Spectrum Health

A little design to make the ER a lot more efficient.

Spectrum Health, the largest employer in West Michigan, engaged OST to build a virtual desktop interface (VDI) for their health system employees. No, VDI is not the name of an infection; it’s a desktop operating system within a virtual machine running on a centralized server. This allows for a “follow-me” function, where a user’s most important virtual documents and tools are accessible from any enabled computer. In a busy ER, where nurses are moving at the speed of their patients’ conditions, this technology saves time, effort, and, most importantly, lives.

First, we had to gain a better understanding of a complex topic.

The design team was hired to build a brand for their VDI, dubbed “myDesktop.” We were also tapped to facilitate persona workshops and user interviews, develop branded materials for launch, and ultimately design a visual system across multiple brand touchpoints for myDesktop.

First, we ran a series discovery workshops that helped us define the objective of the projects, including the overall VDI initiative and the branding project. These conversations also helped uncover the people, objects, environments, messages and services that will shape the brand experience. Finally, we used collaborative exercises to define aspirations for the myDesktop brand, and outlined the ever-growing list of current and future myDesktop touchpoints.

With a detailed understanding of the project, we began creating branding concepts. Our iterative design process was guided by a handful of key principles that would drive the myDesktop brand: First, it must be easily recognizable. Users within ER and hospital environments are often managing any number of daily responsibilities and tasks, so the brand needed to standout to a hurried eye. For this very same reason, the brand needed to be intuitive in application. Time spent discerning what’s what is wasted valuable time. Finally, as a brand that lives within the larger Spectrum Health brand, myDesktop needed to be versatile, referential and resonate with the organization.

Next, we needed to hear from the users.

In tandem with our branding work, we facilitated a workshop to expose some of the weaknesses of the current system. The team hoped to validate a key project assumption: moving to a VDI system would provide enormous value to Spectrum Health. Our assumption was confirmed time after time, as we watched existing users fumble through the current system to complete basic tasks. A change was definitely needed.

Finally, everything we learned rolled into a successful launch.

Our team landed on a simple, but memorable icon paired with a color palette that stands out in a busy ER setting. To prove our concept, the brand was shown on various touchpoints, including mousepads, water bottles, apparel, stickers, as well as mocked up into environment signage, posters, banners, and desktop screens. Finally, we worked with a local printing partner to produce badge reader stickers, branded materials and myDesktop launch signage.

Work we can be proud of.

Both the VDI implementation team and the myDesktop branding team took a lot of pride in this project. With so many of our families within Spectrum Health’s region of care, the opportunity to empower their ER teams helped us sleep a little better at night. And maybe panic a little bit less when a backyard bike jump goes wrong.

Customer Voice

“This system is going to make things so much easier. My work follows me to any station I use!”

ER Nurse

Helen Devos Children's Hospital