Best Practices for Human-Centered Design in Healthcare

Design Graphic Design human centered design design thinking

Best Practices for Human-Centered Design in Healthcare


Product design can be very complicated, especially in the healthcare industry which is known for regulations and complexity. Designers are often looking to drive a change in human behavior, such as cigarette smoking cessation, or even the most basic actions such as getting your yearly shots. Always remember that people are different because we all have unique interests, different motivations and environmental factors that can affect everyday decisions, including healthcare choices. IT experts working in the healthcare industry should really take this into consideration. But the question is how do you do it? The answer is Human-Centered Design.



HCD design is used to understand a person’s behavior. Ask yourself questions such as: What motivates this person? What is the most important things for him or her? The goal here is no longer usability, it is desirability. Always remember that technology only enables, but design is the one doing the engaging.

Read below to learn the best practices for human-centered design in healthcare.


Design is not just making it look pretty

In order to start using HDC, you must first understand what it is. You can't just go to battle unprepared right? Design is not purely aesthetic, it is how users really experience and navigate the solution. As people use the design process, they need to ask themselves how they will inspire people to accomplish their objectives. 


RELATED: How We Used Human-Centered Design to Make a Difference in Our Community


“Real Leadership”

So that you can really understand how customers will use and react to the solution, you will need to talk to them. You can invite real people and have them share their experiences with the design team, so that way they know which approach they need to take. Through conversations, they can really engage with users and make changes in order to find a solution and create a better and engaging design. Discussions with different people can really serve as both an inspiration and a reality check.


Involve design teams from the start

Most of the time, the design team is not really invited to meetings not until the end. Having the design team in the meetings is great way to get a good and useful solution. If the product is far away from the development path, the design teams cannot affect the outcome anymore. The design team needs to be a key component not at the end, but from the start. 


RELATED: Graphic Design Using the Design Thinking Process


One size fits all does not always fit all

Empathy is important, but to who you are directing this empathy is also as important. You need to take into account that if you just set your sights into one particular user type, you are missing the opportunity to engage a bigger audience. Always remember that you can engage different types of people and not just segment people by gender, race or healthcare condition.

It is really time for the healthcare industry to forget the "technology first" approach and really start solving the needs of real people. By using human centered design, it is a critical step to bring user experience first were technology will just be working from the background.




How is your website ranking on search engines? Find out with a FREE website evaluation:


why should your website be responsive call to action


Daniela Belevan

Written by Daniela Belevan

Daniela Belevan is the Marketing Director at DecoGraphic, managing and implementing inbound marketing strategies. When she’s not at Deco uploading blogs or optimizing client’s websites, you can find her lifting (or attempting to lift) heavy at CrossFit.


Posts by Topic

see all