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Edison Design System: Design to Help Save Lives

GE HEALTHCARE, Seattle / GE-DAKO / 2020

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

GE Healthcare is best known for its medical devices: ventilators, patient monitors, ultrasounds, and imaging machines like X-Rays, CTs and MRIs. But today, healthcare is increasingly focused on intelligent software.

With a century of history and hundreds of devices sold in 100+ countries, our product UIs did not all function the same or represent a unified brand. Doctors and frontline healthcare workers must use inconsistent software every day, including on devices that could be decades old.

Edison Design System aims to unify the software user experience across GE Healthcare and partner products, and to evolve the industry through shared standards that support the creation of consistent, modern and intuitive healthcare software.

Idea

GE Healthcare is best known for its medical devices: ventilators, patient monitors, ultrasounds, and imaging machines like X-Rays, CTs and MRIs. But today, healthcare is increasingly focused on intelligent software.

With a century of history and hundreds of devices sold in 100+ countries, our product UIs did not all function the same or represent a unified brand. Doctors and frontline healthcare workers must use inconsistent software every day, including on devices that could be decades old.

Edison Design System aims to unify the software user experience across GE Healthcare and partner products, and to evolve the industry through shared standards that support the creation of consistent, modern and intuitive healthcare software.

Strategy

Edison Design System provides GE Healthcare’s 50,000 staff and partners one-stop access to a comprehensive library that includes: a downloadable style guide and custom Sketch toolkit for designers; detailed design specs, redlines and usage guidelines on every item; a searchable, scalable icon library supporting 3 baseline sizes; code snippets and live code demos; a showcase of projects using the system; and community updates.

Every aspect of Edison Design System was rigorously researched and tested. We incorporated competitive analysis, user and customer interviews, multivariate surveys, weekly design reviews, icon metaphor testing, and distance and accessibility testing. Our guiding principles were to create Consistent, Modern and Intuitive healthcare software UI components that functioned seamlessly as a holistic, unified brand to best aid front-line healthcare workers in delivering optimal care.

Execution

EdisonDesignSystem.com launched in January 2020 after 1.5 years in design and development.

The portal provides GE Healthcare’s 50,000 staff and partners one-stop access to a comprehensive library that includes: a downloadable style guide and custom Sketch toolkit for designers; detailed design specs, redlines and usage guidelines on every item; a searchable, scalable icon library supporting 3 baseline sizes; code snippets and live code demos; a showcase of projects using the system; and community updates.

The system’s design direction manifests GE brand guidelines for brand and typography, while the color palette was extended and enhanced for maximum usability and legibility in healthcare software and for healthcare’s range of room environments. Our guiding principles were to create Consistent, Modern and Intuitive software UI components that functioned seamlessly as a holistic, unified brand to best aid front-line healthcare workers in delivering optimal care.

5 things differentiated our execution:

1. Quality: Craftsmanship is a core tenet. Every component has detailed designs, examples, code and redlines and underwent dozens of iterations and reviews.

2. Magnitude and Complexity: The system features 900+ icons, 400+ code snippets, and 200+ visual and interaction specs designed for mobile apps, large wall displays and medical device UIs of all sizes, in both light and dark rooms.

3. Healthcare Focus: The system is tailored for healthcare with components like a standardized patient banner, hundreds of medical icons, image annotation guidelines for artificial intelligence, and custom colors. The components are designed to be used in products for MD offices, ICUs, operating rooms, radiology reading rooms, pediatrics, and much more.

4. Plug + Play Code: Three levels of code, three themes, and responsive sizing support maximum adoption.

5. User and Community Validated: Every aspect is validated from 100+ user studies and feedback sessions for usability, intuitiveness, legibility and accessibility.

Outcome

Edison Design System has already had a major impact with validated designs, standards, code, and a large community aiming to improve healthcare.

- 2500+ standardized, consolidated and tested specs, icons, code and guidelines work together as a unified brand experience

- Our 2000+ member global designer and developer community provides detailed input, gets free UI training, drives the roadmap and receives the latest updates every 2 weeks

- Improved customer experience and efficiency from shared design patterns and code helps our users with usability and workflow optimization and aids developers’ efficiency

- We’re seeing rapid adoption with 40+ internal and partner initiatives that have begun using the system

Using Elements Design System results in consistent, modern and intuitive health software that functions as a holistic suite. Our impact is meaningful: improved software by design for hundreds of thousands of global healthcare workers who help save lives every day.

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