Nipro Medical Europe
To improve their understanding of customer needs, Nipro Medical Europe chose to collaborate with Prevas when it came to conducting a comprehensive UX study of their medical devices.
The study was conducted during the second half of 2021 and resulted in a design brief consisting of mapping and analysing users’ needs and wishes, which led to requirements and insights into challenges and opportunities for Nipro – as well as a strategic direction for how the results can be implemented to strengthen the user experience of future products.
“What I particularly appreciated early on during the initial discussions with Prevas was their approach of first establishing what problems needed to be solved, rather than jumping straight to solutions,” says Peter Drennan, the project manager at Nipro. “Had we jumped straight to the solution space in our project we easily would have missed to identify great opportunities for improving user experience and incorporating that into our long term product strategy.”
“We expected talented designers, which we got, but we also got a strategic plan that we now use to ensure that we choose the right solutions within the new design concept.”
Nipro Medical Europe is part of Nipro Corporation Japan, a company that manufactures pharmaceutical and medical equipment. The collaborative process began with Nipro engaging Prevas for a specific design project. However, following discussions about the assignment, they decided to take a step back to find out which improvements to their medical devices should be prioritised.
User perspective strengthens the brand
Prevas’ analysis of user needs was based on interviews, surveys and observations conducted with end-users and experts from ten European countries. Prevas’ team also arranged a series of workshops to better enable Nipro to understand user behaviours and feelings and opinions about machine operation, as well as underlying motives that drive their actions and influence how they view Nipro’s products.
“Companies frequently have good ideas for how their products can be improved, but sometimes there is a lack of understanding of the customer’s wishes, problems and challenges,” says Maria Rojas, Team Leader Design and Innovation at Prevas. “That is what has made working with Nipro so great – they realise that the user perspective can lead to more satisfied customers, reduced development costs, higher revenues and a stronger brand.”
Prevas’ UX team comprises a number of different specialists. For the Nipro project, Maria worked alongside a UX researcher, a UX designer, and, during the final phase of the project, another designer who visualised the concepts prior to its presentation to Nipro’s steering group.
“For those of us who work with UX, it has been interesting to discover how the equipment works in the real world, and then, with the help of insights from interviews, studies and surveys, to be able to further develop the user experience,” says Maria.
Interviewing 40 people in 10 different countries proved a challenge due to the fact that the project was carried out at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, all research had to be carried out via remote meetings and calls instead of gathering on-site observations.
Professional project management and dialogue yielded results
The interviewees included nurses, medically responsible nurses, service technicians and other medical experts in the public or private healthcare sectors. According to Peter Drennan, one of the most important insights that emerged during the study was also one of the simplest – users want products to be designed according to their way of working instead of having to adapt their way of working to the product.
This simple idea was key to unlocking the creativity of the team at Nipro, with the strong support of Prevas, in order to identify great opportunities to strengthen the user experience of caregivers and patients.
“Furthermore, the interviews with users and experts revealed many insights that those of us who are close to the product would have struggled to see by ourselves without the external help at Prevas” says Peter.
Prevas has conducted the entire project in an extremely professional manner, and we have had an open and trusting dialogue – this is one of the best experiences I have had working with external consultants.”
In addition to delivering and presenting the final design brief, Prevas has also assisted in handing over the assignment to the Nipro design team, which is now working to ensure that the captured insights, user needs and challenges are captured in Nipro’s roadmap for its next generation products.
UX, UI, innovation, Life Science
Helena Gautam, Prevas AB, e-mail