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Health Care Design Conference - 2013 Boston


About Me

Megan bakes the best brownies on the planet. The end.

Actually, that's just the beginning. Sassy, smiling and straightforward, Megan's found a way to connect her three passions food, health, and design. She is both an experience design director at Mad*Pow, and a graduate student at Boston University earning her degree in Gastronomy with a concentration in Food Policy. Ultimately she hopes to use her design and strategy chops to educate the public about the connections between their health and what they eat, and use design to help affect changes in food policy at local, national and global levels.

With over 15 years of experience in research and experience design, Megan specializes in helping clients discover the attitudes, intents and behaviors of their users and understand what is truly important to them. By being the ultimate user advocate, she is able to improve the organization and presentation of content and refine the messaging in a way that rings true with the audience(s) and meets business goals.

She has worked with clients including Bank of America, Aetna, Constant Contact and McKesson to sharpen their understanding of their audiences and design new digital experiences steeped in rigorous research and design thinking. She has been able to flex her marketing strategy muscles, creating new brand identities and developing clear and meaningful strategies for evolving brands.

Until recently, Megan was also the mastermind behind Mad*Pow's marketing strategy. From evaluating market conditions to directing digital marketing and social media strategies, Megan guided the marketing direction for all our events and promotional activities while collaborating with sales to support them in generating maximum buzz. Now that she has passed the Marketing torch, she is happy to wear just one hat as Experience Design Director.

Prior to Mad*Pow, Megan served as marketing manager with Momenta as well as senior product manager and user interface manager at Bottomline Technologies. Megan holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire and is always seeking to continue her education by attending conferences, seminars and reading her weight in UX books.

She is a founding member of the NHUPA. Her speaking gigs have included Refresh Boston, the 2010 IA Summit in Phoenix, the 2010 Usability Professionals' Association International conference in Munich, 2010 UPA Boston and Interaction11 in Boulder. In addition she served as IxDA's Interaction12 conference program director.

A die-hard tennis fan, Megan enjoys traveling the world, splashing in the waves at her favorite local beach and coffee shop-hopping around town with her husband and two young children.

Q&A with Megan

HxD asked speakers to tell us what inspires and drives them in healthcare and design.

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  • Q1: What is your burning mission in health?

    Although we have increasingly advanced medical technology our health continues to decline. Inspired by the words of Thomas Edison “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition,” I believe making more conscious choices about what we eat, and more effectively using food as preventative medicine can reduce many of our health issues.

  • Q2: What is one thing you want everyone to see?

    I recommend viewing documentaries such as Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives.

    Additionally, for a journey mapping primer I recommend this article that I co-authored with Jamie Thomson:

  • Q3: Why it inspires you?

    In just a few short hours consumers/patients are exposed to a wealth of information about how our food is produced and are instantly empowered to make healthier food choices.

  • Q4: Why HxD?

    As a self-proclaimed “conference junkie” HxD is a must for anyone who works in healthcare, especially designers, or anyone responsible for improving users’ experiences. Worlds truly collide in a most powerful and beautiful way at this event: using design to improve health.

  • Q5: Why should someone come to your session?

    Journey maps and models are emerging as a welcome and valuable tool in our design arsenal. They are not just another deliverable for your checklist; they’re a valuable method for digging deep into problems of long-term engagement, cultivating empathy, and establishing a problem space in which to generate and test ideas.

    Consumer/patient journeys can serve as a backbone for strategic recommendations and more tactical initiatives. Form and function can vary widely depending on the project and stakeholder needs, but at their core, journey models are stories that focus on the meaningful relationships between individuals and organizations, and highlight opportunities to build a better future.

    You’ll learn when to use Journey Maps, how to create various types, how to socialize them within your organization, and how to maintain them over time.

Megan at the Conference

CONFERENCE | Monday, March 25

Research and Design Methods in Healthcare

Designing experiences that are elegant, simple, intuitive and valuable is hard. Organizations often have a difficult time coming to consensus around design decisions or leveraging outside perspective and research into their design process. In healthcare, the complex web of patient behavior, regulatory systems, and multiple players make the design process that much more challenging. In this fast-paced session, we will share our experiences designing for the multiple facets of healthcare experiences. We will discuss core research and design methods that help overcome organizational barriers to good design, and review research and design methods that work for patient, provider, insurer and other players in healthcare specifically.

WORKSHOP | Tuesday, March 26

Journey Mapping: Illustrating the Big Picture

Defining a clear vision for the experience you want consumers/patients to have can make all the difference.

When designing for cross-channel ecosystems, where consumers/patients engage through different channels at different times, organizations often focus quickly on scenarios and use-cases that can sometimes lead to experiences that feel disjointed.

Additionally, throughout the design process it's not uncommon to encounter:

  • A lack of empathy for consumers/patients and their situations
  • Difficulty communicating the future vision for a product or service
  • Organizational siloes where disparate departments are unaware of what each is doing and how it impacts the end user

Journey maps are a powerful tool in tackling these challenges. Using them to define a vision, a story of the ultimate "blue sky" experience you?d like users to have across all of their interactions with your organization, you can provide guidance in the design of a consistent, cohesive service, regardless of channels and touch points.

With journey maps your team can:

  • Identify inconsistencies and rough patches in customers' current experiences
  • Build empathy for consumers/patients and identify opportunities to consider their environments and emotions when making design decisions
  • Set a clear vision that is easily understood by stakeholders and team members and use it to explore new design ideas
  • Establish a strong foundation for prototyping and crafting an experience strategy
  • Make design decisions that help ensure optimal experiences for consumers/patients across channels

"Last year's HxD conference was so amazingly inspiring, and has definitely caused me to strive harder and become more passionate about improving our healthcare system." - 2012 HxD Attendee

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Watch the 2012 HXD Conference Recap