Image credit: Siemens scanner
MRI machines are relatively new technology, acting as a game changer for medical imaging however the experience of using one can be an unpleasant one, especially for children. Industrial designer Doug Dietz while observing a little girl with tears in her eyes and frightened of going in the "machine”, learned that many of the young patients have to be sedated for the procedure, adding extra hassle by way of time and money for hospitals. Dietz using his designer perspective, set out to solve the poor user experience of the MRI machine.
Through a human centred approach to design Doug observed children at daycares, and talked to specialists who worked directly with the patients. The design outcome was the “adventure series” scanner. By adding colourful themed decals to the floor, ceiling, walls of the MRI room, Doug created a series of adventures for children to experience while getting their scans done. The noise the machines making during the procedure are incorporated into the adventure along with a script for the machine operators to read to lead the patients through the adventure. The design was a hit and user experience increased to 90% and there was a significant drop in the need for sedating clients. The best response from young clients has been “Mummy, can we come back tomorrow”.
Image credit: excerpt from TED talk by David Kelley
We appreciate how simple and clever this re- design was. The need to replace all the machines with a user friendly design was eliminated by simply redesigning the aesthetics of the current machines with stickers and creating an adventure story harnessing the power of imagination. By viewing experience from the perspective of the user, design can lead to breakthrough innovation. Design doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to be clever.
Check out this video for "GE Healthcare > Adenture Series"