Murphy’s Law influence in the design of a medical product can cause harm, irreparable damage, and even death. After all, according to the theory, “if someone can use a product the wrong way, then they will”. The goal of medical device engineers is to design products that are intuitive, easy-to-use, and simple.
The challenge is to project devices that never allow Murphy’s Law to work. Medical technology needs to be developed based on how the patient thinks, feels and behaves. It needs to fit perfectly and perform flawlessly.
Bryce Rutter, founder and CEO of Metaphase Design Group, provides a cheat sheet for the top five critical success factors in eliminating human error:
“1. Keep it Simple
Less is more. Don’t get cute or clever.
2. Create a Visual Hierarchy
Everything is connected someway. Group controls and displays need to be based on function, importance, and frequency of use. Establish visual importance through size, position, color, contrast, and shape.
3. Strive for Order
Our brains like order, not chaos. Aligning and grouping fields, functions, and buttons and dividing content into digestible and meaningful chunks will create order and simplify a graphical user interface.
4. Design for Consistency
We like patterns. Good graphical user interfaces use consistent behavior throughout the application.
5. Embrace Conventions
Experience is empowering. Building upon a user's prior knowledge and experience expedites learning and efficacy.”