In today’s health-crazed world, there are a variety of apps designed to help us stay healthy. When it comes to healthcare applications, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are equally vital for them to be truly efficient. If your product is inconvenient to use, no one will use it (governmental apps are exceptions here :). Worse still — bad healthcare UX and unclear interfaces have the capacity to misguide users and annoy them.


To keep up with the ever-evolving needs of patients and medical professionals, healthcare UX/UI designers should deliver a positive user experience for each new product or service.

How can you achieve this balance between aesthetics and functionality in the healthcare industry? Let’s find out!

What Is UX Design in Healthcare?

UX design refers to the process of creating digital products that are easy to use and enjoyable to interact with. The goal of UX design is to create a great user experience with thorough UX research and consistent user flows that will help to understand all user’s needs.


With so many people using mobile devices for health-related tasks like finding nearby hospitals or reading medical information online, healthcare companies need to ensure their apps are easy to navigate and understand. Poorly designed applications can be frustrating for users who may not know how else they would access their medical records or make appointments with doctors. It can disrupt clinicians’ work process and negatively affect patients’ health from that side of the equation, too.


A bad user experience can have serious consequences. A study conducted in over 300 hospitals in the US funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institutes of Health found that poor usability of electronic health records (EHRs) was associated with higher rates of medical errors among hospital staff members and higher odds of patient mortality and readmission.


The goal of UX design in the healthcare industry is to improve the user experience for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. In short, UX design helps ensure that people have an easy time using your product and that it brings value to them — so they’re more likely to continue using it and recommend the solution to others. By increasing quality of care, user retention, and loyalty, you can make more room for your business to grow.


There are many examples where designers have created successful products. For example, MyChart is the most popular medical sector app in the US with over 100 million people using it to connect with the care team, book appointments, and access EPRs — all in one place. The app is intuitive, and its easy-to-use design allows users to navigate through its multiple functions quickly and efficiently.

What Is UI in Healthcare?

When we talk about UX design in healthcare, we often refer to UI and UX together. There are many similarities between them: 

  • UX and UI is about creating comfortable interfaces and user interface design includes doing that; 
  • To build both UI and UX, one needs to test their efficiency among the app’s future adopters; 
  • Both describe interactions with a digital product.

UX and UI design can also be viewed as two separate processes that complement each other while delivering optimal product usability results:

  • UX Design focuses on how users feel about using your product or service in general. It helps create an intuitive experience, so they can accomplish their goals easily without any difficulties along the way.
  • UI Design focuses specifically on how visually changes the interface elements like buttons or links when someone interacts with an app. It means ensuring those elements look good together visually and aesthetically while also making sure each element’s purpose is clear for a user. 

UI design is not just about making things look good; it entails creating an intuitive user experience that makes everything easier to navigate for your customers. Good interface design is often invisible and frictionless for a user, – and building it like that requires effort. 


In the healthcare industry, UI plays an even larger role since users may have specific needs that require more attention from designers than usual. For example, someone who is visually impaired might need extra time to read through the text on a screen, and someone who has limited mobility might require help navigating through content. For example, accessibility features available on Apple devices like Speech and Dynamic Type enable people with visual impairments to use apps. Without a well-developed Ul, patients will struggle to use these digital solutions effectively, which can result in neglecting treatment plans, missing appointments, and so on.


3 Main Challenges for UX in Healthcare

There are some challenges that healthcare UX designers face when creating user interfaces for healthcare projects:



1. Usability & Accessibility Testing


Many healthcare apps are based on a unique technology that has not been tested in the market before. It’s common for startups that want to go into digital healthcare to rush into developing their products and services without considering user experience, usability testing, or research findings. Recruiting doctors and other care professionals for usability testing is more complicated than engaging regular users due to the heavy workload of healthcare workers, hospital regulations, and bureaucracy in hospitals.  


But usability testing is an essential part of the design process. It allows you to observe users living and interacting with your product, identify problems, and make changes before it is released into the wild. In healthcare UX/UI design, usability testing should be done at every step of development: before and after wireframes are made and once again after visual designs have been created. 



2. Long Development Cycle


In the health tech sector, development cycles are often longer than in other industries. It’s partly due to regulatory compliance requirements (like HIPAA) and the fact that many healthcare products have complex functionality but have to be designed for people who may be less tech-savvy. For example, if you’re developing HIPAA-compliant healthcare apps in the US, it can take weeks or even months to get audited to start marketing to hospitals properly. 


Testing healthcare UX also takes a lot of time, especially if the app is used both by doctors and patients. So, with the healthcare apps – in particular, those that handle patient health data and aren’t strictly for consumers – it’s best to prepare for a long haul from the start. 



