The Design Rules CareCloud’s Mike Cuesta Lives By

Optimized-MikeCuestaIn preparation for Health:Refactored, our code and design focused conference taking place May 13–14, we sat down with Mike Cuesta, Director of Design & Community at CareCloud. He will moderate “UI, UX, & U: Designing for Health – Part II” on May 14. Follow the Health:Refactored speaker interview series here.

Q. This is quite a diverse panel. What do you think will be the common link between everyone who is on it?  

A. You look at the health space, and then look at the problems the people who are trying to innovate face, I think you realize it’s more challenging that you’d think at first glance.

The culmination of a bunch of people tackling it together is going to allow a breakthrough. I think what you’re going to hear from all the different panelists is what a big problem it is, and what a great opportunity it is for the people who do actually break through these challenges — whether it’s patient engagement, or trying to create a more efficient reimbursement system or just making it so that the physician can work well with their patients.

I think that the idea is we’re all tackling something in the same space, but that doesn’t mean that any one of these problems is less important than the others. I think they all are pretty significant and I think if you tie that back around to the practice of user experience, I think it will all come back down to really being user-centered. The end goal that we’re working toward is how to use design practices that really allow us to stay grounded around the user and what makes people’s lives better.

Q. This panel is focused on design principles and development strategy. How does someone come to gain that kind of knowledge? 

A. One of the great things about design and development is that there’s no official course you have to take. You can go down that route and go to a great school and that will make you valuable. But I think anybody can learn individually, or even on the job. I think the idea of having peers and bouncing ideas off each other is how we all become great.

For example, I dropped out of art school, then attended business school for a while because at that point, I had already learned to use a lot of the tools and methodologies that I needed to be able to design user interfaces and brands.

Of course, there are several other great designers and developers who did go through a more formal education process. So it really comes back down to the user. If your passion is comes from looking at a web app or some kind of solution and you’re just like, ‘wow, I want to be a part of that,’ then you probably have it in you. There are so many ways you can figure out how to be part of that process. I think the beautiful thing about it is that there aren’t any preliminary requirements. It’s really just getting in, working hard and getting better every day.

Q. You’re at the podium. What do you want your audience to know? What is something that you live by?

A. I feel like humans innately are drawn to things that are beautiful. It’s the reason we build awesome cities and create great food. It’s why we dress well. I think as a designer, our role is to help design that beautiful world and work with others who can offer something, whether it’s in the form of resources or expertise.

My view is always that people will naturally be drawn to things that are better and more appealing. And to be able to do that day in and day out in an industry like healthcare — which obviously needs this — it’s extremely fulfilling.

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