At Accurx, we’re really humbled to support health and care professionals across the NHS, helping staff and patients to communicate quicker and more seamlessly with each other. With such high demand for services, it goes without saying that the people who use our software need to work at pace, whether treating someone in hospital, managing an outpatient pathway or coordinating acute care.
That’s true for the almost 50% of NHS Trusts who use our web-based software Accurx Web, which supports patients and staff working in secondary care, community care and mental healthcare.
In April 2022, we discovered from our user research that Accurx Web needed some improvements to help users do tasks quickly and effectively. Many of our users weren’t sure how to find certain features and how to return to previous pages. We also found that features which were important to users weren’t always easy to discover.
Helping users navigate our software
Having spotted some flaws in our existing interface, we took the big step of overhauling how our users navigate Accurx Web. Good navigation is one of the most important features of any piece of software and an essential part of our user experience. Whether our users are sending a patient an SMS, viewing their GP record or emailing a patient's GP practice, we wanted to make it easier to find exactly what they are looking for when it matters most.
We decided to do away with the horizontal top bar navigation and move to a more practical sidebar for a host of different reasons. Firstly, left-hand side navigation is easier to scan. Users are prone to scanning web pages in an F shape pattern, meaning top and left navigation are both good options. Left-hand navigation allows the user to scan vertically, improving speed and reducing visual fixations.
Secondly, our new navigation is also easier to scale. We’re continually adding more and more useful features to Accurx Web and want to make sure that they’re really easy to find as Accurx grows with our users' needs.
Thirdly, we know more and more of our users are opting to use Accurx on their mobile devices. Our new sidebar navigation offers high speed navigation for our desktop users and mobile users - optimising for the most appropriate screen size.
If you’re unfamiliar with Accurx, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a change to our navigation bar is a small development. In fact, it’s a really big change. Developments to key controls like these have the power to completely transform the experience of thousands of people who use Accurx every day. Together with other tweaks, they can save users untold hours of time and offer far greater productivity and efficiency in their workflows. All this adds up to a quicker, more seamless and ultimately more rewarding experience of communicating across healthcare.
As always we’re really keen to know how you find the change. It might take some getting used to but, if you use Accurx, it’d be great to hear how you’re getting on with it. Please share your thoughts by getting in touch via our dedicated email address - firstname.lastname@example.org