Creating user-friendly health technology to improve lives in rural india
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
The George Institute was looking to refine a mobile application designed to enable remote Indian communities to better track, monitor, and manage their health. Working with staff in remote India, we co-designed the application to ensure that the app would meet cultural expectations and be user-friendly for all audiences. The final product resulted in 75 modular screen designs, a base style guide, and suggestions for future usability improvements.
A global leader in medical research
The George Institute is an independent medical research institute. Their mission is to improve the health of millions of people worldwide by focusing on better treatments, improved care, and healthier societies. A key element of their work lies in helping in-need communities with greater health education and diagnosis, which is where they enlisted our help.
Redefining health in rural India through cross-cultural design
With 720,000 users in mind, each with varying degrees of education and literacy, The George Institute wanted to ensure their health worker application was as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. The application was designed for community workers to take with them to remote villages and assist the locals with health education and diagnosis of illness, which meant cross-cultural design and accessibility was paramount to this project’s success. Another key consideration was a multi-language approach that would allow this application to be used with different subsets of the Indian language depending on users and locations.
Cross-cultural collaboration was key to unlocking good design
Our solution was to lead The George Institute through a co-design journey to ensure that everything we designed was meeting cultural expectations and providing a frictionless experience for all users.
User interface design
For a project spanning countries and cultures, we understood how important it was to make sure the right stakeholders were present to make the right decisions. We made sure to get a deep understanding of health workers and their contexts of use from both the Australian and Indian wings of the business. We held remote sessions to test the designs across both cultures and ensured we were making the right decisions in our uses of design elements, page configurations, and display of information.
We revised the application’s information architecture, optimised information and interaction flows, and standardised screen elements. We used Google’s Material Design Library as a base design system to ensure consistency and ease of build.
Then, when it came time for development, we worked with The George Institute’s developers to integrate our designs into code in real time. This allowed us to skip prototyping and head directly into testing with real data.
The right minds for the right results
The final result was a series of high-fidelity designs ready for implementation. We also delivered a modular component system that could be rapidly adapted to suit new users or requirements.
In total, we produced 75 modular screen designs with multi-language capabilities, three colour palettes, a base style guide that tied them together, and a series of detailed interaction flows.
“We found the process smooth and expertly facilitated by Airteam's highly skilled designers. At all stages, Airteam's goal was to tease out exactly what we were looking for and how the workflow would be implemented 'on the ground'. This led to a final design which was attractive, modern and accurately reflected how our product would be used by our end-users.”
– Ruth Webster, Associate Professor, Global Head of Medicine, George Health Technologies
Looking ahead to future improvements, we also created a series of recommendations for future phase improvements to further support ease of use through the adaptation of smart technology and the use of data.
Global collaboration and co-design
Accessible designs for use outside by users with mixed languages and education levels
A modular design system to allow future repurposing
Suggestions for future usability improvements
Better health and empowered communities
We’re proud to have been able to partner with such a values-aligned business as The George Institute. The collaboration highlighted just how powerful a focus on cross-cultural co-design can be, and left our team looking forward to taking these practices into future projects.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.