Telehealth apps are great assistants to keep their users connected to healthcare services. But more than extensive functionality is needed to boost user demand for the application. Instead, the healthcare UI design of the app has to provide intuitive usage and convenience.
Why Medical UI Design Matters
Mobile healthcare solutions are genuinely transforming the approach to digital health services. They help patients connect with doctors faster and with more convenience, regardless of the location of both, personalize the services and make medical data more accessible for patients for a better understanding of their health.
With this in mind, the mHealth app market is growing significantly — it has been valued at $119.5B in 2023 and is expected to reach $395B in 2028.
So, with such a strong demand for healthcare apps, delivering a well-designed solution is key to making your app stand out in this rapidly elevating market.
But what UI practices in healthcare make great healthcare UI design? Let’s discuss what to consider to develop a successful UI design for healthcare application development.
1. Define the Value the App Is to Bring
First and foremost, understanding the primary value the telemedicine app in development is intended to bring to the users is vital to moving forward. Do you plan on creating a telemedicine app that will only allow scheduling visits or enable online patient-doctor communication to minimize offline visits? Or will it be a complex app with many features, including those listed?
Aiming to tackle many goals and a broad functionality at once will not lead to a well-functioning and practical application. Instead, it will likely provoke many issues as you implement UI practices in healthcare and create patient experience design.
With this, the first tip to apply to mHealth app development is for all parties to understand user pain points and select the main ones to tackle first. This way, you will develop the design and then the application that will encourage users to interact with this product continuously so that they can turn their challenges into benefits.
2. Comply With Privacy Regulations
Because any medical application transmits electronic patient health information (ePHI), it has to comply with HIPAA regulations. While most regulations can be implemented within the actual code of the app, like data encryption, information access, security, etc., you should also keep these in mind as you work on the user interface and patient experience design.
For example, plan how to apply current mHealth UI design trends to secure ePHI during video conferencing or screen sharing and how and when you will notify the users of the privacy rules you follow. Similarly, think of the small things like not displaying patient names or medical data on the home screen to protect their privacy when they open the app in a public place.
Naturally, you should consider the obligatory regulations for healthcare apps at the beginning of your work on the design so that you do not have to change the user interface design for healthcare application development later.
3. Build the Healthcare UI Product Design Based on Wireframing
Now that you have identified the pain points your app is to solve, it is helpful to start the design stage by creating wireframes, which are simple illustrations of your future app’s screens. These should show its functionality in basic schemes so that testing users understand the app’s flow.
Most importantly, wireframing helps with testing the healthcare UI design on how intuitive it is since patients or doctors (depending on who your target users are) can try out the wireframes and provide feedback on how easy it is to solve their pain points with the app.
And based on their feedback, you can tweak the design to improve it without changing up finalized screens, which you would have to do later if you skip wireframe-based design.
4. Make the Design Intuitive Using Familiar Interfaces
Regardless of your application’s solution, a telemedicine app is an assistant for the users in the healthcare services they receive (or provide). It is supposed to accompany the user on their way to booking an appointment, chatting with a specialist or any other goal the app helps achieve with mHealth app functionality.
So how does this translate into UI practices in healthcare? As we have mentioned, the app’s design has to be intuitive and easy to navigate. The user has to feel guided and supported. Thus, it is best to use familiar interfaces that are simple and proven successful among users.
By contrast, avoid overcomplicating interfaces and adding extra steps for the user to complete a process, like scheduling a visit. A non-intuitive UI and patient experience design will leave the user confused, lost, lonely, and, most importantly, unable to use or provide a healthcare service.
5. Add Clear and Direct Design of the Main Telehealth Features
While the functionality of telemedicine applications differs from app to app, there are some current mHealth UI design trends among the standard features your solution may provide, like visit scheduling, video conferencing and medicine intake reminder.
Visit scheduling via the app should be simple and convenient to eliminate the need to contact the clinic further. So think of design solutions to boost convenience, like adding a clickable calendar for scheduling appointments to choose a free date at one glance.