3. Reliance on Metrics


Metrics are standard measurements of user behavior that can help understand how users interact with your app. However, when it comes to healthcare products, there are some pitfalls. 


Tracking standard metrics like the average number of downloads and visit time may not always provide the best picture of how effective a design is. For example, your product can be engaging, but it won’t always influence patient outcomes. In other words, even if an application has great analytics data but doesn’t improve patient results, then what good does it do?


Startups also often have no data to compare their metrics to – if the product is innovative, you can’t even use any market data for those metrics. So in most cases you need to gather your own data and improve your own metrics without looking at the other projects. 


That’s why to build UX/UI design that’s both usable and has a positive impact on a patient’s health, it’s vital to work with researchers and medical professionals that’ll help you figure out fitting performance indicators for an app’s efficiency. 

UX/UI Trends for Improving Your Healthcare App

The main requirement for good UX is personalization. We need to analyze different characteristics like age, digital literacy, or location, – and then create the best user experience for each person based on their needs and preferences.


These days, healthcare apps have started extensively using modern information technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). Below, we will consider popular trends in this field.



Native User Interface (NUI) for Intuitive Experience


Native user interface (NUI) is a design style that uses standard components and controls provided by the operating system. It makes for an experience that’s more consistent, familiar, and comfortable for users who are often accustomed to similar elements on their devices.


The biggest benefit of NUI is its simplicity. NUIs allow users to engage with apps in a more intuitive way than traditional Uls, which may require users to memorize complex key combinations or navigate through menus. It allows for interaction with new technology without having to learn any special patterns or gestures.


A good example of using this technology would be Apple’s iOS, which enables users to move through their phones by simply scrolling and swiping. 


The drawback here is that it’s impossible to merge an Android NUI and iOS one. Developers will have to create separate NUI for every platform. 



Augmented Reality (AR) for Effective Visualization in Healthcare


AR is a technology that overlays digital information in the real world. It’s now available to almost everyone thanks to its support by smartphones and apps, which means it can have a huge impact on how we view healthcare.


For example, medical visualization in education has become easier with AR because students can now visualize what happens inside their bodies by looking at their own X-rays or CT scans through an app called Complete Anatomy. This way of learning helps students understand how organs work together and how they differ from one another.



Virtual Reality (VR) to Calm Patients and Help Doctors Improve Their Skills


Virtual Reality allows you to experience an interactive, computer-generated environment through the use of headsets and other devices. With a headset and controllers, users can navigate through the virtual environment. They can also interact with objects that appear in their field of vision or create them.


VR platforms offer many benefits for healthcare UI/UX design, including:

  • improved patient experience;
  • help some patients relax (researches show it’s valid for some patients’ groups);
  • simulated training opportunities for doctors and nurses before conducting a real surgical performance.


For example, one study found that when people were taught how to perform CPR (resuscitation) using VR technology versus traditional training techniques, they felt more confident afterward and were able to recall more information about how to administer CPR correctly. 



VUIs for People with Special Needs


Voice user interfaces (VUIs) can significantly enhance the digital experience for individuals with various disabilities, such as visual or motor impairments, cognitive challenges, or language difficulties. For example, VUI can be integrated into smart home devices to help individuals with physical disabilities control various appliances, such as turning on lights, adjusting thermostats, or operating kitchen appliances using voice commands. 


VUIs can be used in healthcare settings to enable patients with limited mobility or visual impairments to interact with medical devices, schedule appointments, or access personalized health information. The benefits of this technology for people with special needs include:

  • It’s easier for them than typing on a keyboard or touchscreen;
  • It may help them live a better life without feeling like they are missing out on something;
  • Little to no training is required.


In healthcare UX/UI design, voice interfaces are also useful as an alternative way of information input for doctors: with them, the AI-powered VUI can listen to what’s happening during the patient visit and put the info into the EHR by itself, reducing the burden on doctors. 



Gesture Recognition to Communicate with Devices the Way We Do With Each Other


Gesture recognition allows users to interact with devices by moving their hands (using certain gestures or combinations of them). This technology is created for people with visual or auditory impairments and those who have dementia or other age-related health issues that affect motor skills (Parkinson’s disease). 


Gesturing has become popular recently thanks to wearables like smartwatches or fitness trackers. Users can access information by clenching and pinching rather than searching through menus by touching the screen. It has many benefits: 

  • makes interactions faster; 
  • reduces cognitive challenges for users by allowing them to focus on one task at a time; 
  • increases comfort by allowing users to interact with devices without having to reach out and touch them.


