When it comes to designing digital interfaces, we often talk about user experience, or ‘UX’. But in some cases we actually need to think more broadly than that. This is normally when something is being presented/used by one person, but the actual end recipient of the content is someone else (i.e., a customer or consumer).

In such cases we need to divide the layout, wire framing and design process into two. Or at least approach them thinking about it from both perspectives. We can split this out by asking two questions:

What’s it like to look at? (CX)

What’s it like to use? (UX)

The answer to both needs to be “really good!”

So where does this apply exactly?

Tablet sales presentations

In this instance, a sales representative might be presenting clinical data to a health professional via an iPad. So this makes the sales rep the user and the health professional (HP) the consumer of the content.

We therefore need to make sure that for the sales rep it’s intuitive to use, easy to navigate and essentially enables conversation, rather than creates a barrier to it. From the HP’s perspective it needs to be clear, compelling and must compliment what the rep is saying, rather than cause distraction to it.

The commonality here is the enablement of conversation, rather than the device creating a barrier.

Adherence apps for patients 

It’s becoming commonplace to see healthcare apps having to go through regulatory approvals due to the fact they are deemed as medical devices. One such case would be an app that is designed to help with patients’ treatment adherence. This may include reminders, treatment schedules, side effect trackers and can often be accessed by both the patient and their healthcare professional.

This is slightly different to the sales tool example in that both parties are essentially users, however, their uses are of a different nature and therefore both require unique experiences.

For the patient, the app needs to essentially blend into their daily routine and enable them to take their treatment. It also needs to work two ways – it requires input from the patient, but will also prompt when treatment needs to be taken in the form of a reminder.

For the HP, the experience is twofold. In the first instance, they may have to demonstrate the app to the patient as part of kicking off their treatment plan. This is similar to the sales presentation, but the roles are reversed – now the HP is presenting and demonstrating a device. Once set-up, the HP then needs to be able to access the data that’s inputted into it by the patient, enabling them to see how well treatment is being adhered to and if there are any unwanted side effects.

The steps and associated users that an adherence app might go through

Virtual Reality (VR)

VR is becoming a regular fixture in healthcare as a compelling way to present data, drug mode of action and even real-world healthcare experiences such as diagnoses or training. It not only immerses the recipient of the content in the experience, it often breaks down barriers between them and the user/owner of the content. I’ve seen this work at a number of international medical conferences over the past few years and just a few weeks ago at TILT (people’s reactions say it all!).

The UX of something like this quite simply needs to be easy to navigate and set up. People are often a little hesitant before using VR, especially if they’ve not experienced it before, so the demonstrator can’t be distracted with the interface while encouraging people to use it.

For the consumer, the experience needs to be immersive, impactful and to tell a story. It needs to tell a story because VR takes 100% of your attention and therefore can’t be supported by a conversation or presentation in parallel. Once the experience is over, it then opens up for a dialogue between the user and the consumer.

There are many other applications of where multiple user experience consideration is essential, but too often it’s often overlooked.

Don’t just think user, also think content consumer.