How to design enterprise-grade solutions for the senior living industry
Every day, senior living communities face the same challenges: marketing and corporate brand consistency, family and resident engagement, a uniform look and feel across properties, corporate oversight, corporate menus, calendar management, staff shortages, and recruitment difficulties. It is very important to make these tools usable so that staff can get their jobs done, minimize errors and reduce repetitive behavior, as well as ensure that residents and families can enjoy a smooth experience on the platform.
The job of UX designers is to understand not only the user, their environment, goals, and restrictions, then build the enterprise system and watch them use it and improve, but also the business goals of the clients. In this article, we asked our lead UX/UI designer, Bart Vandebeek, about the importance of design in senior living.
What is the job of a UX designer working for a senior living software company?
In short, a UX designer's role is directly involved in the process of making the product useful, usable, and enjoyable for its users: the residents, their families, and team members.
A UX designer gathers insights by conducting user research through observations, observations, direct user feedback, tracking and metrics, and other research methods. Based on this research, we can analyze and identify the pain points from our user base. The part I like most in working on senior living software is the broad user base we've got, ranging from staff to family to seniors themselves. This makes it very diverse and brings interesting insights to work with.
Through ideation techniques like brainstorming, co-creating, prototyping, ... a UX designer, together with the product team, generates and selects ideas based on feasibility, desirability, and viability to solve users’ needs and provide value for the company, the clients, and their users.
What should be taken into consideration when designing an enterprise system for senior living?
Enterprise UX is mainly 'design for people at work' and therefore the enterprise software is usually highly complex and specialized. They can become massive products, used by experts (on different levels) for several hours a day to do critical work. We need to meet all their business goals and demands, but with the best user experience possible which makes it more challenging. Enterprises nowadays demand the simplicity of consumer applications, but senior living software also has one other, very important user base: the seniors. Therefore we need to take into consideration a lot more challenges than most software companies.
My top 3 challenges to take into consideration are:
How does design drive the adoption of new technology amongst older adults?
By designing for all, not just for 'old'. The senior user base is still often overlooked when designing new technologies, apps, or devices. Needing to use software that's designed for 'old', will actually make a user feel old the first time they need it. We need to make them feel confident by designing and building tech that makes seniors feel self-confident, useful in society and in their community. We can do this by making our designs inclusive. Seniors should not be perceived as old but as humans. When we use that simple mindset, we can design technology that will be used by them.
If your Senior Living organization wants to stay ahead of the curve and implement a best-in-class technology, please get in touch with us at email@example.com. Cubigo is a fully integrated cloud-based platform, digitizing the non-clinical services in Senior Living to add life to people's years instead of just adding years to their lives.