Raising Funds and Raising the Bar: Hats Off to Practice Fusion

When Practice Fusion recently announced it’s spectacular $70M financing round, cheers went up not only throughout the healthcare sector, where the company is one of the fastest growing health tech pioneers, but also within the halls of Cooper, where the design and prototype for Practice Fusion’s 2013 IxDA award-winning ipad app was born.

Stefan Klocek, former Cooperista and now Practice Fusion’s Senior Director of Design, had a critical role in the development of that iPad application while at Cooper, and now that he has joined Practice Fusion, he took a moment to get on the phone with us and share his unique inside perspective on the impact design can have on businesses.

“It’s not been hard to trace how Cooper’s original design for Practice Fusion’s mobile platform became a seminal turning point in how our business makes products today,” Klocek said, after we exchanged verbal high-fives. “Following the Cooper engagement I’ve been able to see firsthand how the organization shifted its perspective from design being something added on later, to actually driving decisions around branding and product development.”

And Practice Fusion’s investment in design is growing. “Our design team went from 5 to 17 people in six months,”Klocek added. “The original mobile app project that Practice Fusion worked on with Cooper really demonstrated to everyone here the value of design, ultimately driving decisions to rebrand our website and redesign our flagship product.”

To which we say, huzzah!

Big congratulations to Practice Fusion for continuing to raise the bar and the standard of data management for healthcare.

UX Boot Camp with Marketplace Money

Old School Radio Meets the Digital Age

Take a look inside Cooper’s June, 2013 UX Boot Camp with American Public Media’s Marketplace Money radio show, where students explored the next horizon of audio programming—a paradigm shift from broadcast to conversation-based platforms.

The Challenge
Students rolled up their sleeves to help the show respond to the trend away from traditional radio by finding the right mix of alternative distribution platforms. Marketplace Money came equally ready to take a radical departure from their current format in order to create a new model that redefines the roles of host, show, and audience in the digital age. To reach this goal, students focused on designing solutions that addressed three big challenges:

  1. Engage a new, younger audience that is tech savvy, and provide easy access to content via new platforms, such as podcasts, satellite radio shows, and the Internet.
  2. Inspire audience participation and contribution. Facilitate conversations and inspire people to share their personal stories so that listeners can learn from each other.
  3. Design ways for the host to carry an influential brand or style that extends beyond the limits of the show and engage with the audience around personal finance, connecting with listeners in ways that are likeable, useful, and trustworthy, making the topic of personal finance cool, fun and approachable.

At the end of the four-day Boot Camp, student teams presented final pitches to Marketplace Money, and a panel of experienced Cooper designers offered feedback on their ideas and presentations.In the following excerpts from each day, you can test your own sensory preferences for receiving content as you see, hear and read how design ideas evolved at the Boot Camp, inspiring new relationships between people and radio.

Marketplace Money Class

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UX Boot Camp Goes to Europe

Guest post by Francesca Di Mari at Sketchin, a Swiss user experience design firm based in Lugano.

At  Sketchin we strongly believe that design can improve lives and foster social good. We first heard of Cooper’s UX Boot Camp when we visited Cooper in September, 2012, and we fell in love with their idea of using design to educate and foster social good by bridging design students with non-profits. This idea was conceived of and developed by Kendra Shimmell, the Managing Director at Cooper U, and it launched our determination to be part of a design revolution for social good.

Our first step was to create our own UX Boot Camp modeled after what we experienced at Cooper. So in May of 2013, together with Talent Garden Milano and Frontiers of Interaction, we organized the first Italian UX Boot Camp in Milan, modeled after the Cooper UX Boot Camp. Here is a look back at what we created and discovered in the process.

UX Bootcamp Milano 15

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Cooper wins Best in Category, Optimizing at IxDA’s Interaction Awards

Cooper is honored and delighted to receive the award for “Best in Category, Optimizing”. We are proud to be in the company of some of the most creative and innovative designers and grateful to the Interaction Awards Jury for their consideration.

Over a year ago, Cooper teamed up with Practice Fusion to design an app that revolved around how medical professionals think. Instead of asking them to learn a new way of organizing information, this EMR for iPad app leveraged their natural mental model of treating and working with people. This app significantly simplified and reduced the work of using an EMR by eliminating complex navigation and abstract categories. Now doctors can clearly view and capture details about their patients, without being chained behind a desktop.

Related Reading

Cooper wins 2013 Interaction Award

2013InteractionAwards_BestInCategoryOptimizing

We are proud to announce that our work with Practice Fusion’s EMR iPad app has been announced as 2013 Interaction Award winner in optimizing from the Interaction Design Association. The app was selected by an international jury and recognized for it’s ability to make daily activities more efficient. Here’s a look at what this app can do.

