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Interaction design case: VasSol CANVAS

By Brian Herzfeldt and Marc Rettig


Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Copyright 2003, ACM. CANVAS is a software product from VasSol, Inc., which uses input from MRI scanners to create 3D models of a patient’s vasculature and accurately calculate blood flow. This case study reports on a nine-month effort to turn a prototype into a commercial product. The authors derived high value from small amounts of field research, by using a series of semi-formal analysis techniques. One key concept was that of “alignment ” – clearly connecting functionality with interface, and these in turn with the needs at each step of the task. This is a basic idea, but difficult to achieve for a complex feature set and complicated task. The final product is built around a small set of views, around which all controls are grouped. It makes the task and work flow explicit in the interface, and provides a “complexity gradient ” in which more complicated controls are revealed as the user faces more difficult challenges. Keywords User-centered, interaction design, interface design, user research, healthcare, medical imaging, corporate identity, brand, collaboration, contextual inquiry, observation, human-computer interaction. Figure 1. A 3D reconstruction of the vessels in a patient’s brain, constructed by CANVAS; many people express astonishment when exploring these models using stereo glasses. Industry/category The main application for VasSol Inc.’s CANVAS software A diagnostic medical imaging product for the healthcare industry. Project statement This work was done for VasSol, Inc., which created the first software to accurately and non-invasively analyz

Year: 2009
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