Design for Healthcare: Don’t ask me what I didn’t do, ask me how I am

Today, healthcare is reaching a critical point in design. Once debilitating diseases are now managed by medication. What remains are chronic conditions. With a population living longer, healthcare is less about treating acute health issues. It is about supporting users in managing their conditions. It is about building healthy habits so that users can get back to enjoy life. The process to get there is designing for behavior change.

But what works for behavior change? For people who fear change due to its low perceived value? For people who are in denial of their condition? The answer is: compassion, because it taps into the emotions that leads to a decision to change.

This session highlights a use case that demonstrates behavior change: a diary study from Livongo Health, a service to support people with diabetes. Each participant received a daily text message containing: “How are you feeling? Did you check your blood glucose? Where is your meter right now?” The first question impacted behavior, because it functioned as an compassionate question rather than a reminder. Participants become self-aware and began to acknowledge their condition. Upon review, participants observed, “I never knew that about myself” and “It’s nice to be heard.” Then they began moving toward a decision to change.

Jennifer Ng

Jennifer Ng

Jennifer consults with startups in the San Francisco Bay Area and seeks to improve experiences through behavior design, storytelling, and design thinking. Her design philosophy originates from the mantra: design the right thing, rather than design the thing right. Most recently, she led design research at Livongo Health, which provides a service to empower people with chronic conditions, starting with diabetes. She has been a user experience designer and researcher at diverse set of companies including HP webOS, Barnes & Noble NOOK, Method, Catalyst Innovation Partners, and Nectarine Group. Her expertise ranges from understanding lives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, […]




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