Connecting Long-Term Hospital Patients
Project Length: 2 weeks
Project Date: 2013
Key Role: visual interaction designer & prototyper
Collaborators: Charnell McQueen, Rachel Rosenson and Kirk Draheim
Goal: make a product in a hospital for long term patients
Deliverable: interactive wall
What we made.
For our solution, we placed an interactive wall across from the beds of long term patients in hospitals. The wall allows patients' loved ones to send them pictures, video and text messages that are then displayed for the patients to see. The wall is also equipped with a schedule for patients to see when loved ones are coming to visit and see when their procedures are scheduled.
We made these screens which allowed the team to design the full visuals of the wall.
The visual system for the wall is spare and customizable, so that different kinds of content can be displayed. It is also designed to be round and and friendly, to make the user feel at home. The wall is meant to be slightly skeuomorphic, mimicking a window into the real world.
We made this video which allowed us to communicate the features and use case for our product.
The story creates empathy for our users, while also showing the use case for the wall. The video also shows some the beginnings of motion studies from our iteration process.
This drawing allowed us to show the the product in context.
The drawing allows the viewer to visualize the product in its proper context, across from a hospital bed.
How did we get there?
We documented our research process, which let our team communicate key problem areas for users.
During our research phase, we found that hospitals are isolating and scary places. After speaking with a few people who were recently hospitalized for long periods of time, we found that there is a huge pain point around keeping in touch with their life outside the hospital. To combat the loneliness experienced when a patient’s family and friends had to be at work or away, we created an environment in the hospital that felt like a home .
We created this moodboard to let our team communicate the overall emotion we want to express in our UI.
The feeling we wanted to evoke was one of being at home and being with family. We gathered images of things you find at home, such as dogs and comfortable furniture.
I sketched these icons to work out how we could communicate our look and feel through iconography.
Through this process, I decided that our icons should be light and fade to the background as much as possible. We wanted them to feel like they were in the same family but also be useable.
We designed these screens to test certain visual assets get feedback and revise them for the final product.
Our first pass on these screens were dark and meant to feel soothing. In the end we felt like we were being to prescriptive with our UI and wen't for something much cleaner.
Next Steps & Key Learnings
In the future, I would like to update the visual design based on current trends. I would also like to explore the idea of using an app instead of texting to communicate with the wall. In addition, I want to prototype the voice activation to make sure the experience is seamless.