10 weeks, fall 2018
ux/ui, concept, research
rochester regional health
Hospitals are often seen as bleak and foreign environments in which navigating them seems like a nightmare. Rochester Regional Health reached out to partner with us to help solve the problem of indoor wayfinding and mapping using a mobile interface with Augmented Reality. My partner, Luka Schulz and I explored and developed prototype experiences that we felt utilized AR in meaningful ways.
What are we trying to solve?
How do we create an experience that makes users feel in control while also fitting into the hustle and bustle of a hospital?
Narrowing it down
As hospital navigation can be a broad topic in which many aspects need to be accounted for. For the purpose of this project, we will be focusing on indoor wayfinding and mapping for able-bodied individuals. Specifically focusing on how a user can get from point A to point B in the most efficient way while allowing them to carve their own path.
“Even before getting to the hospital, I already feel nervous because I know it’s going to be a struggle navigating.”
We conducted a few interviews with hospital goers ranging from a one time patient to frequent goers. We primarily focused on patients themselves as opposed to visitors or hospital staff. Within these interviews, we wanted to get a better understanding of how these patients felt as they navigated the hospitals to allow us to specifically target these pain points.
Wayfinding signage can be ambiguous and misleading.
Hospitals do not have a welcoming vibe.
Patients worry about wandering into restricted areas.
How we approached the problem
Instead of avoiding the usage of AR and making it a side feature, we wanted to highlight its potential. The usage of AR allows for opportunities to use real-world objects which is familiar to patients while giving them an extra layer of security in their decision-making.
AR technology is a rising platform that has tremendous potential to better the lives of people. Currently, AR technology is not something that people often use in their day-to-day lives. A lot of AR apps tend to be tacky and use AR technology just for the sake of using it.
We wanted to make sure that our usage of AR within the app was meaningful and served a purpose that would benefit the user in a way that normal 2D design can’t. We thought about the capabilities of AR technology 10 years into the future.
In times of stress, what matters most is that the patient feels heard.
Privacy comes first in the hospital. Nobody should feel unsafe.
Every action should be supported by thoughtful interactions.
2D map view
Lifeline has the ability to work in both a 2D and AR view. In the 2D view, users are able to get an overview of their route.
To protect the privacy of other patients, the AR mode is disabled in secured locations such as a patient's room.
Even the smallest decisions can be anxiety-inducing while under pressure. Lifeline gives users an extra boost of confidence and security to ensure that users don’t have to worry about minor issues.
In a real-world setting, a patient’s journey will most likely not be seamless. There’s bound to be hiccups along the way. Lifeline strives to handle these hiccups so that the users themselves don’t have to.
Certain objects and areas around the hospital will be marked with an indicator, allowing users to interact to learn more about them. This feature bypasses the mobile device's built-in screenshotting function with its own feature that allows users to save or share the image without taking a picture in the AR view.
Privacy is essential in a hospital setting. Lifeline blurs out areas such as patient rooms while in the AR view to maintain the privacy of guests and patients.
Our flow follows a patient as the app guides them to a cafe. Along the way, there are stops, obstacles, and areas where the app provides extra assistance.
AR mini game
We wanted to explore AR not only in a completely utilitarian sense but also a gratuitous sense. A large majority of time spent at a hospital is spent waiting. We explored a simple way for visitors and patients to pass the time in AR space.