Hearing Health Information Management System


Who says databases have to look dull?! Sitesmiths have been working on the HHIMS project for the Department of Health as the Lead User Experience Designer on behalf of Captovate. 


The project - In a nutshell


This system is a proposal for the online software that doctors, nurses and surgeons would use to store all of the clinical data on Northern Territory children who were having any type of ear examination or surgery. The information is then saveable, searchable, reportable and can be used to perform complex diagnoses.

Sitemith's role

The role for Laura at Sitesmiths has been as the information architect, usability tester and user experience designer from the beginning of the project. Each week Laura meets with the project leaders to discuss the needs of the various user groups, helps to determine the site structure from a huge collection of existing databases and help translate that data heavy site into an interface that can be used by people who would need to use this for speeding up their process, all packaged into a detailed design proposal. 

The user groups included various health professionals, such as surgeons and remote nurses  who currently need to complete their findings on various pieces of software and paper based sources. The intention of the new system is to combine that information into one place to make it streamlined for the people using it day to day, and to also to increase the options for sharing large amount of data into reportable chunks.



The deliverables


The amount of work on this project was extensive. The client has a strong medical background and a fantastic grasp of data modelling, but no user interface design experience so each stage of the project relied on both sides to fully compare and guide each other's work in order to get a design that worked from the front and back end. 

  • Project Planning Documents
  • Sitemapping 
  • Data modelling
  • User interface design for clinicians
  • User interface design for admin staff


Sitemapping and data structure


The data was mapped out in various ways to help translate between developers and managers, and was presented in sitemaps and spreadsheets where appropriate. Throughout the life of the planning stage of this project these sitemaps have built upon as the databases grew in functionality and potential future scope. Approximately 100+ sitemaps and data model versions were created through the lifetime of this project as new variables were introduced and removed as iterations were required. 

HHIMS Site Map.png


Interface design

The website was designed with the following considerations in mind:

User friendly: The site needed to be fast to use when face to face with a patient
Intuitive: The site needs to be picked up and used by anyone without training
Data heavy but visually simple: The site needs to hold lots of information, but appear simple and clear
Clinician and admin areas: Colour coded sections for admin and clinicians


The design for the software included over 60 uniquely scoped out processes, each of which needed mapping out and designing. Each design was thoroughly tested through the eyes of the end users as well as the admin staff who would be in charge of maintaining the data in the back end. Each process has input stages that needed designing, as well as the output reference screen that would be used to view the information afterwards. On top of this, each person accessing the software would have different permissions allowing each user to see different variations of each screen's content, so each of the stages in the process were put through rigorous testing to ensure that it worked for a variety of situations. 



The project is now in its proposal stage where these designs are being considered for its next stages of development.