What Are the Latest Trends in Mobile Design and Usability for Healthcare?

April 3, 2023

Ask the Expert, with Gregg Shanefelt, Principal Engineer, Mobile Development at Phase2

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //


Designing to meet consumer expectations is not a one-and-done proposition.

Like mobile devices, mobile design is always on the move, constantly adapting to consumer expectations and technology capabilities. We’ve seen trends like M-Dot come and go, followed by responsive design, adaptive design, mobile-first, and device-agnostic design.

The crossover year — when mobile usage of the internet overtook desktop usage for the first time — was 2016. The seesaw has continued to tip toward mobile since then, with 60 to 70 percent of internet users today consuming digital content on mobile devices.

Before the pandemic, mobile activity in healthcare largely focused on responsive design and branded hospital apps, available for download in app stores. Some apps gave users specific feature sets, for pregnancy and childbirth, for example, or wayfinding.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, telehealth suddenly became an essential component of healthcare delivery. Overnight, virtual visits via mobile devices replaced in-person office visits. The fast pace of telehealth adoption during this time cemented the value of mobile devices for accessing healthcare services.

Gregg Shanefelt

Gregg Shanefelt, principal engineer of mobile development at Phase2

What does today’s snapshot of mobile look like? To get an update on design trends in 2023, we reached out to Gregg Shanefelt, principal engineer of mobile development at Phase2, a digital experience agency. “Shrink it and stack it is not necessarily the right approach,” he says. The right approach is to provide the experience consumers are looking for on a mobile device, which may be completely different from a desktop experience.

In our Q&A with Shanefelt, we look at mobile trends, design considerations, user experience, and how healthcare measures up.

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