eMidwife: Medico user experience research, design and usability testing project

eMidwife is a concept for a personal device for new parents at the hospital.

The eMidwife project contained user experience research, design and testing project within the medico field.

As part of the project we did a usability test following the guidelines of FDA.

Furthermore we did user research and interviews, industrial design sketches, user interface design wireframes, cardboard modeling and interactive prototyping.

eMidwife device sketches

Interviewing first time mothers

Six first time mothers and a midwife was interviewed at the beginning of the project. Through the interviews we learned about challenges encountered by new parents during their stay in the hospital after the baby’s birth.

“It was very confusing because different staff gave us very different instructions for how to take care of the baby.” (First time mother)

Sketching devices for hospitals

Based on the insights gained from the interviews, ideas were generated and sketches made.

Our goal was to make a device that empowers new parents by providing them access to streamlined information, whilst at the same time reducing the time spend by midwives giving the same basic instructions again and again.

Rough sketches of eMidwife prototype

Wireframing the user interface

After deciding on a form factor for the device with two displays, we sketched the user interface and created wireframes.

Based on the insights from the interviews we came up with features such as: Videos about breast feeding, diagrams monitoring the baby’s weight, and access to the midwife’s journal.

eMidwife video screenshoteMidwife video screenshot

Building demos of the device and it’s user interface

A cardboard model of the device and an interactive touch demo were created. The demo was created using Balsamic and Power Point and it was run from a touch interface computer. Depending on how the user holds the device the interface will adapt accordingly.

eMidwife touch demo eMidwife touch demo eMidwife cardboard model

Usability testing in accordance with FDA guidelines

Usability plays a more and more important role in relation to getting medical communication technology approved by the FDA.

Our usability test of the eMidwife were done in accordance with the FDA guideline to the largest extend possible:

  • “Systematic collection of data from users using a device (or device component or system)”: Audio were recorded and notes taken during observation. All participants were potential users – having given birth recently and stayed at patient hotels. A real size mockup and an interactive demo were used during the test.
  • “No members of developing team as participants”: All the users testing the concept were not part of the team.
  • “Unacceptable methods and data: Use of “think aloud” techniques, forced-choice questionnaires, user opinions on rating scales”: All these methods were avoided.
  • “Collection of subjective data by post-test interview comprised of open-ended questions”: Moderator observed users performing tasks on the device, then asked open questions.

Through the usability test we learned how to improve the solution in term of usability as well as how to make it fit more to the life of new parents.

User test of eMidwife

Storyboards envisioning how a new mother and a midwife would potentially use the device

eMidwife storyboard eMidwife storyboard

Thanks to Martine Kam for working hard on the eMidwife project during her internship at Loop UX.