‘Your user does not have your head’

Many apps, websites, and other e-health are unnecessarily difficult and tend to expand rather than narrow the health gap. Digital care is often incomprehensible to the large group of people who have limited health and digital skills, or who have difficulty reading and writing. What does it take to create e-health that truly benefits everyone? We ask the developers themselves in a series of interviews. Daan Dohmen, CEO of Luscii, is fired. “If we think it’s understandable, it should be three times simpler.”

Television nursing

Dohmen once started as a caretaker assistant for the elderly at the nursing home just around the corner from him. There he saw what the elderly could and could no longer do for themselves. This made him think: could older people with technological aids be able to remain self-employed for a longer period of time? He founded FocusCura, a company that makes smart aids for the elderly. Daan is now a specially appointed professor of Digital Transformation in Healthcare at Open University and founder of Luscii.

Luscii is a digital care platform for remote care with one app for more than 40 different diseases. “Luscii is used in seven countries, in Europe and in Africa. We have more than 20 million registrations, including people with limited health skills. Our apps receive reviews of 4.5 and higher in the app stores. “

Get rid of bullshit and reduce the app to its essentials.

The goal must be extremely clear

Four points are important for an accessible and user-friendly app, says Daan. The goal is number one. It should be very clear to the user. “Often a lot of ideas are put into apps. But then the users immediately lose the thread. ” “Your user does not have your head” is an important lesson for developers. “Frequently used apps like WhatsApp, NU.nl and Buienradar all have a clear purpose. This is especially important for people who are not very good at digital. So cut the shit and bring the app back to its essence. “

Has a super simple design

Like the purpose, the design must also be extremely clear. “So it’s super simple,” Daan continues. “And if we think it’s understandable, then it should be three times simpler.” He says Apple and Google have done a lot of research into how people use apps. At Apple, for example, it has led to ‘Human Interface Guidelines’, guidelines for the best way to design apps. Any app that is very widespread is based on these guidelines. So stay as close to the guidelines as possible when developing a new app. ” An additional benefit: At Apple, the accessibility features work automatically if you follow the guidelines. “If you increase the font size of your phone, the app takes over. The same goes for other smart features such as reading, color adjustments, operating aids or voice-over. ”

Do not see your app through marketing glasses. Marketing and usability often collide.

Test, test, test

Point three is user experience, ie the user experience. Daan: “You want users to find the app logical. At Luscii, we have a separate team for that. They conduct research, including prototypes, which we test in practice. And we do that with different users, including people who are less capable digitally. For example, we often make five to ten new versions before something becomes final. With improvements based on user feedback. “An extra tip: Do not see your app through marketing glasses.” Marketing and usability often collide. That’s why you will not find logos and other bells and whistles in the Luscii app. “

Give good support

This is the last and also the most expensive point: the support around the app. “So how do you make sure people who can’t do it on their own can learn it anyway,” Daan says. “We have a help desk and work a lot with videos. And the first time you use the Luscii app, an app launches that explains how it all works. ” There are also volunteers who can support people. “Like the tablet coaches and peers from Unie KBO and Helpdesk Digitale Zorg, an umbrella helpdesk offered by participating healthcare providers.”

Continuous development

There are four important points. But who will take them is not yet clear. “You never are,” Daan concludes. “You have to continuously develop an app. You use data for this, which shows, for example, at what time people leave the app. ” It is also important to involve the user in this phase. “So do not think about how you would do it, but test and test what the best way is.” It can sometimes be very surprising. “Then you think that something is super logical, but in practice it turns out to be the opposite. And beautiful is not always the best! ”

Luscii shares tips in webinar

Want to know more about developing apps, websites and other eHealth that anyone can use? In the webinar ‘How to make eHealth understandable’ on July 7, Dennis Koolwijk, UX Manager at Luscii, shares his tips. Sign up here.

Do you want to start with better e-health?

We have all kinds of tools that you can instantly test whether a digital app is easy to find, use and understand. Do you want to make eHealth yourself? Then use the checklist for available information – before you start. Do you see through a patient’s eyes and experience what he encounters in a digital care portal? Take this quiz. Do you want to learn how to create truly understandable information and tools, or how to test with experienced experts? Please contact t.duijnhoven@pharos.nl.

Want to know more about understandable e-health? Check out our theme page for tools and tips to make your e-health easier to understand.

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