This week I’m picking steam back up with one main feature. While I’m continuing to push on some of the core features and functionality of the app, I’m continuing to think of how we can create more value throughout different areas of the system. The main one being the home screen.
In most dashboard apps, the home screen is really a jumping-off point. It in-and-of-itself is not a main feature. This is because it serves as a base to get to the main features. While this will be true for Alloy in many ways, I want to think of how we can provide the best home screen possible for a clinician. What do they need to see? Why do they need to see it? What is most important? How does that change throughout a workday or based on different environmental factors?
As far as I can tell, and I very well could be wrong about this, the answers to these questions boil down to a few key items:
These three things, more than most, change and update regularly but not consistently. For instance, a clinician may send off for blood work, order two or three tests, and ask other clinicians several questions in one day. However, the cadence they receive information back will not necessarily be consistent. They may get it back all at once or spread out over the course of several days. This irregularity paired with the need to communicate with patients and attend to current appointments creates extra cognitive load and attention management issues. Compound this across a week, a month, or a particularly busy season, and notification burnout becomes quite real.
So how do we solve for this? I believe at least part of the answer lies in hierarchy. The screenshot below should help illustrate some of this.
I intend to use the homescreen as partially a way to jump off to important information in results and labs or orders. And to manage important communication with patients or other care team members. Remember, we’re not building for a massive hospital system. Though, someday we could expand the area to the left to include multiple teams, campuses, specialties, etc. Avid users of the popular messaging app, Slack, will notice some similarities between it and the way I’ve designed this messaging area. The difference is that this messaging area is meant to be a jumping-off point to different types of communication and management areas. More on that in the future.
The main focus of the home screen is the “Today” area in the middle. This shows a clinician the three upcoming appointments or their view of the next 45 minutes without overwhelming them too much. Additionally, there is room for extra notifications or information as necessary.
This is still an early version 1, so I will be continuing to explore and work with clinician testers to evaluate the potential effectiveness of this design.
This week, I’ll be continuing to work on the design of the home screen and communication features. As well as working on assisting with development. I’m also continuing to research data standards and data implementation. I hope there will be more to share on that in the future.
Until next week, ✌️