Mobile Health Apps: UX/UI Design Considerations for Developing a Mobile Health Application
09 February 2024 by Holly Carden
Developing an effective mobile health application can be a challenging task that requires careful consideration of the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). We understand that building a successful mobile health app involves more than just programming languages.
In this post, we will discuss some important UX and UI design considerations to keep in mind. By focusing on UX, UI design, you can ensure that your mobile application stands out from the competition and delivers against its commercial and user objectives.
The Goal of the App
When creating a mobile health app, the most important thing is to understand the brief and what you want to achieve when building the app. Time should be invested in gaining insight into what app competitors are doing and what your prospective users or patients want. With this research, you can then determine the main purpose of your application, and create a design that aligns with the user's needs and your business or brand objectives. Whether it’s to raise awareness of your healthcare brand, provide users with a convenient way to access your digital services or generate revenue directly from the application, understanding the goal is key in any design process. By having a clear vision of what you would like to achieve with your mobile health application, you can make sure that every design element serves that purpose as well as display yourselves as healthcare specialists.
You should also consider what devices you would like this to feature on, apps for android and apps for iOS have different approval processes as well as differing sizes.
The Target Audience
When building an app, it's critical to consider the target audience. Different types of audiences will require different approaches to the user interface and the user experience. For example, an app that is marketed to children would require simpler, more colourful content with simple navigation, whilst a mobile app developed for a pharmaceutical company would require a more professional, aesthetic design accompanied by more extensive content.
This is also why it is imperative to do detailed healthcare marketing research into your mobile app competitors and their existing Mobile apps so that you can create a user-friendly application that meets your customers' expectations. This attention to detail will help you to develop an app that meets the exact healthcare needs of clients and helps stand out from the competition.
The Patient Requirements
When building mobile healthcare applications, it is important to consider and include certain features to inform, educate, and assist in managing patient lifestyles and conditions. Here are some key aspects you should keep in mind:
- Instant communication: Do you provide live chat, video calls, emailing, or AI chatbot services to facilitate user-patient interaction? These features can prove to be essential in healthcare apps, offering support and helping to foster a strong relationship between healthcare professionals and patients.
- Data Compliance: Compliance with local market data protection rules and regulations is critical, not only to remain compliant but to build trust with patients. Empower patients to access their data and remove themselves at any time, and that their explicit consent is obtained for any data gathering. Data protection is paramount in healthcare apps, and failure to address this can also hold up app publication. In the US market, HIPAA guidelines serve as the equivalent requirement, necessitating careful consideration of privacy permissions and disclosure.
- Proper Referencing procedure: When incorporating medical advice and references from medical reports, articles and studies, be sure to reference them properly to avoid any issues with plagiarism. Copying content from other sources may lead to potential problems, such as your app getting removed from app stores. Soliciting permission for data use and referencing sources for useful links demonstrate that you use credible sources and utilise them as supporting data only.
The User Flow
Planning out the content for your Mobile App is an essential part of the design and app development process. You need to consider the purpose of your app and how the various pages will interconnect and link together to make a cohesive user experience. We recommend creating a mobile app wireframe to plan out each page and its features before you begin designing.
This way, you can easily ensure that the overall user flow makes sense and that the user journey is coherent and aligned with your objectives. Additionally, it also helps to get approval from either your stakeholders, as you can show them a visual representation of the mobile health app before you begin design and development. Additionally, this will help your mobile developers know how everything should work.
The Colour Scheme
An effective colour scheme is essential when creating a Mobile App. Colours can convey emotions, they can help to create a sense of unity, and they can help to tie in a brand. A successful mobile app should take the time to consider the impact that colours have on user experience.
Using colours to represent the brand identity is important when developing a mobile health app. Choosing a palette of 5–6 colours that reflect the client's core values will enable designers to be consistent with their branding materials and create a cohesive visual identity throughout the app.
Selecting colours that evoke emotion is key to developing an effective colour scheme. Certain colours are known to elicit certain emotional responses; blue often conveys trust and reliability, green often suggests calmness and growth, and red is seen as bold, passionate and exciting. It is important to understand how colours can affect the user experience and create positive associations with the use of the application.
Creating a palette that is visually appealing and suitable for your target audience is a great way to ensure your app looks professional and can be used effectively. Utilising shades, tints, and tones of the same colours to add contrast and interest will allow for a visually appealing colour scheme that still ties in with the core marketing brand colours.
Choosing the right typography for a Mobile App can be a tricky task. We recommend using one decorative font for titles and one font family that is basic and easy to read. To ensure accessibility and readability for all app users, ensuring it works on all app platforms, use a serif font family for large bodies of text. Font width and sizes should also be taken into account when considering accessibility - make sure to keep fonts fairly large, so all users can have an enjoyable experience with your app.
The importance of clear, concise icons on our mobile applications cannot be overstated. Icons can be used for buttons, so they must be unmistakable in their representation of a particular action.
A universally used icon is the 'hamburger' icon (three horizontal lines placed in parallel), which often indicates an opening of a menu or side navigation that helps to save space.
Icons can also be used to add a playful element to the design, helping to add some style to the page. For mobile apps, you must ensure the icons used are recognizable to the user. To ensure this is the case, you should regularly seek feedback from outside users on your mobile app iconography. This ensures that what you believe to be clear is actually understood by those using the application. You should always strive to create the best possible mobile health application experience for users.
When it comes to laying out the interface for a mobile health application, it’s important to consider how the user will interact with the app, and how you’ll present content. Depending on the strategy of your mobile app, the layout should create an intuitive path for users to move through the app, providing them with the necessary information and utility in the right order.
You’ll also want to decide where and when to use imagery, as well as where you’d like to place your call-to-action button. A strong layout creates an opportunity to capture user attention and keep them engaged while they use your app.
Designing a mobile health app requires you to think outside the box. Make sure to explore innovative and engaging ways to create a powerful mobile experience for your users. Spend time early in the process with your mobile app development agency. Instead of just sticking to traditional layouts and colour schemes, push it further by considering new technologies such as AR and 3D modelling to give your app a unique edge. From user flow to iconography and typography, you can create a mobile healthcare app that will capture the attention of your users and keep them coming back for more.
The Power of Patient Testing
When you are ready to release your Mobile application for testing, involving patients is the most effective way to ensure you provide a high-quality product that fulfils all its requirements. Feedback groups can be incredibly valuable in terms of gathering feedback on user experience. Only individuals who live with the conditions and illnesses you are targeting can give you genuine insights into what will truly work for them on a daily basis. This gives you the opportunity to incorporate additional features, eliminate ones that aren't as effective, and gain valuable insights into app cost and subscription preferences going forward.
By providing patients with the opportunity to test the Mobile app themselves, you can gather crucial feedback to refine and improve the user experience, ultimately delivering a solution that caters to their specific needs.
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