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User Experience [UX] in hygiene

User experience is a self-explanatory term but still one of the most unpopular fields in product based innovations. Mostly, because the term ‘natively’ recognizes itself as a 'software lingo', but it is widely applied in all sorts of innovations. Let it be the toothbrush you hold in the morning or the smartphone you scroll through until you sleep.

UX is not just applied for customization but to address other practical issues as well.

Depending on your ability to hold the tools or the size of your hands, your shopping cart may lean towards smaller smartphones or thicker toothbrush handles.

These are personal tools that can be chosen relative to your convenience, but what about a typical arrangement that most of the public has to utilise?

For example, let's take the roads. Roads are the most common mode of transportation in India. There's never a road not taken, but many roads do not have adequate lighting. In such cases, how can road safety be assured?

If you are an observer, you probably know it. Speed breakers! While most of India's roads have in-built speed breakers, there are few smooth roads where speed breakers have been set up separately. Speed breakers are typically painted with white stripes or have raised reflective markers on either side to caution the travellers, but some roads do not have either.

However, Can this be considered a bad UX?

It can be considered a poor UX because it will leave most travelers applying their brakes in haste and stress descends over the passengers thereby making them extra cautious for similar future scenarios. While this indirectly addresses the safety hazard, it also reduces the convenience of the passengers. This noticeable trade-off comes with a price. Road contractors will save their expenditures, while the travelers are left with higher stress levels, which is one of the top reasons for road accidents in India.[1]

Now, let us take an example for a good UX. 2-Wheelers is a private mode of transport for the majority of our country. While 2WD is unstable compared to a 4WD, it's affordability & agility compensates for its trade-off. We use a single key to unlock the bike, to open the fuel tank or open the boot. This prevents the driver from withdrawing his safety while driving at high speeds. Also, the key remains secured in the tank or the boot keyhole unless it is locked. This ensures the safety of the passenger whilst not inducing any stress.

To summarise, a Good UX application is when issues like safety, comfort and functionality are addressed, otherwise, UX can be considered flawed.

This brings me to the UX in Hygiene - especially Hand hygiene which is our core focus at MicroGO.

Hand Hygiene during COVID-19 became a critical prevention mechanism and thus, for obvious reasons needed a critical UX requirement. Due to the pandemic, the deployment of sanitiser stations are very prominent in public areas. The widely approved one are the foot-pedal dispensers. While these dispensers are simple to use and made at meager costs but, there is no control over the volume or the force with which it dispenses.

At the same time, the alcohol based hand rubs dispenses all over the user concerning safety issues. At MicroGO, all our products are driven by science and thus, it was obvious the functionality of these dispensers (with only dispensing function) concerned us the most! The entire objective of use of ABHR is to kill the microbes (e.g., SARS-COV-2) on the hands. The phenomenon that does this job is defined as Good Hand Hygiene Practices (GHP) - defined by rubbing the hand rub for 20 secs following the 6 steps of hand hygiene.[2]

We have been working for the past 3 years, developing a hand hygiene platform called GOassure™.

GOassure™ is simple to use but assures