I’m a geek and proud of it — I love building software, launching new products, and am a fan of others that do it well. Recently I ran across the Berlin-based team from kenHub, a site focused on teaching anatomy online and helping medical students prepare for tests. I reached out to the team to ask them how they were differentiating themselves from the many other solutions available they said their goal was to simplify the process of learning using new didactic concepts to focus on memorizing and gamification elements to make it fun and engaging. Simplifying designs to make complex tasks easier to perform is something that almost everyone in healthcare should be doing so I reached out to Yoav Aner from kenHub to see how they did what they did and what advice they have for the rest of us. Here’s what Yoav and his team said:
Albert Einstein was quoted saying that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
How do you achieve simplicity in your healthcare product but still retain its usefulness? What can you do to simplify your product delivery process? Does simplicity really matter?
Our goal at kenHub is to simplify the learning experience for medical students. Each student is confronted with an overload of information before becoming a medical doctor. A substantial part of their study is dedicated to the human anatomy. While understanding functionality and relations between the structures is one aspect of it, being able to name and memorize up to 8000 anatomy structures is another. kenHub aims to improve the memorization process of these structures with its online anatomy trainer. Students using our product get the anatomy vocabulary deeply ingrained, to later communicate fluently in their jobs as MDs.
Simplicity is therefore not just a ‘nice-to-have’ feature, but a core requirement. Simplicity influences all areas of our company. From the code we write, through the way we deploy, and all through the end-product used by our students.
Less is more
Many features are interesting to implement, technologically advanced, or present a mental challenge for the developers, but aren’t often as useful to the customer. Before we implement a feature we think long and hard: Is it really necessary? Will it definitely help our students? Or could it add complexity or distract them from learning? One of the most important tools to achieve simplicity is minimalism. Keeping things clean, clear and to the bare minimum.
But when designing a learning platform that covers thousands of pieces of information, how can you make sure all information is presented without information-overload? The key here is using the time element, to ‘stretch’ information. The user never gets overwhelmed or distracted by too much information at the same time. It is displayed gradually. This applies even more when it comes to mobile devices where screen “real-estate” is far more limited.
The right level of detail