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I'm working on the digital ecosystem of Healthcare applications. Because of Covid-19 we are unable to reach out to actual users for primary research. So, it would be really helpful if someone can suggest good research papers which deal with the best practices in Healthcare UX, behavioral analysis of patients, etc

  • Not necessarily a direct answer, but UXdesign.cc's Healthcare tag has a lot of golden finds! It's mostly articles in there, but in some cases, the articles are backed by research studies. – Thea Silayro Nov 10 at 13:00
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Welcome to the UX Forum of StackExchange :)

Healthcare is a vast field and UX principles may vary depending on the purpose of your application and your audience (for example, designing a robot-surgeon user interface is very different from designing a medication database for patients).

Are you able to conduct remote research? E.g. surveys, remote usability testing, online interviews or through the phone - depending on what you want to investigate. Those could give you a more accurate picture of your product and/or audience.


SECTION 1 - As a general rule:

  • Keep the language/terminology and content used in your product clear and relevant to user-types; for users that are not medical-practitioners you might need to use simpler terminology. So if you've got more than one type of user - be careful of the different approaches you might need to apply. Don't assume that certain user-types should automatically know or understand certain things.
  • Make sure there is a clear structure and hierarchy; If a patient is looking for their prescription medication you wouldn't want to stress them out by not being able to intuitively find that section quickly and easily.
  • Based on the above, also allow shortcuts for frequently-used options (personalised).
  • Have a clear indication of actions a user can take and action status (e.g. disabled or pending).
  • Allow users to easily handle a mistake through appropriate feedback, or avoid it in the first place by providing helpful content. For example, a medical practitioner might want to edit a prescription they wrote, or might want to adjust a setting for a medical device, or other users might want to adjust their progress in a self-help app.
  • Keep accessibility in mind e.g. what medium might your audience employ to be able to use your app?
  • Avoid unecessary clutter - you don't want to overload your audience with options and choices, help with their decision-making (especially if they are an older demographic).
  • Be consistent (e.g. with icon representation, layout, visual and functional features, etc).


For additional principles look at Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics or Shneiderman’s Eight Golden Rules.


SECTION 2 - Secondary research sources:

Because you have not provided a specific topic that you are interested in Healthcare, I'm listing below some research sources that I usually use when it comes to secondary research:

  • PubMed
    A database on medical papers (it also provides publications on "user experience" research)
  • Semantic Scholar
    A search engine for academic publications - the good thing about academic publications is that they get peer-reviewed, so they are usually considered more reliable on the quality of work and methods proposed.
  • Google Scholar
    Another source to find scientific content and book previews on any topic of interest
  • The ACM Digital Library and IEEE Xplore
    Other sources for discovering scientific and technical content.

Tips on how to approach a research journal:

  1. First read the abstract, it gives you an overview of what to expect in the rest of the paper.
  2. Next, read the discussion and conclusion sections so you can get a better understanding whether this is a paper that interests you.
  3. Finally, if the content read in the above sections is something you want to explore further then you can go ahead and read it in its entirety (intro, background, methods, etc). Else, don't waste more time and move on to another research paper that might be closer to what you are looking for.


SECTION 3 - These might be of interest too:

A journal on the challenges faced by design researchers in healthcare

A book snapshot on users' age-factor when designing for e-health


Blog articles on the experience of some UX practitioners in Healthcare:

The UX process for healthcare apps

5 Design Principles for eHealth

My experience as a user experience researcher in healthcare



I hope the above are helpful, please comment on more specifics if you require additional assistance.

Best of luck,
C

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