Designing a more engaging app

PUBLISHED 1st December 2017

Apps that are considered medical devices often intend patients to be the primary users and often require the user’s sustained involvement. This continued engagement between the user and the app can be an important factor in the treatments success. The user interface is the link between the user and the app that determines user engagement with the services provided.

When incorporating usability testing into the design of an app-based medical device, conduct as much formative testing as budget allows. Iterative development allows you to iron out any design or usability problems before the product reaches the later stages of development where addressing these problems can be hugely time consuming and costly. There are a number of proven user interface testing methods that can be used, there is no single ‘best’ method as each has their own advantages.

When contributing human factors to the design process of app-based medical devices understanding how to tailor the usability engineering process is key. As with medical devices, there is great freedom in what medical condition or circumstance the app is intended for. When this decision is made there is still great freedom in design and content decisions for each unique app. Human factors testing can be utilised to ensure an app is engaging and unique if the Human Factors specialists handling your app understand how to tailor studies to the specific research needs of your app.