Design a Mobile AI Interface



I was asked to create an interface for the IBM Watson AI Engine. At the time, this was the first use case of an AI product being used in a b2c mobile medicine app. The vision was to utilize IBM Watson to answer medical dermatology questions during an patient visit. The information that Watson would learn from and use was dermatology medical journals. The interface needed to be in the iPad based electronic medical record and needed to be available from anywhere in the app. We were given 3 weeks to a working proof of concept to release for commercial testing. While the design was appreciated, the product was determined to not be commercially viable. My interface needed to be created, validated, and approved within about 9 days due to developer needs. 


Question Screen

Due to the tight time frame, I needed to launch directly into creating a high-fidelity prototype. Below are some of the key design decisions I made. 

  1. Physicians have limited time during an exam to search for information. As a result, I wanted to make the screen centered and focused on entering questions and receiving answers only without any other distracting information.  
  2. I chose to use very conversational prompts to help people realize they would be having a dialog type of interaction with the interface where they could ask repeated questions to Watson. 
  3. Visually, I treated the screen as a slightly transparent overlay. This was to give the physicians context as to where they were when they requested it. They can often get distracted by medical personnel during their exam, and the background could provide them a subtle memory prompt as to where they were and what they were doing. Purple was chosen to support Modernizing Medicine branding.
  4. To provide more value, I decided to add suggested questions based on data for the current patient and data from the current interface context (screen, location, etc) of the physician. While this didn't use Watson's AI, it was still seen as something that would utilize the power of the EMA medical EMR. 
  5. Watson branding needed to be supported throughout the app, as did a page with information about IBM. I chose to minimize the branding as much as possible to keep the experience focused on the content and placed the information under an "our partners" link to also keep it out of the user's direct task at hand. 



Answer Screen

  1. As part of IBM's Watson Brand guidelines, I needed to provide the source Watson used to determine it's answer through the Watson globe icon. I changed the icon from what was provided to better support the interface style. 
  2. I also needed to present a snapshot of other answers Watson could have provided with their respective confidence scores. Rather than show all of that on the interface, I decided to surface the confidence score on the current screen and place the others under the Q&A icon indicated. IBM reviewed this slight shift from their guidelines and agreed to the changes.
  3. I chose to make the confidence level and question visually distinguished and large because they were deemed to be extremely important when we did rapid prototype testing with in-house physicians. 

In market testing with around 800 physicians, the interface performed extremely well. People felt it was clean and intuitive and the hierarchy of information was presented correctly. Unfortunately, they didn't see enough value in the additional functionality for the steep price we were requiring the customer to pay. Pricing was driven largely by our journal agreements, and physicians felt that the number of times they would actually need to use Watson were slim enough that it wouldn't get a good ROI.