User Interface Design Best Practices for Medical and Healthcare Apps

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According to a recent report by Technavio, the healthcare industry is moving in the direction of digitization. A growing number of patients can make appointments with their doctors, store analysis results, and get prescriptions using mobile applications. But there are some issues both medical organizations and users may face with these apps, the main ones being issues with the organization, confidentiality, management, and visualization of data. To help you overcome these challenges, we share user interface (UI) solutions for medical application designs.

Reasons why a clear medical and healthcare UI is essential

Healthcare apps provide many benefits to medical organizations. With mobile apps, doctors can give medical assistance remotely and quickly. These apps also help medical workers improve data management, which significantly simplifies the work of medical staff and leaves fewer chances for human mistakes. Below, we’ll show you how exactly a great medical UI affects a healthcare organization.

A good UI proves your credibility

Before starting to use an application, users evaluate its looks. Before trusting their personal data to a website or app, users judge the credibility of the product within the first seconds of interacting with its interface. UI design is responsible for this first impression. A properly designed interface shows the value your app gives and how credible it is, especially if it’s associated with medicine. For a medical app, it’s essential to show users how safe your interface is and how you can satisfy all their needs.

A good UI simplifies all processes within healthcare organizations

Integrating a medical application into a medical organization’s workflow is excellent in itself. But integrating an application with a good UI design is much better. Medical applications contain an immense amount of data about patients, diagnoses, treatment guidelines, and manuals. It’s vital not only to organize this information logically but also to support it with a convenient UI design. With a medical app, doctors and nurses can reduce their paperwork, and a convenient user interface helps them manage it more easily. As a result, you increase the efficiency and sustainability of your medical workflow.

A good UI increases user satisfaction and retention

Patients who are feeling under the weather only want fast medical care. They don’t want to tinker with a complicated application interface to make an appointment. By creating an attractive and easy-to-use UI, you can eliminate this pain point and satisfy users. Thus, you can take care of users from the first minutes. When an application has an excellent interface, it improves the user experience and helps you retain patients.

A good UI delivers strong ROI

According to Rock Health, 80 percent of those connected to the internet use digital health tools in the US. Developing the application interface your users expect requires a lot of money. But it’s definitely worth it. UI design defines successful and unsuccessful products. By investing money in your UI, you’ll benefit from a design that attracts and retains users, simplifies the workflow, and inspires trust.

The verdict

Medical applications are already indispensable tools. But medicine doesn’t stand still, and it’s safe to say that applications will be even more widely used in clinical practice in the future. A good UI design allows patients to use them without trouble.

UI design tips for creating a helpful medical and healthcare app

Knowing the importance of UI design, we’re happy to share some tips for creating a useful healthcare application.

Consider the importance of color combinations

The medical color palette is quite limited. It’s difficult to imagine a healthcare organization where neon yellow is the leading color. This is due to the influence of color on the mood and wellbeing of patients.

Color combinations

Flashy and vibrant colors can lead to feelings of aggression. A medical application should convey a friendly attitude and be therapeutic and calm. Therefore, it’s best to use cold or pastel shades. Based on a report by Andrew J. Elliot, let’s look at colors that fit into a healthcare context:

Blue

Blue is a natural color, and you can often find it in the sky and in water. Perhaps that’s why blue is associated with calm and serenity. And perhaps that’s why this color is the most common in medical apps. Your application will look confidential and reliable if you use blue. As a result, patients will be more likely to trust their health to you.

The eClinicalMobile app looks eye-catching because it uses cornflower blue as the primary color and dark blue as an additional one.

eClinicalMobile app
eClinicalMobile app

Green

Green symbolizes the world of nature. It’s believed that green removes stress and improves wellbeing. This color is often used in pharmacological products and applications promoting healthy lifestyles. For medical app interfaces, it’s best to use deep green or wormwood and to avoid flashy shades of green.

The lime green of the Delta Dental Mobile app gives freshness and cheers up users. This color is bright enough, but interacting with the interface doesn’t tire your eyes.

Delta Dental Mobile app
Delta Dental Mobile app

White

White is often used to convey a sense of purity and peace. It evokes positive emotions and calms users. In applications, white is often used as a background and complemented with elements of other colors.

This dentist’s application interface with a lot of white gives the feeling of cleanliness. Soft elements of color complement the overall concept and make it weightless.

Dentists medical app concept
Medical app for dentists concept by Anna Truong on Dribbble

Red

Red is risky because this color may evoke an aggressive mood. But in some cases, red can serve as a great tool. An excellent example is the American Red Cross app. The primary brand color for the American Red Cross is red, and the organization’s application uses it as well. This approach can attract users and retain their attention.

The American Red Cross app
The American Red Cross app

Be attentive to buttons

The size and placement of buttons is an important part of a medical app’s UI design since it helps users navigate and perform their desired actions. All buttons should be large enough and located at such a distance that users can interact with them without accidental taps. But avoid making buttons huge, as this will violate the integrity of the layout.

Buttons’ size in medical app
Reanimatie mobile app

Think carefully about typography

Fonts are also an integral part of the interface that require a lot of attention. The right font in combination with the right color scheme will positively affect how users perceive information. There are many fonts, and to choose the right one, think about your users first. Here’s what you can do to display information conveniently.

  1. Consider kerning, or the distance between letters. For individual words to be read clearly, it’s necessary to choose the right interval between letters and words. Don’t stretch letters or bring them too close. Something in between will be a great option.
  2. Kerning in medical apps UI
  3. It’s better not to use a serif font, as they’re fine to read on paper but aren’t as suitable for digital media. Also, don’t use a stylized font, as difficulties may arise with understanding the text. The best solution is a simple sans-serif font. The ease of reading the letters will make for a holistic composition of the application interface.
  4. Serif and sans-serif fonts in medical apps UI
  5. Take into account the text alignment, especially on screens with a large block of information. Text alignment affects the composition of the user interface and the users’ perception of the text. Try not to align text in the center or to the right (except for right-to-left languages). It’s best if you use left-aligned text.
  6. Text alignment in medical apps UI

Use responsive icons

Icons should be intuitive so that users can understand what stands behind them. Although icons are a great graphical element, you shouldn’t use them on each screen, however. Don’t mislead users, and accompany each icon with text.

Icons medical apps UI

Images and photos

Illustrations and photos can also create a pleasant impression when using a medical application. Use high-resolution images to be visually pleasing. Flat illustrations and photos of people can also create a positive vibe.

Images and photos in medical app
Talkspace Online Therapy app and Delta Dental Mobile app

Make the UI consistent

A consistent interface design leads to a logical composition of layouts. Simple interfaces help users intuitively understand what result they can expect after certain interactions. You can achieve this by following Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and Google’s Material Design guidelines. Focus on the compact screens of mobile devices and arrange elements so the interface makes your application user-friendly.

Medical apps UI consistent

In conclusion

Designing a medical product requires great responsibility, and at the same time you need to pay much attention to the user. There are many aspects to creating a successful user interface, but it’s impossible to create the high-quality product without knowing your users. Therefore, our main advice is to study your audience, recognize their pain points, and then use our UI design tips to create the simple healthcare application. If you need help with your healthcare app design, contact our team to get outstanding solutions.

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