Medical products are not used in isolation. I keep a picture of a crowded operating room on the wall of my office to remind me of the mess that is the environment in which most medical products are used:

medical product design













To maximize the usability of a product, it needs to be designed with an understanding of the context in which it is going to be used. What will be competing for the user’s attention? Display screens? Alarms? Cords? IV poles? In an environment that is as visually stimulating (and distracting) as this one, what can the medical product designer do to call attention to the product and make it as easy as possible for the user to interact with it?

Call attention by contrasting in shape, color, size, etc. Ease the cognitive load of the user by keeping the product interface as simple as possible. Eliminate all visual clutter. If there isn’t a reason for a visual element to be on the form, eliminate it. A product will be more successful if it’s designed not in isolation, but with a view of how it fits in context within a system.