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Date: November 2015

Effective UX Design for Healthcare wearables

Effective UX Design for Healthcare wearables

By Vinay Jois is a Lead Designer, UX Design at Tata Elxsi.

With the rapid development and evolvement of technology, wearable devices are next in line to create a trend. Simultaneously, getting fit and leading a healthy lifestyle is another trend that is taking over the current generation. Putting the two together, creating a wearable device for healthcare is something that will take the lead in the coming years.

Any device in today’s world is designed keeping in mind the end-user. User experience is a pertinent factor for a designer to keep in mind. User experience in healthcare wearable devices is even more relevant – as health on its own is given high importance. Designing for wearable devices is not as easy as it looks – the wearable needs to look trendy and function to the user's standard.

UX Design for healthcare wearable devices is very intricate. The development of technology, specifically smartphones, has given users the expectation of a better UX design in other devices (Source); and something as important as keeping track of health cannot be taken lightly in this aspect. There are many challenges a designer will face in the aspect of UX design for healthcare wearable devices. In order to overcome these challenges, below are some key points to keep in mind for UX design in healthcare wearable devices:

  • Handling data: Healthcare wearable devices will have to keep track of the user’s health from various aspects such as heart rate, body fat, blood pressure, number of steps, etc. it is essential to have the data displayed and stored in a way that the user is able to understand
  • Interaction: UX Design in any device needs to incorporate a human interaction. It could be something as simple as entering activity details, for example, running, so that the device is able to calculate the data variables according to the activity
  • simplicity: Various elements need to be analyzed. For example, visibility – it could be poor, so the text has to be readable; the user’s convenience – a small screen could incorporate a swipe feature, where a mere swipe can access multiple screens, just like a smartphone (Source)
  • Connectivity: Although health wearable devices are the main product, these days, everything is connected. In that aspect, the wearable can be seen as an application– it can be connected to a phone via an app or the user’s laptop. This will not only keep the actual wearable’s UX design simple, but it will give the user a different platform to analyze their data and perhaps even store it.

Future of Healthcare Wearables

The future of healthcare wearable devices has plenty of room for evolvement. Soon, there will be wearable devices that would be able to understand gestures and identify the activity from that action. Or there could be a possibility of wearable devices having a voice user interface (Source), which is apt for healthcare wearable devices as it would be the ideal user experience for any physical activities to have voice inputs rather than working from a small screen.

The options are endless and growing. These virtual personal coaches are here to stay. Therefore, it is important for designers to grow with the evolvement and embrace the challenges that UX design in healthcare wearable devices poses.