A huge amount of healthcare work involves communicating with patients, carers and colleagues –providing information on someone’s medical condition, giving information and advice or promoting good health and wellbeing. To communicate well, we have to consider the whole person who we are trying to communicate with: what is their situation when we are trying to communicate with them, what information are we trying to give them, how should we best package this information for them, at the time they are receiving it? What is the best medium? What are the best words to use? For patients and families, this is especially important: Issue 11’s change maker, Leigh Kendall, spoke about the importance of not overwhelming patients and carers with information, but packaging it in a way suitable for the recipient. Essentially, that is what human centred design is about: designing your work for the humans receiving it; putting the patient or the recipient at the heart of your designs, so that it is suitable for them.

In 5 psychology secrets for great interaction design, Jerry Cao takes a look at how to create human centred websites and apps. This article is quite specific for website design, but it also contains lots of practical tips and ideas on how we can adapt our products and services to be better designed around humans.

Jennifer ClemoCommentary by Jennifer Clemo-Halpenny, Communications Officer, Horizons Team, NHS SIT