What is Clinical UX?

Clinical User Experience (CUX) is a term coined by Dr Gyles Morrison, and is a specialism within Healthcare UX (HUX). Therefore, to define Clinical UX, one needs to define Healthcare UX. 

However, Healthcare UX is itself a specialism within UX. So to truly define Clinical UX, one must first define UX.

User Experience (UX), is about the interaction and experiences people have with anything designed.

Most of the time UX is associated with the design of websites and apps. But these designed things includes any form of object, product, process or service designed and made by humans. These things can be further refined to just products or services, and include, for example

    • a coffee table
    • the interface of a microwave
    • going through border control at an airport
    • or customer service provided by your utility supplier.

These have all been designed, and people can have any experience with all of them.

Good UX is demonstrated by the usefulness, accessibility and satisfaction of whatever product or service someone is interacting with.

Usefulness is the ability for someone to perform a task with, and where necessary learn how to use, a product or service (also known as learnability).

Accessibility is the ability of people with real, or self-perceived disabilities or handicaps to use a product or service.

Satisfaction is the ability to enjoy, or at least be content during or after using a product or service.

A deficit in either usefulness, accessiblity, or satisfaction will lead to a problem with

Healthcare UX is about the interaction and experiences people have with healthcare technology and services.

Like with UX in general, Healthcare UX is good when healthcare technology and services are useful, accessible and satisfying. But the products and services are healthcare focused, such as: 

    • a poster encouraging to eat five fruit and/or vegetables a day
    • a fitness app
    • having a blood test
    • healthcare insurance

Best practice UX, combined with knowledge of healthcare, behaviour change theory, medical law and ethics, and more, are essential to design products and services with good Healthcare UX. 

Clinical UX is about the interaction and experiences clinicians and patients have with healthcare technology and services.​

Since it still involves healthcare technology, Clinical UX is a sub-speciality within healthcare. The major difference is the focus on healthcare technology for clinicians and patients, who have very unique and distinct needs. This can be demonstrated by some of the unique healthcare technology and services they use, such as: 

    • insulin infusion pump
    • Digital Therapeutics
    • Electronic Medical Records
    • Ageing or caring in place

Building on the knowledge and skills required for Healthcare UX, there is also a need to know about clinical pathways, health assessment, medical records, regulatory affairs and more in order to design products and services with good Clinical UX. 

Want to learn more about Clinical UX?

We still have a few places for the next cohort of students of the Clinical UX Course.

Learn the 5 Clinical UX Competencies  and how to apply them to digital health and healthcare care service design projects.

 Designed for those new to UX and/or Healthcare.

Photo by National Cancer Institute

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