Congratulations to the Practice Fusion team and the Cooper team of Stefan, Andreas, Jayson, Elisha, Jenea, Doug, and Nick, and a big thank you to Jim.

Update:If you like this app, than let your voice be heard! Vote for this app to win the Interaction13 People’s Choice Award

Related Reading

Cooper helps Chefs Feed launch new social features

Who do you trust for food advice? Review sites like Yelp are bloated and contain a cacophony of opinions. Others just aggregate shallow star ratings. Reviewers often have tastes and preferences that might not match your own. And even if you find a good restaurant, how do you know what is the best thing on the menu?

The idea behind Chefs Feed is that the best food advice comes from experts – professional chefs, and friends with discerning taste.


Currently available in nine US cities, the app doesn’t just tell you where to go, but also what to order, providing an insider’s look at each city’s eateries.

When Chefs Feed approached Cooper, the startup was about to make a big leap. Lots of people were downloading the app, but its functionality was limited to a few features like reading and bookmarking chefs’ reviews. With the user base expanding quickly, Chefs Feed needed a blueprint for making the app a platform for interaction between chefs and foodies. The app also needed features to help friends trade dish recommendations and share their passion for food. In short, the app was to get social.

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Playing with iBooks

At Cooper, we love to share what we learn in our consulting work. We’ve published and socialized techniques and tools for doing interaction design in our books, at conferences, and through Cooper U. Recently, Apple released the iBooks Author platform, and a few of us have been giving it a test run.

The platform itself has lots of potential. There is much to improve, but the possibilities are interesting and it’s too early to critique it too strongly. There’s been much talk already about the EULA and whether or not this will disrupt education. It’s too early to make that call, though. Our initial impression? It’s an accessible tool aimed at a user population that, up to this point, hasn’t been equipped to produce engaging and usable interactive educational content.


In our trial run, we produced a look book with some of recent work, including slideshows, imagery and video. It’s a little rough in some areas, but we’d love to see what you think. You can download it via the link below and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Download the Cooper iBook.

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Vote for the TaskRabbit iPhone app!

Last summer, Cooper partnered with TaskRabbit and Pivotal Labs to design their new iPhone app. The app works with their service to help people who need help with simple tasks—anything from walking the dog, standing in line at the DMV, or moving furniture—with “Rabbits,” a network of background-checked and pre-approved individuals who have the skills and time available to complete tasks.

The TaskRabbit iPhone app has been nominated for the 2011 Crunchies and the 2012 IxDA awards. This week, you can vote for the app in both awards and check out the other nominations.

The TaskRabbit project

Posting a Task is super easy

The TaskRabbit service is continuing to expand in new cities, including Austin, and we’re excited to see their service evolve and grow. Congratulations to Leah Busque for her nomination as Founder of the Year in the Crunchies also.

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Can doctors and computers get along?

Practice Fusion, the leading provider of health records software for medical professionals, has published a nice recap of their user conference, Connect11, where Alan Cooper spoke about the role of interaction design in health care. Among the questions answered – “what do you get when you cross a computer with a doctor’s office?”

At the 13 minute mark, Stefan Klocek presents a prototype of Practice Fusion’s new iPad app.

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Cooper U Rio Style

Kendra Shimmell, Tamara Wayland and I recently enjoyed some Spring weather in beautiful Rio de Janeiro while sharing methods for interaction design, collaboration, and communication in an agile environment with forty employees of Globo.com, the Internet branch for Latin America’s largest media conglomerate.

The team knew that Rio would be warm this time of year, but what really amazed us was the warmth and hospitality of the people we met. Andrë Braz, Globo.com’s User Experience Design Manager and Art Director, and his team were engaged and inquisitive, and really hungry for ways to take their already successful site to the next level of efficiency and innovation.

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During the course we talked about how to effectively integrate user experience design into an agile environment, and shared techniques for collaboration and communication that are lightweight to create but provide big impact. The Cooper team showed Globo.com a blueprint for defining and designing digital products and services that centers on users, but within the context of business needs and implementation realities.

Here are a few snapshots from class:
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Participants quickly grasped the value of focusing on goals and behavior patterns when developing personas.

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A cross-functional team works together to storyboard the key contexts and moments in time that their primary persona will interact with the product they are designing.

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A student sketches design concepts for the mobile experience.

The enthusiasm carried over into the final day of the week, during which we were joined by close to 80 Globo designers, developers, product managers, and executives. We can’t wait to go back (and I am still dreaming of the feijoada we had on Friday afternoon).

Thank you Globo, and thank you Rio!

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