As for chat and videoconferencing, these features bridge the gap between patients and doctors while offering immense value — providing healthcare services regardless of location. Besides, video calls increase patient trust in the application as their healthcare assistant. So consider how to design the chat and videoconferencing to benefit both parties.
Lastly, medication intake reminder scheduling is another assisting feature of telehealth apps, which can be designed interactively. Add progress charts and a general overview for users to see how well they take their meds in terms of consistency. Also, add an encouraging reminder to help the patient keep up with their schedule.
6. Utilize White Space Effectively
The balance between the screen content and white space is crucial to direct the user to the solutions they need — well-placed white space can help create a clear and organized layout. However, using too much empty space will distract the user as much as adding too many elements to a page. So what does it mean to use white space effectively in a telemedicine app?
Well, focus on bringing attention to the most critical parts of the screen, i.e., buttons, by using white space around for contrast to highlight them. At the same time, separate different themes or functionality on the screen with white space. But do not move the objects too far from one another because this will make it challenging to grasp screen content intuitively. Then, do not oversaturate the interface with objects or content to fill in empty spaces. This way, you can confuse the user, diverting their attention from the crucial parts.
7. Choose Fonts With Readability in Mind
Speaking of contrast, it is an essential factor affecting the ease of use of applications, which you can achieve with white space and proper fonts. Of course, the fonts you use must be simple and easy to read, with appropriate text size for people with poor eyesight. However, you can make some common mistakes when choosing fonts for your app.
UI practices in healthcare usually abstain from using more than two fonts that look somewhat similar, choosing vivid font colors, typing in light-colored fonts and making the font size too big. All these will make the app “too loud” visually and overwhelm the user. It may also distract from the functionality, reducing the app’s ability to meet users’ needs.
8. Add Healthcare-Related Visuals to Healthcare UI Product Design
Visuals are a great asset to any healthcare UI design but must be relevant to the screen’s content. Some ways to add images to a telemedicine app include doctors’ photos and illustrate medical equipment and healthcare services. This way, users will perceive the app’s contents as more accessible and faster. Besides, visuals like photos, images, illustrations and graphs can help guide the user’s attention throughout the page and avoid oversaturating screens with text.
However, adding visuals of poor quality or big file sizes will affect user experience and, in some cases, page loading time. So be sure to prepare images properly regarding their quality and size before featuring them on the app.
9. Use Healthcare-Specific Icons
Continuing the topic of visuals, incorporating icons in the patient experience design is a common trend among applications in various industries today. They make the interface more interactive, visually appealing, and less cluttered since you can replace words with smaller icons for more straightforward navigation. Also, including icons specific to the field adds completeness to the UI design for healthcare app development while using consistent visual language.
For example, you can use icons for different parts of the body, medical equipment and services to illustrate navigation, types of healthcare services, like scheduling a lab test, and app functionality, like contacting a doctor via chat or video call.
A key thing to remember when using icons in your telemedicine app is that they must look the same in style, color palette, contrast and size. Otherwise, different looks of icons can confuse the user regarding their meaning and functionality. So, either use icons from a single library or create your collection of icons.
10. Simplify Medical Content
Medical content can be heavy on complicated language, so it is easy for users to get confused with all the terms and definitions. So, to keep them informed yet assisted rather than overwhelmed, simplify medical terms in service descriptions and other types of content featured in the app. That will ensure that users grasp the main contents of the application intuitively while you provide any additional information in plain language.
Also, if you need to include complex medical language, you can add a built-in dictionary for users to look up terms and definitions in a click without leaving the section they are reading.
11. Keep Your Tone of Voice Human and Consistent
The best communication between the user and a healthcare application is when the user feels seen and heard in contact with a qualified healthcare specialist. So to provide users with empathy and support throughout their experience, it is crucial to humanizing the machine app’s language. There are different ways to keep in-app communication human, like integrating an AI chatbot to tweaking your app’s user interface and patient experience design.
