RWE Dictionary

Timeline: 4 weeks, 2015
Client: QuintilesIMS
Role: Lead designer
Developer: Oxford Computer Consultants


Real-world evidence (RWE) is being used around the world by healthcare professionals as a method of analysing clinical data to improve patient outcomes, but defining a common language and terminology has been difficult. QuintilesIMS approached Oxford Computer Consultants to design and build a simple website to help establish definitions and allow users to easily find the terms they were looking for, instead of having to visit multiple different sources.

It was important for this tool to become the go to place for IMS customers, and had some key goals:

  • Has a intuitive, fast, and credible user experience. 
  • Be a responsive website to accomodate a range of devices.
  • Work within the QuintilesIMS branding to be familiar to their customers.

Research and design

I started by talking to QunitilesIMS so we had a shared understanding of the website usergroups and their needs. Our primary users were healthcare professionals who were likely to have come across a term they didn't recognise and needed to quickly find it's definition. The idea of a dictionary was solidified early on in the project, helping to provide a solid base and common mental model for everyone to work with.

Dictionary wireframe 1
Dictionary wireframe 2
Dictionary wireframe 3

Having settled on a concept, the interaction design became paramount; how do you design a great dictionary experience? Whilst marrying our user needs with realistic content through userflows and wireframes it became apparent that:

  1. Search would be the most effective interaction method with the large number of terms.
  2. The length of defintions didn't warrent their own individual pages.

Instead of a long paged journey, the dictionary needed to be single dynamic page that updated in real-time as the user searched for their term. By iterating quickly we were able to present this concept to the client and agree on the direction one week early, adding an extra week to development time.

After refining the layout to make sure search was prioritised and clear, I began implementing the visual design. Great attention to detail was paid to make sure the site was visually accessible with suitably contrasted colours and larger font sizes. Anticipating this website might eventually be adpated into a mobile application, I took inspiration from Material design guidelines.

QuintilesIMS style frame
RWE Dictionary search page


The website was successfully developed and delivered to client in May, 2015 and is being used by many of its customers. New definitions and terms are uploaded frequently and the site is expanding to include audio defintions, sharing, and partner advertising. Because of its effective design, QuintilesIMS plan to use the same approach on another upcoming internal dictionary project.

Copyright © 2014 – 2017 Ben Prudden