Let me outline some of the specific problems associated with this scenario. I'll then provide some detail into
the role I played in solving such issues.
Time pressure and volume of info: A large amount of information must get recorded as swiftly as possible in a high pressure environment.
Ergonomic difficulties: The person recording the information often has
their back to the dentist. This makes communication between the dentist and dental
assistant more difficult.
Administrative burden: Ultimately, less time is spent on patient needs due to the burden of admin.
The above issues were highlighted to me by the product manager and we set about finding a solution to such issues.
(A) Frame the issue and have an intended outcome
This is the most important part. What intended outcome will this product or feature have on the end user? Will it make their job quicker to do? Enable them to do it better? Having a predefined outcome
creates a focus and shared vision for the success of the product and/or feature. Our intended outcome was
enabling a quick and clear method of inputting data across both tablet and desktop devices.
First of all, I identified the why (user motivation/s), the who (which user types) and the when (scenarios) associated with with this particular product.
Why: Electronic recording of patient information is critical. However, dentists in public environments must get through
a lot of appointments per day. More time with patients and less time with software is their goal.
Who: Dental assistants and sometimes dentists.
When: There are several scenarios. This article looks at 1 - the first appointment.
Usually this part would get done on a whiteboard and would form the framework in which I'd draw out some potential
options, both to ensure that core business requirements are met, but also to get other people's perspectives
on what might work. I believe that everyone has a bit of design within them without knowing it. That's why I'd
sometimes ask a BA, tester or front ender to draw out their thoughts on something. This can be great for both coming up
with a great solution and engaging those around you in the design process.