounded, familiar, and realistic principles to communicate its points, applying existing conventions to establish familiarity. This point of evaluation is followed well in the prototype, which uses simple words, phrases, and icons to communicate its points. Furthermore, the calendar layout is typical of most calendars found on people’s phones, computers, and homes, making it easier to work with the app.

User Control and Freedom

The principles of control refer to the user’s ability to simply and effectively undo most actions in an application. A marked “emergency exit” is a necessity in order to provide user comfort and convenience (Nielsen, 2020). The ability to quickly undo or redo actions gives the necessary courage to engage with the app and its functionality fully. In the case of the calendar app, more exit buttons should be added, placed at a convenient spot, easily spotted, and accessible. All of the supplementary screens need a button to go back to the main two, and they should have a button for closing the application.

Consistency and Standards

In this case, consistency refers to the use of terminology and design conventions that are similar to the industry conventions. By using words that translate a universally understood meaning, and following design standards all throughout an application’s interface, it is possible to ease the user into engaging with the platform (Nielsen, 2020). The calendar app follows this convention, as the use of buttons is standard among phone apps. Furthermore, the phrasing on the buttons and the layout are not unique to the application.

Recognition Instead of Recall

An interface must reduce the user’s cognitive load by making information accessible from different parts of the interface. Reducing the amount of information presented on the screen, using contextual assistance, and providing ease of access to data between the screens is vital to good interface design (Nielsen, 2020). In the case of the calendar app, these principles are reflected in text’s simplicity, as well as the consistent placement of buttons on the bottom part of the screen.

Flexibility and Efficiency of Use

Flexibility refers to the use of shortcuts, personalization options, and user customization. A mix of these features allows one to make an application “their own” and become more familiar with it. This principle is followed by the calendar app halfway. The simple design and the ability to switch between the two main screens give users shortcuts and prevent them from being lost in an interface, while personalization options are available in the settings. However, further customization of the app needs to be added. In particular, more ways to make appointments.

Aesthetic and Minimalist Design

Minimalist design is one of the core principles of the calendar application, as it uses few colors and buttons to fulfill its core functions. The interface does not contain any clutter, or unnecessary information that might hinder users (Nielsen, 2020). However, the buttons and layouts could be made to be more aesthetically pleasing. By making the calendar more visually coherent and distinct, it will be possible to improve user experience.

Help and Documentation

Help and documentation information must be provided for users to easily access, as a way to help them get a more in-depth understanding of an app. Help section assists people in fully recognizing the functionality of an app and using its features correctly (Nielsen, 2020). Although the design of the calendar app is created with simplicity and straightforwardness in mind, it is also necessary to guide some users in order to help them better understand its features. A help button with contextual clues should be added.

References

Berezhnoi, R. (2020, August 28). Age-friendly: UI UX design thinking for senior citizens. F5 Studio.

Bhavesh, B. (2022, May 2). 7 apps that will make life easier for the elderly. Baba-Mail.

Geerlings, C. (2019, October 21). How to create an accessible app (and why you should). Medium.

How Telehealth enhances the patient-doctor relationship. (2020, March 26). InTouch Health.

Nielsen, J. (2020). 10 usability heuristics for user interface design. Nielsen Norman Group.

Polyuk, S. (2019, 20). A guide to interface design for older adults. Toptal Design Blog.

Requirement analysis techniques. (n.d.). Ideal Modeling & Diagramming Tool for Agile Team Collaboration.

Riley, K. (2019, March 7). How to design an accessible color scheme. Medium.

The complete user analysis guide: Personas to design to analytics. (2021, June 8). Amplitude.

What is simplicity? (n.d.). The Interaction Design Foundation.