Noona hosted IxDA designer network event

We had the honor to host the designer network IxDA Helsinki’s monthly meet-up in August ( We had a full house of designers listening talks and discussing around the subject “Designing better health”.

In my presentation I shared insight about what needs to be taken into account when designing a mobile service for cancer patients – our learning highlights while building Noona during the past three years. Even though Noona is a regulated medical product, the main challenge is not complying with the standards, but to how to keep users who are not feeling well engaged with your service. With having over 90% patient engagement rate we must have done something right.

We have used the Hook model as a framework when designing engagement related concepts and features. If it is new to you, please check it out, it’s great ( The model helps you to design your features by braking them into four steps: trigger, action, reward and investment. Here’s how we see this in a nutshell:


– Internal trigger for a patient is the very strong motivation to help your doctors to help you.

– When using notifications as external triggers, pay extra attention to your messages’ tone-of-voice to keep them motivating but not over supportive.


– Cancer patients have cognitive and neuropathical disorders, which affects to the way they are able to view and interact with the UI.

– Our mantra is to ask one thing at a time and make it simple as possible.


– Receiving a messages from your care team to your worries is a great source of variable reward.

– This can also end up into variable experience if the clinic staff is not fully engaged with your product.


– Link the events in your service to real life events related to the patient’s care and make it clear for the patient how the information the patient is providing in your service helps the patient’s nurses and doctors to help the patient by offering better and more personalised care.

If you end up designing a service for hospital-patient-interaction, it is very important to deeply understand the world where your users live in. For us the key to user insight has been to obtain and maintain a 
close relationship with your hospitals and patients and build a trusting relationship where you can openly exchange ideas and also the bad experiences with your product.

The second talk of the evening was kept by Sami Niemelä from design agency Nordkapp ( where he told how they helped Beddit sleep monitor ( to raise the bar in product design and how the company was acquired eventually by Apple.

Sami highlighted the role of fast pace iterations and capturing the true essence of the product, which in Beddit’s case was “Solving sleep”. They started their design project from the Apple watch app and created a nice way to visualize a sleeping score for the Beddit user directly in her watch. From this visualization began the whole re-design of the iPhone app and eventually also the package design which ended up in Apple store shelves.

Good points Sami gave and which we also agree were that products are end results of the culture of the company they are made in and last 10% of the product is most difficult. Getting things perfect is difficult but I also think it’s worth the effort to deeply engage your users.

Juha Salonen

Head of Design


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