Why would a healthcare firm benefit from a design system? | UpTop Health

Why would a healthcare firm benefit from a design system?

5m 26s

In their One Question for UpTop Health video series, UpTop Health experts discuss how a healthcare firm benefits from a design system. For more information: How Your Healthcare Company Can Reap the Benefits of a Design System With Limited Resources

Moderator: John Sloat, (CEO)
Interviewees: Abbey Smith (UX Designer), Michael Woo (Director of UX)

Episode Transcript

Moderator: Hi, welcome to One Question with UpTop Health. Today the article that we’re covering is “How your healthcare company can reap the benefits of design system with limited resources.” The question I have for you guys is “Why would a healthcare firm benefit from a design system?” and Abbey, could you start us off please?

Abbey: Sure, in my perspective, there are a myriad of ways that healthcare firms can benefit from design systems, but just to cherry pick a couple; you can manage multiple instances of your application or your product, in general, across various platforms. You can control what users see on desktop and mobile stand-alone, and then you can also control how users interact going back and forth between desktop and mobile, which is a really good way to level up your product.

Another big one is you have alignment with all teams within your organization, so anyone that is creating and publishing digital content. So you can make sure that marketing, design, business, IT, all have the same governance tools and guidelines to make sure that whenever you push something live, it looks the same, which actually builds a lot of trust with your consumer. And then because you have the foundation of your product in a design system, you spend less time spinning wheels when adding new features or new pages and more time paying attention to your users – like doing back-end user research to make sure that you’re hitting any kind of need that your user is having. Then you also have the time and the availability with your team to iterate upon features that you’ve already pushed out, to again, help your user and make sure what you’re designing is resonating and actually working well. Then the last one for me is design systems will help your healthcare firm absolutely, but in the end, it’s going to help your user the most and that should be the main goal always. What about you Mike? What do you think?

Michael: Yeah, those were really good points. Inherently there’s a level of technical debt in healthcare organizations, but it doesn’t mean that design has to be, or development, for that matter. In healthcare organizations, both payers and providers, there’s a lot of digital experiences; websites, portals, multiple applications, mobile apps, maybe even kiosks, and scalability and extensibility are hugely important.

You mentioned efficiency, time and resources are extremely important when updating or spinning up new experiences for customers, but maintaining that consistency and brand and experience is vital. A design system is something that organizations can aim for, but as we talked about in the article itself, there are ways you can incrementally work towards that goal. There is the style guide we mentioned as the very basic level of just kind of getting some sort of standards and that’s usually around fonts, brand, colors, things like that, and then we talked about that local UI kit. I know it might be kind of hard for folks to understand what these things are, but I think if you’re a designer or developer, you can get it just like that.

The idea of a local UI kit and that incorporates reusable symbols or components allows you to exponentially create designs rapidly within a single design file and that works really well if you have a really small design team. Then we talk about this idea of a centralized UI kit that is especially useful for organizations that have large design teams and or multiple silos of designers across an organization. It allows them to work on many design files, but have that single source of a design library to access from just like the metaphor of cascading style sheets. All of those aren’t necessarily designed systems per se, but incremental advances towards that ultimate goal. Then there’s a design system itself, which we talked about in the article, that can come in many many forms depending on how much resources and capabilities you have in-house to create it. It does take time to curate, to maintain, to upkeep, but it definitely has advantages and will pay off in the long run.

Moderator: Thanks guys.

Michael: Thank you.