When designing interfaces that include gesture recognition, we must avoid confusing gestures like waving one hand over another. Consider whether your target audience will understand what certain gestures mean before implementing them into your design process.

UI/UX Design for Different Healthcare Applications

There are many different types of applications related to healthcare and wellness. Some of these include:




Telemedicine refers to the use of tech to provide medical care remotely. It has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its ability to simplify access, reduce costs, and expand the range of treatment options available. COVID-19 has also been boosting remote patient monitoring and telemedicine services, so the market for them is now projected to reach $280 billion by 2025.


Telemedicine apps are popular for several reasons: 

  • Convenience. You can use these apps to interact with doctors and get your prescriptions without your physical presence. 
  • Affordability. It’s cheaper than traditional in-person visits, especially if you have insurance that covers telemedicine services.
  • Accessibility. They are good for those who live far away from medical facilities — for example, in rural communities where there aren’t many hospitals nearby.

When creating such apps, UX/UI designers should pay attention to usability so that patients, medical professionals, and administrators can use their products smoothly.


Few Tips for UI/UX Design of a Healthcare App for Patient-Related Features

To design an app, keep in mind that the main goal of UX/UI designers is to make patients think (and feel) that they are visiting a doctor face-to-face while simplifying the process at the same time. Some basic principles should be followed to achieve this goal:

Care About Safe Registration and Authentication  

A good healthcare app should provide an easy way for users to register themselves, without any hassle or confusion. They should be able to create strong passwords that cannot be hacked easily. It should include security features like two-factor authentication (2FA), fingerprint scanning technology, or face recognition. 

Provide Advanced but Simple Searching

In addition to providing basic search filters, offer advanced options that allow users to filter their results by doctors’ specialization, hospital proximity, — and check out patients’ feedback. 

Provide Different Ways to Approve Appointments and Send Reminders

Ensure there are ways for people to confirm appointments and adhere to them — like an email confirmation link sent directly from your system once they book online, or sending SMS reminders beforehand.

Remember That Communication Is at the Heart of Processes  

Web-based and mobile platforms should provide real-time online meetings for video conferences and messenger chats and be safe (and easy) to use for patients of all ages.

Ensure Reliable Payments 

UI/UX designers should seek payment gateways that are convenient for users and let them track payments with minimal effort.

Recommendations for UI/UX Design of Healthcare App for Doctor-Related Features

If you’re building a healthcare app, user experience is your top priority. A doctor’s time is precious, so they need an intuitive interface that allows them to easily navigate through all the available features.

The main goal of UX/UI designers here is to make doctors’ work easier and automate the process. Some functionalities are pretty standard: communication channels, appointment approvals, reminders, etc. However, some features can be improved by utilizing technology in new ways (NLP, intelligent automation, and so on).

Develop Advanced Profile Filling

Develop an advanced profile-filling feature so that users can easily upload their documents like licenses, diplomas, and certificates instead of filling out long forms manually every time they create a new account or update their data. It will save time for patients and doctors.

Make Sure That Doctors Easy Have Access to Patient Records

Doctors should be able to access electronic health records to check through the medical histories of their patients, so the app must have a connection to one of the EHR providers or provide a reliable way for users to share their records themselves. 

UI/UX Design for Admin Panel of Healthcare App

To ensure that the admin panel is functional and user-friendly, you should consider establishing different levels of access to sensitive information. Admins should not have access to patient’s health information.

The necessity of analytics in the app will also affect UI/UX design decisions. For example, if you want people who use your telemedicine service regularly, it makes sense to update them about regular checkups, a necessity to set up a new appointment, and so on.



Software for Wearable Devices


Wearable devices are a growing trend in healthcare. They can help healthcare providers to improve patient care and health outcomes by providing real-time information about their patients’ health. The most popular types of wearables include smartwatches like Apple Watch, smart rings like Oura Ring Gen3, and fitness trackers like Fitbit. The following statistics show why UX/UI design is critical for wearable devices:


There are many benefits to using wearable devices in the healthcare industry: 

  • they allow patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes or hypertension better access to information about their condition; 
  • track info like heart rate, calories burned, and sleep patterns;
  • let doctors and nurses access critical information about patients’ conditions without having to visit them;  
  • provide better care overall through more accurate diagnosis on the basis of data, collected by wearables (as opposed to just relying on the past medical history and information from patients.)


However, poor UI/UX design of wearable devices could have negative consequences for doctors and patients.

What Is Interaction Cost?

