ICU Tool

In this project, my team created a web-based tablet tool designed to improve the communication and decision-making that takes place in Intensive Care Units. 

This was a project with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in collaboration with the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon. I contributed as a UX Designer with my teammates, Apoorv Narang and Loui Vongphrachanh.


Clickable Prototype

This is an iteration of the tool which was used in user-testing. It was created using Sketch and Invision.


ICU Tool Screens


Research Insights

Our goal was to design a tool for surrogates in the ICU who are faced with making difficult life decisions for loved ones. It is meant to provide an emotional and logistical support system for surrogates, and enable them to make life decisions based on their loved one's values. 

In efforts to learn more about our users, we utilized a recent study done at UPMC with over 200 participants.  The participants included different stakeholders involved with the ICU and surrogate decision making process such as doctors, nurses, social workers, and spiritual care providers. We selected about 60 of those 200 interviews and interpreted the transcripts that provided valuable qualitative data.


User Personas


User  Journey Story Board

This tool is given to surrogates by an ICU coordinator after they have seen their loved one and been briefed on their condition. The tool equips surrogates with resources to familiarize themselves with the hospital. They also learn about family meetings and how to prepare for them. If the prognosis is poor, the tool prepares the surrogate for the tough decision they will face. 




Our biggest challenge in this project was the navigation. The content was provided for us by expert doctors and clinicians. We organized the content, and tried to create a navigation that a wide spectrum of users (tablet experience) could easily navigate.


Affinity Diagram

We made sense of the transcript findings by categorizing them in an affinity diagram. This allowed key themes to emerge which established functions and features we wanted to provide the surrogates. 


Panel with Experts

Our design group workd with experts and stakeholders at UPMC. The stakeholder panels assisted with ICU knowledge and writing content for the tool. They also provided industry expertise that guided the direction of our designs.


Field Research

We shadowed nurses in the ICU to gain an understanding of how the environment worked. This revealed obstacles that clinicians, nurses, and doctors deal with.