Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Art and Visual Culture


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Paul R. Bruski



Making medical decisions can sometimes be very complicated because it is affected by factors such as time, information, cost, patients’ health condition, etc. The traditional relationship of doctor to patient has put patients in a passive position of acquiring information and making decisions; doctors my take the authority of making decisions without knowing enough information about their patients as individuals. This thesis will discuss doctor-patient communication from the aspect of active participation.

To allow for design of aids to enhance decision-making and communication between patients and doctors, this paper will discuss decision-making theories and current issues, related to active communication and cognitive bias during medical decision-making.

Principles of graphic design will be discussed, including basic design elements, the principle of Five Ultimate Hatracks, and principles of analytical visualization. A case study was conducted on five decision aids, to analyze information and design approaches, so as to develop a framework of the medical decision process and guidance of information design for patients. In the future direction, development of technology such as interaction design, wearable devices, and medical networks will provide more possibilities for the future design of decision aids.

Copyright Owner

Chen Zhang



File Format


File Size

153 pages