Late one evening, with only a few employees still in the office, we received a frantic phone call. One of our users, the parent of a complex pediatric patient, was calling our support line from the Emergency Department (ED). His son was being rushed into the hospital, and he needed to share his care plan with the doctors in the ED. On his cell phone, in the busy ED, with his son's life in danger, he could not remember his password, or remember the sharing instructions he had been given. He was also not a native English speaker, and he couldn't understand the error messages about his login issues.
As designers, our natural inclination is to delight users, so we don't always consider what happens in a time of crisis. A solution that performs well in a relaxed, low-stress testing session may have unforeseen UX challenges. We have experienced this first-hand at act.MD, in partnership with the Massachusetts Alliance for Complex Care (MACC) Collaborative Consultative Care Coordination (4C) Program, a service at Boston Medical Center and Baystate Medical Center. Multidisciplinary care teams at MACC 4C support pediatric patients with complex medical and social needs, and the families that care for them. Our goal was to design an interface for patients and families to share their complex care plan with physicians outside of act.MD.
This talk will cover our experience throughout the process, including:
- Our initial user research, design, and testing.
- Lessons from customer support staff helping users in high-stress situations
- Increasing empathy for our users through Live Action Role Playing (LARP)
- Our takeaways, and how the experience impacted both our current design and our process for future work