Monday, August 23, 2021

Q&A with Dana Cho, Chief Design Officer at Verily, on the role of user experience in healthcare

Q&A with Dana Cho, Chief Design Officer at Verily, on the role of user experience in healthcare

Verily is thrilled to welcome Dana Cho as Chief Design Officer. Dana led Search UX at Google prior to joining, and we sat down with her to learn more about her vision for user experience in healthcare.

Can you share why you have joined Verily?

I am thrilled to join Verily and excited to come back to a focus on healthcare after leading Search UX at Google. Before Google I was Managing Director and Partner in charge of the health practice at IDEO, a global design company. Like many others, my initial connection to healthcare came through a personal story.

My father was an architect and my mother was a nurse. From my father, I grew up with a deep sense of optimism for the power of design and the difference it could make. My mother modeled empathy and the fulfillment that comes from caring for others. Because my parents, as immigrants in the U.S., worked many late hours, and my mother worked evening shifts as a nurse, I spent a lot of my childhood with my grandmother who helped to raise me. Early in my career as a designer, she fell very ill and I spent a lot of time in the hospital with her. I remember feeling vulnerable and powerless, and observed so many ways, big and small, where the experience, and interactions, could have been better and more empowering for the patient and caregivers. When my grandmother passed away, I felt strongly that, as a designer, there could be no other area where I could make a more meaningful difference. I started to work on more and more healthcare projects at IDEO and my personal mission grew to bring a human-centered design lens to drive better products, experiences, innovation and growth in the health space.

While at IDEO, I also had the opportunity to collaborate with Verily on a project for mental health, and I've tracked Verily's success ever since. I believe Verily is uniquely positioned for exponential impact in healthcare, and have been inspired by its growth and the caliber of leaders who have joined the company. It felt like the right moment for me, at an exciting time at Verily.

How will your new role of Chief Design Officer play a role in Verily's growth as a business?

It is clear to me that Verily leadership really cares about the user experience, and about ensuring that anyone who comes in contact with our products and services deeply feels and understands our mission and values.

In my new role I will continue with a focus to serve the user. Growth for a business happens when you create value for users, and that includes patients, families, customers, partners and myriad stakeholders. Empathy, and the deep understanding of users' latent needs and desires, is essential to defining the value you hope to create. It can lead to insight that unlocks a completely new-to-the-world solution, as well as insight that can help solve for product-market fit. Commitment to the user, and adding value to people's lives, is good for both the user and the business.

What are you most excited about as you come into your new role?

I'm excited about bringing user-centricity to our products and services, as well as our organizational culture. As Chief Design Officer it will be a privilege to help embed user-centeredness as a philosophy that applies to all aspects of the business. I can't wait to get started!