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Convergence: visualizing patient health history

About Convergence

A Windows 8.1/Microsoft Surface app that unites data from various EHR systems to give clinicians a comprehensive, user-friendly view of a patient’s health history over time.

This was done at the UPMC TDC, an innovation group within the medical center.

Convergence never went live, and was shelved shortly after I left UPMC.

My Role

For my first 6 months at the TDC, I worked on discovery, research, wireframing and prototyping, and validation.

The second 6 months were active development to get the app production-ready. I split my time between doing renderings (visual UI design) and discovery/UX/research. We did agile scrum, with 2-week sprints. I worked closely with a lead designer on the visual design, and with developers and QA on implementation details, including renderings and the overall user experience.

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Convergence in action on a Surface tablet.

User research

I worked with 1 designer and 1-2 BAs at any given time. Research was a regular part of our workloads. Some activities we’d do:

  • generative group whiteboarding
  • one-way-mirror user testing
  • paper prototyping
  • onsite validation and ethnographic observation at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
  • SME validation sessions (several practicing doctors had offices at our building)

The pictured iterative brainstorming activity was one I facilitated. Several designers and BAs participated. We did 5- and 10-minute iterative sketching rounds to revisit our Timeline feature (a condensed view of a patient’s medications, labs, vitals, and documents over time: several days, a week, a month, or a year). This provided a lot of qualitative value and fresh thinking that we could bring back to the broader team.

A quick iterative brainstorm that I facilitated to revisit our Timeline feature.


A couple of samples of our research synthesis docs, to share findings with our team in a fun and easily-scannable way.

While we collaborated on the synthesis, I led the synthesis sessions and other meetings with the other designers/BAs.


I created this format and owned these documents.

I took charge of editing/formatting/copywriting research notes, and did all the sketches and document layout/formatting.

Page 1: collating our findings into thematic buckets, with sub-theme color-coding. The sketches and bold text were for easy skimming.

Page 2: our overall process, and our findings as they pertained to specific portions of Convergence.


Visualizing complex, dense medical information in a compact way.

Note: this is all false data. Also, I did these in 2014 and there are absolutely things I’d design differently today. Ask me about them!

Vitals: highlighting abnormal values, and a way to toggle between different types of data in that dashboard panel.

Labs – CBC: drilled-in view of what an individual lab result might look like.

Labs: quickly scannable table of lab values over time, highlighting abnormal values, with an easy way to switch between panels.

Notes: concept for time-based display of patient notes pertaining to different tests and caregiver interactions.

Renderings/UI Design

Samples of the visual/UI design work I did, with art direction and design patterns provided by a lead designer.

Vitals: timeline/top-level view.

Doctor’s view: seeing a list of patient lists (not a typo) and being able to select the apt one. This mockup just reused one patient name instead of demonstrating a list of different patients.

Documents: timeline/top-level view.

Vitals: drilled-in view to see both a tabular view and a chart view of multiple lines of data over time.