The Health-Changing Impact of Positive UX

20 November 2019

FiercePharma

Intent-driven research often leads to action. Wouldn’t you want to fix what’s bothering you? Most people would.

Recently, research firm KR&I conducted a month-long digital ethnographic study (sponsored by Verywell). They found that a whopping 78 percent of participants reported taking specific actions in response to a health issue.

These results aren’t necessarily surprising. What’s more surprising is how user experience influenced these percentages. UX shapes actions similar to how it shapes emotions. A positive experience leads to more purposeful reactions than a negative one does.

Why People Don’t Take Action

Readers have expectations when going online for health information. They’re after clear, accessible answers.

When people don’t take action, it’s because they couldn’t find the information they needed to act upon. It’s likely to be:

In other cases, there is just nothing to be done. Interestingly, that determination stems from a positive user experience, one where the user finds helpful information, gains a strong understanding of what’s going on, and confirms that it’s no cause for alarm.

Driving Change

Depending on their situation, finding strong information led readers to complete a variety of immediate tasks. Once they better understood their situation and its severity, they were driven to:

In some situations, a good user experience helped readers realize that long-term change is necessary. They were driven to undertake lifestyle and mindset shifts.

For example, they changed their diet, started exercising, or became more adherent with their medications. When it came to their mental state, they worried less, felt motivated to do more, and overall felt relieved and prepared to take better care of themselves.

Influencing Health Outcomes

In the long run, we know that these types of actions improve health outcomes. Patients who are more in control of their condition, confidently making strong health choices, and stressing less tend to do better.

Generally, patients are subject to multiple influential factors — and it turns out that a positive user experience when searching for health information online is one of them. As pharma marketers working to drive change, consider partnering with brands who are leaning into giving their audiences a positive environment to explore the information that impacts their health and lives. Their audiences lean into the brand and become more likely to take action.

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