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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients often come to the hospital with health issues that could be self-managed. This trend of COPD patients has put a strenuous burden on overstretched healthcare professionals and the NHS as a whole. Northumbria NHS Trust saw an opportunity for innovation, using a digital approach to break the time consumption of over-reliance from patients towards health care workers in decision-making that pulls unnecessary time away from doctors, nurses and support workers. The goal of this project was to give a self-management healthcare structure that educates, empowers and tracks patients and their health daily, giving them the support they need to manage their illness digitally and saving the NHS time and money in the process.


Having a proposed solution vehicle in the form of a tablet application limited our scope of exploration for different solutions and presented significant usability and cognitive burden issues for users. NHS would have found that at large, the age cohort suffering from COPD is mainly over the age of 65 that they are not comfortable with technology having limited access to personal electronic devices. Having been prescribed with a conceptual model about a tablet application that does not align with COPD patient mental model, which was the major difficulty of designing the interaction.


As regards the usability of an application by elderly cognition, the acknowledge of the ergonomics is necessary to plan the design of the interaction having learnability through the experience. Generally, decision making is the main concern in terms of the design for the elderly. It is significantly influenced by the decision maker’s attention in real-time and their working memory that support forms of recall and recognition. In terms of the decision-making process, recognition completes task better than recall. Moreover, cognition governed by fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, attention, verbal acquired and understanding ability connects the usage of the digital interface. Therefore, cognitive and motor decline issue, anxious about using technology issue, and user-friendliness of computer devices issue could be highlighted in terms of designing for the elderly since physical and psychological abilities are decreased.

1. Cognitive and motor decline issue

2. Anxious about using technology issue

3. User-friendliness of computer devices issue


I also conducted research on other health apps and medical tracking platforms to gain inspiration and any strengths could be taken. During this discovery, to see what technological usages were on the market, particularly for the elderly was great for designing interaction.


UI Strategy

After researching the design for elderly and competitive analysis, I built the UI design strategy for elder citizens. In fact, the approaches in terms of user interface and interaction had to consider user-centered design. Therefore, the goal of the UI design strategy was not only integrating with users by their common way but also encouraging to access the application regularly.


As a UI designer, then started sketching ideas in order to explore solutions based on what our team knew from research. Our team, then, used a POPapp for quick usability test with local people and the COPD user.


After having a UI solution that was clear to COPD patients in the sketch, we built out the process flow or the daily survey and I directed the wireframe that was designed simple and ease for use with the basis of the touch gesture and put into a high fidelity design for the older users.


Daily diary

To consider that the user is not familiar with digital devices, it is simple and easy to proceed forward steps. Using contrast and the big sized font is the key concept of this page.


In terms of reducing the time spends on understanding the digital service, the universal emoticons are used to help to optimise the user's symptoms. 


The flow structure of the question of Medication follows actual checklists asked by the medical assistant. Tapping is the main gesture system to complete the questionnaire. 

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