Design Work at UPMC's Technology Development Center: Convergence

tags: research, synthesis, prototype/wireframe, finished ui, mobile, web, print, sketching/illustration

Artifacts I’ve worked on at the UPMC TDC, a technology / innovation house within UPMC focused on medical-related software to aid both patients and clinicians.

Note: all PHI and potentially sensitive information has been edited out.

Convergence A Windows 8.1/Surface app that unites data from various EHR systems to give clinicians a comprehensive view of a patient’s health history over time. My first 6 months at the TDC were focused on "discovery” work, collaborating with designers and business/product analysts to research and envision the future of Convergence.

My Role For my first 6 months at the TDC, I worked on discovery, research, wireframing and prototyping, and validation. The second 6 months have been active development, and I’ve split my time between doing renderings (visual UI design) and discovery/UX/research. We're employing an agile scrum development system, with 2-week sprints. I've worked very closely with a lead designer (who's now my acting manager) on the visual design, and have also worked closely with developers and QA on implementation details, including renderings and the overall user experience.

Product accolades Microsoft has recognized Convergence as a flagship app, and features it when demoing the Surface at trade shows, conferences, and presentations. We’re currently involved in pilots at UPMC hospitals, where clinicians have been issued Surface 3 tablets and are using Convergence in their rotations.

Using Convergence on a Surface 3 tablet

Research The image to the right was a group research activity the designers and business/product analysts did on several occasions. Here, we gave ourselves 5-10 minutes to sketch ideas for reenvisioning our Timeline feature (which displays a condensed view of meds/labs/vitals/documents data over several days, a week, a month, or a year). We did several rounds of this in quick succession, building off the ideas that had been shared in previous rounds to hone in on something usable and substantive.

During the Discovery phase, we did a lot of generative activities, usually involving whiteboarding or quick sketching like this.

We also had the chance to do numerous rounds of research with clinicians, ranging from exploratory to evaluative. We’d invite them to our office, where we have a testing room with a room behind one-way glass for additional observers and notetakers.

More valuable, though, were the days when we could go onsite to a UPMC hospital and run validation sessions with clinicians/fellow/interns, while also doing ethnographic research/observations and seeing what their interactions and routines were like in-situ.

The TDC’s designers are responsible for wearing many hats; during each study, different people would take turns owning the protocol, running sessions, and taking notes.

Group research and brainstorming session

Synthesis A couple of samples of our research synthesis docs, to share findings with our team in a fun and easily-scannable way. This was in response to poor turnouts at research finding brown-bag lunch sessions we would attempt to host, and as a proposed change to our prior "standard Microsoft Word document” format.

Note This format is my creation, and I own these documents for our team. I took charge of editing/formatting/copywriting research notes (leading meetings and synthesis sessions with the other designers/analysts), and did all the sketches and document layout/formatting.

Research synthesis document Research synthesis document

Renderings Samples of the visual/UI design work I did in collaboration with another designer. He'd already set some visual conventions and a color palette that it was easiest to continue to apply here.

Convergence rendering: Patient Selection Convergence rendering: Clinical Dashboard Convergence rendering: Clinical Dashboard Convergence rendering: displaying Vitals data
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