Thursday November 10 is World Usability Day, a day where events are held around the world that promote the values of usability and user-centred design. It also serves as a reminder for every user of any product, service or platform to continually ask for user experience improvements.
Each year’s World Usability Day has a theme, and the 2022 theme is ‘Our Health’. With recent advancements in digital health solutions, this year’s theme calls for more accessible healthcare, including telehealth, electronic health records, healthcare products, and other digital health solutions. The theme is also directly linked to one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Goals on global health and wellbeing.
Digitally accessible health care is a topic that has many factors (and different types of user experiences) that all need to be considered when making healthcare truly accessible. To delve into the topic further, Intopia is releasing a two-episode podcast series that puts the voices of healthcare users with a disability at the centre of the discussion. The first is being released for World Usability Day, and the second on International Day of People with Disability (December 3).
The guest for our first episode is Lauren Hayes, an accessibility consultant who is legally blind (and uses assistive technologies every day). She’s worked with many organisations in the disability and accessibility sectors in Australia, including Intopia. She also has a Bachelor of Music, majoring in music therapy.
“My confidentiality was compromised just because something couldn’t have been made accessible”
Lauren spoke in detail about the challenges she has experienced with the health care system, including not being able to complete necessary paperwork independently for a procedure, or even registering as a patient with a new GP. In both cases, support was required from another person, including verbally providing sensitive health information aloud – something that many patients never have to experience or are required to do. Accessibility and usability are things that should be included from the start, because as Lauren says, “the last thing you want to do is advocate for yourself, when all you want to do is feel better or to know what’s wrong with you”.
The episode also provides recommendations of how digital technology can be used to make physical healthcare settings more accessible, the positive changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to accessible digital healthcare, and echoes a sentiment shared by many – get real feedback from real users so that positive change can be made.
Check out the full episode of the podcast below:
Episode 2 of the podcast will be made available on International Day of People with Disability. Both episodes will be available through the Resources section of the Intopia website. More information about World Usability Day is available on the World Usability Day website.
The team involved with creating Intopia’s podcast series includes Jacinta Gregory, Charlii Parker, Tess Hutley, Fabian Lapham and Tess Herbert.