Interaction cost is an important parameter of the UX for wearables. It refers to the amount of effort it takes a user to accomplish an action. In other words, it’s how easy or hard it is for someone to use your app or device.

In the context of healthcare UX design for wearables, it’s about making things so simple that muscle memory takes over, and users don’t have to think about what they’re doing. A high interaction cost can cause your app to be abandoned by users. 

Glanceability for Small Devices

If you’re developing software for wearable devices with a tiny screen, you need to ensure that key information is clearly visible. These bits of advice will help you achieve this:

    • Use visuals as much as possible and keep things simple. Try not to use more than seven words per paragraph, so it’s easy enough to perceive information for anyone who reads slowly due to disabilities like dyslexia or ADHD.
  • Use only one action per screen.
    • Interactions need to last seconds. Most interactions should happen on the first screen; you don’t want users scrolling through pages of content looking for what they need.
  • Use bold colors and large fonts, so people don’t miss anything important. 



Chatbots in Healthcare Systems


Chatbots can be used in the healthcare sector to help patients communicate with their doctors and get information about their health. For example, Wysa is a mental health chatbot that allows users to anonymously talk to someone who understands what they’re going through. The WHO chatbot was launched to help people battle the COVID-19 misinformation, while Ukrainian Helsi helps patients find vaccination points near them.


Chatbot popularity statistics show that people prefer talking with chatbots over humans when it comes to ordering food, making travel plans, and booking flights. Chatbots handle 70% of chats from start to finish. ChatGPT alone has more than 25 million daily visitors as of 2023. These bots not only deliver accurate answers but also create meaningful conversations with users over long periods, UI designers must ensure that enough questions are asked at each step along the way so there are no gaps between responses.

What Makes Chatbot UI Great

An effective chatbot inte

ace can be changed to meet the needs of your business, and this starts with being able to customize it. The ability to change the way a chatbot looks and behaves will make it more likely for users to talk to it.


Other key features that make for an excellent chatbot Ul:

  • simple design that allows users to quickly complete their tasks;
  • user-friendly navigation bars;
  • an easy way for you as a business owner to update the content displayed by your bots when they are live;
  • fast access to chatbot conversation history for users.

What Makes Chatbot UX Great

You can do the following things to create great chatbot UX:

  • Responsiveness. Ensure your bot responds quickly to commands and is easy to use on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Engagement. Chatbots can provide valuable information in an engaging way that keeps users coming back.
  • Convenience. Ensure your bot works reliably at all times, so people don’t have any trouble using it when they need it like during an emergency.
  • Flexibility. Your bot should be able to handle any question or command without having trouble understanding users.
  • Support. Give people options for getting 24/7 help from humans via phone call or email if needed.

To ensure your users are happy and satisfied with their experience, recurrently collect feedback about the chatbot’s behavior.



Electronic Health Records


Electronic health records are used in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings to store patient information. These healthcare systems allow doctors and other medical professionals to access a patient’s history quickly and easily.


In the past decade, EHRs have become an integral part of patient care, and the use of these technologies continues to grow. Over 95% of US hospitals use an EHR system. This rapid growth also brings new challenges — particularly when it comes to Uls. Poorly designed Uls for EHRs lead to clinical burnout among doctors and nurses who use them regularly due to their time-consuming nature. On top of this issue is an increasing shortage of qualified designers able to create user-friendly interfaces for this type of software.


To improve the user experience when dealing with electronic medical records:

  • reduce the amount of duplicate documentation;
  • add autocompletion for prescriptions and diagnosis;
  • create medication and allergy lists with filtering and dose icon;
  • engage the help of a UX writer and other doctors to increase the clarity of labeling;
  • implement voice technology for data input.

Good EHR design doesn’t distract and makes filling up patients’ info less time-consuming.

The Future of Healthcare UX/UI

The future of healthcare UX/UI is exciting. Chatbots are becoming more human-like, while AR and VR continue to revolutionize the medical experience by allowing doctors to practice surgeries before performing them on real patients. Digital access and transfer of healthcare records will ensure patients do not have to wait for their care, which means they can get back on their feet faster.  


The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and UI/UX designers must keep up with the latest trends. The UX/UI design of your app can have a significant impact on the way patients interact with their doctors and caregivers. By keeping these considerations in mind when designing your app, you ensure that it provides an intuitive experience that will help patients feel more comfortable using online medical services as part of their treatment plan, ultimately improving their health outcomes, — and help doctors do their job better and focus on patients more than on computers. 


If you want to develop an easy-to-use healthcare app, Diversido specialists have great expertise in the field. Our specialists will help turn your idea into reality!