Using less formal yet professional language, speaking from the first person point of view and in a friendly tone of voice, will eliminate the feeling of loneliness users may develop when interacting with bluntly toned content in the app.
And, of course, when it comes to patient-doctor communication via in-app chatting or video conferencing, healthcare providers need to be trained accordingly to provide personalized care in the same tone of voice as the contents of the application. Besides shaping your tonal approach to communication with the users, ensure that the tone of voice you use throughout various sections of the app is consistent. That will add predictability and a feeling of safety.
12. Label Sections Clearly for Effortless Navigation
When it comes to app development, applying current mHealth UI design trends is enough without the proper architecture. A proper app architecture allows the contents and functionality to be correctly organized. Then, the design of the application displays the architecture for intuitive perception. As for designing the navigation system, it should be intuitive and clearly labeled for users to move between different sections and features of the app quickly. Therefore, use concise and direct labels and descriptions.
13. Add Visual Cues for Guidance
Another way to simplify navigation through the app via effective UI practices in healthcare is to add visual cues for more clarity on all app functionality steps. Visuals like progress bars or step-by-step instructions act as virtual assistants and guide users through all the steps to complete an action, from signing up to booking an appointment.
14. Provide Tips and Hints on Using the App
Regarding navigation, it can be tricky for inexperienced mobile users like older people, who may be the users who need to use the app as a healthcare assistant the most. So, provide tips and hints to educate and lead users to various app features and perform some everyday actions, like contacting a doctor online or setting up a reminder to take medication.
Besides guiding navigation and different processes, users may go through when using the app, so ensure that you back them up with clear and easy-to-understand error messages. For effective troubleshooting, provide notifications and pop-ups with specific instructions on how to fix the issue to create a seamless user experience. Or you can also feature an in-app help center with detailed instructions for troubleshooting common issues.
15. Visualize Data and Analytics
Some other current mHealth UI design trends, like data visualization and analytics, can help patients and healthcare providers make informed decisions about health. Still, perceiving loads of numerical or text data can be difficult. But when provided in graphs and charts, healthcare data is displayed clearly and understandably.
Of course, designing illustrations of patient data and analytics requires a thorough approach — too many details will confuse the user. At the same time, too little information will be insufficient to draw insights. A balanced approach to data visualization in the app is to visualize most of the data and add context and explanations only where necessary. This way, patients can better understand their health status with enough details.
16. Ensure Accessibility
Accessibility is crucial when developing telehealth applications — users must feel supported and accompanied. Thus, make the design suitable for people with different impairments by incorporating high-contrast text and large buttons for easy perception and clicking. Similarly, be mindful of users with colorblindness when choosing the color palette for various UI design elements. Besides, it is helpful to add voiceover compatibility to the app’s functionality, which may greatly benefit users with vision impairments.
17. Make the Design Responsive to Various Devices
Since patients or doctors will use your app from all kinds of mobile devices and tablets, testing the design for responsiveness is crucial. A responsive UI design for healthcare application development is a design that appropriately adapts to different screen sizes and orientations.
Responsiveness allows adjusting the app’s layout seamlessly for all users, ensuring they can see all the contents and access all features with no issues on any mobile device they use.
Moreover, besides testing how the app’s design displays on various screens, check all the aspects of the design. That includes font and image sizes, colors and contrast, icons, the navigation section, etc. — ensure everything looks good regardless of the device used.
18. Keep Up With Emerging Medical UI Design Trends
While the listed tips are timeless, there are also changing aspects to the UI design of medical apps that need to be considered, like healthcare UX trends. Of course, some trends stay around for longer, and others vanish quickly, but trends show that users like specific design approaches and decisions. Thus, watch the emerging and current mHealth UI design trends to deliver the healthcare UI design your users are likely to enjoy. Or, tweak up your existing design to apply what seems trending among users.
Overall, user interface plays a significant role in a telehealth app’s usability because it affects how intuitive and convenient it addresses users’ pain points. Now you have an extensive list of tips to implement when designing the interface of your telehealth application. And in case you need any further assistance — contact us, and we will work on your project together.