Welch Allyn came to frog design in 2008 with a three-fold challenge: to create better user experiences and outcomes for their many clinical medical devices, to unify their many devices under a common design language that reflects their brand vision, and to help develop a modular platform approach to the design and construction of their products. For a strategic designer, a project made in heaven.
I led a team of designers and engineers to tackle all of the above criteria as it applied to the physical design (another team working in close collaboration handled the digital/information design aspect). We began with a deep dive into the worldwide chaos that is health care. Our team visited dozens of different high- and low-acuity sites across three continents. We occasionally observed devices being used exactly as they were intended, but more often saw devices used in completely unexpected ways by people of questionable skill levels. This, among other key observations, led to our guiding mantra that the ideal Welch Allyn product would lead users into the proper modes of interaction intuitively.
We also teased apart the core values of the Welch Allyn brand, translated these into meaningful principles, and built a robust design language that directly expressed and reinforced these attributes, at all levels of interaction, across both physical and digital design.
Using an iterative design process of creating architectural schematics, sketch exploration, rough mockups, and CAD refinement, our team collaborated with Welch Allyn to deliver a suite of innovative new products that met the three main initial criteria. From vital signs monitors, to wall-mounted exam units, from hand-held thermometers, to exam lighting, our team created a unified, modular approach never before seen in the clinical space. After the initial design work foundation was laid, Welch Allyn’s internal teams took the products into production.
Initial feedback from the client indicated a very significant reduction in user error while using the devices, as well as a significant spike in new product sales.
Team members: Andy Logan, Eric Bailey, Alex Millie, John Lapetina, Jeanette Schwartz, Adam Leonards, Morten Wagener, Carles Puche, Francois Nguyen, Bisera Ferraro, and Deborah Johnson