Project information

  • Category: Embedded Software
  • Client: Touchpoint Medical
  • Project date: 21 May, 2018
  • Project URL: medDispense® C series

medDispense® C series Automated Dispensing Cabinets

The Problem Embedded Software with No Documentation

Touchpoint develops both the hardware and embedded software for Access Center, which hospitals use to dispense medicine. I was in charge of creating new features for the Access Center – but there was a big problem. The software was over 10 years old and developed for an outdated version of hardware. I quickly discovered that, due to its age, any original documentation explaining software requirements was nowhere to be found. I had to simultaneously develop new features and re-engineer the software so I knew how the different elements would interact with the new features.

My Role: UX Designer

My team consisted of me, software developers, and hardware engineers. I was hired as the Ux Designer but wore several hats, including software designer, QA, and being the main point of communication between our office and the office in Xi’an, China.

The Obstacle :  Aligning with Stricter Regulations

At the time, California passed a new law on how to handle certain medications. Therefore, we had to update the way the hardware worked. That also required new software, because it needed to align with the new hardware designs. View More

The Approach: Balance Needs of Nurses, Pharmacists, and Executives

Our battle was balancing a great user experience with meeting very stringent, mandatory regulations. We had to satisfy requirements from the Executives, Pharmacists, and Nurses. The sweet spot was when we created a great daily experience for the Nurses, met the restrictive regulations imposed on Pharmacists so they would feel comfortable with the machine dispenser, and made it affordable for the Executives. View More

The Plan: Remove Unnecessary Steps, Keep Mandatory Regulations

We regularly went to the hospitals to see how the Access Center was used. We learned which workflows slowed the Nurses down and how they would adjust to work around bottlenecks. They had to care for several patients, so streamlining the medication distribution was critical. We improved the warning notification and end-of-shift counting systems, so the Nurses spent less time at the computer. These changes allowed them to access the medication faster while continuing to meet the mandatory regulations.View More

The Obstacle
Construction is a fragmented industry

Use Cases

Originally, this project was supposed to be a UI update. However, during the QA process, we marked many issues as bugs when they were inefficient workflows. When I tried to lock down the intended workflows, I discovered only one employee in our company knew every use case for the software. I spent 3 months documenting each use case, button by button, so the whole team could understand what we needed to change and how those changes would affect the software.View More

The Approach
Integrate into the User's Workflow


We had three main stakeholders: Executives, Pharmacists, and Nurses. We created company-wide Personas from a high-level understanding of what each stakeholder needed. We then spoke directly to Users who matched the roles to fine-tune each Persona and flesh out detailed challenges, motivations, and goals. These Personas allowed us to balance the needs of all the stakeholders and remain consistent across all products.

The Strategy
User Driven Design

Flowcharts / Prototypes

Our entire development team was based overseas and were not familiar with each regulation we would have to comply with. For every product, I created interactive flowcharts with each individual step and the corresponding user interface. I used this to communicate the workflows in a simple, straightforward manner so all the regulations would be met, and our offshore team would understand exactly what to do. View More

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