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Putting Product Design at the Heart of Healthcare

What makes the perfect product? And the reality of one-click healthcare.

Liam Carter-Hawkins

My foray into digital product design starts where many do: training in Industrial Design and giving into the gravity of the software design market. Over the course of my first three years working in the professional world, I worked on everything from e-commerce to enterprise apps for engineering teams. Then, I managed to find my way back to my long-time love: Healthcare. I took a Product Design role with Babylon Health, where I eventually led a team of designers and researchers. Babylon has since gone on to IPO, and it’s been a fascinating experience to watch a company in the hyper growth stage.

What makes great UX Design?

Great design de-risks go-to-market. Products are based on a series of assumptions and great ones succeed because they’ve tested those assumptions, doubled down on those that have positive signals and cut those that don’t. However, many successful products have achieved product-market fit because of timing and luck. For those out there that don’t want to rely on these factors, you can use design methods like prototyping and research to test your assumptions cheaply and easily.

What is the power of great research?

Great research comes into two forms: discovery and tactical

Discovery research helps you determine the right problem to solve. It includes investigatory work such as user interviews, competitor research and ethnographic research. Using these methods, you can better understand the attitudes and behaviours of your target market. Then hypothesise how best to enrich their life.

Tactical research helps you solve the problem right. Examples include: card sorting or prototype testing. Once discovery research has helped you decide which hypotheses you want to test, such methods help you test them in a way that gives you the best chance of commercial success.

Why does UX in healthcare matter?

Healthcare usually falls into one of the two outcomes: It can take months of disjointed services to receive simple care from an expert, or it costs a small fortune. Neither is ideal. Now compare this experience to setting up a new iPhone. It’s such a pleasurable experience because it’s intuitive, trustworthy and delightful. Apple combines great design with cutting edge technology to achieve this. We’re at an exciting inflection point in Healthcare where technology can do for healthcare what Apple has done for software. And good design accelerates the adoption of this technology.

What role does UX Design have in specialist healthcare?

The biggest role that Design plays in specialist healthcare is trust. With great technological opportunity comes great responsibility! It’s tempting to want to redesign Healthcare in the way that Amazon designed the one-click buy button. However, there are certain mandates in Healthcare that can’t be ignored. Design’s role is to deliver an intuitive and delightful experience, while maintaining the highest quality of care in a way that’s technologically feasible. No easy feat!

What is Pando Access doing differently?

Pando Access is a step change in the way healthcare is delivered. While other products and services are focused on building brands and cutting out existing providers, we’re focused on empowering these providers to deliver exceptional care with a tech-first solution. The easiest comparison is Stripe. The $95bn payments company offers the easiest way to integrate payments with just a few lines of code. We’re offering the same for anyone that wants to provide direct access to the best healthcare specialists within minutes.

As a user, name your favourite product and why?

One of my favourite products on the market is Gousto. I’m one of those guys you see in the supermarket pacing up and down the aisles getting enraged when they can’t find something. I’m also one of those guys that sees cooking as a ‘Job To Be Done’. I spent a whole Sunday strategising on my meal cooking plan and thought there must be a better way. That’s when I discovered Gousto. No more pacing the aisles trying to decide what to cook and messing it up. No more wasted food. This is an example of great product-market fit because I’d be fuming if I could no longer get the service.

Advice for future Product Designers?

The most important thing for anyone that wants to grow is coaching. It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you’re at. I’ve found those smart enough to find a coach tend to be junior or execs. There’s a gap in between where you’re missing out on crucial guidance and I strongly encourage everyone out there to find someone to coach you.

For those of you in design, I’m always happy to help with this – so don’t be afraid to reach out on LinkedIn!