The impact of design on research teams in health services

Helen Sanematsu, Larry D. Cripe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The development of patient communication tools in health services research often requires the skills of a designer who will give the tool its final, usable form. However, research teams frequently overlook the demands of implementation and focus instead on the delivery of content to the patient. In the study considered here, shared decision making in cancer treatment research was initiated by an interdisciplinary team without the participation of a designer. Once a designer began working on the team, the benefits she brought to the production of the designed artifact were evident. Design improved the team's effectiveness through better communication, and allowed for further studies based on application and theory. Researchers responded positively to design and saw the potential for its application to a range of health research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-318
Number of pages9
JournalInformation Design Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Cancer treatment
  • Decision aids
  • Design artifacts
  • Design research process
  • Experience maps
  • Health services
  • Patient communication
  • Shared decision making
  • Visual communication design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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