How do you improve the UX of a surgical navigation system in order to get an intuitive interface?

After my half year stop I was now eligible to finish my school career. While I had contact with multiple companies there was one project that just pulled me towards itself. It was posted on my school's internship bank so I contacted the people that posted it, and got the chance to work on this project.

During this project I had 2 supervisors, those were Matteo (developer) and Ruben (researcher). Jasper (technical physician) helped by getting directly involved with the feedback sessions I had during this project.

Conflict

Before I came to help with the UX, the NCI (Netherlands Cancer Institute) had already built a surgical navigation system. They used this system to research how they could implement a navigation system to help with finding their way within the human body during surgeries. They needed me to focus on the look, feel and user experience of the system.

Rising action

To help get a grip on what the current landscape of navigations looked like, I started researching the UX of different types of navigations. I also got the chance to see multiple navigations in action during surgery observations. I did this to see the context of the navigations and to understand what was important for the interface to work.

After researching interfaces & diving into the medical world it was time to talk to the people that were going to use the interface. I had multiple user interviews with surgeons and surgical technicians to determine what requirements were necessary of the navigation to work well for them.

Climax

After the user interviews I started sketching out ideas and discussing these sketches with my supervisors on a weekly basis. Through this I started fine-tuning the designs.

Falling action

After creating multiple versions of the interface through group feedback sessions, I decided to take the time to validate the design with a few surgeons and surgical technicians. With their feedback I created new versions of the interface.

Resolution

After all the work done together with everyone at the NCI, I wanted to make sure that the design could be handover to future designers/developers working on this project. I created a component library where I explained the ideas and workings of all the interfaces and it's components. You can find that here, you can find the prototype here.

I've learned a lot during this project and I enjoyed working with the team at the NCI. I hope to see the Discovery system in action one day!

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