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Identifying the Essential Design Requirements for Usable E-Health Communities in Mobile Devices

Identifying the Essential Design Requirements for Usable E-Health Communities in Mobile Devices
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Author(s): Ricardo Mendoza-González (Instituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes, Mexico), Miguel Vargas Martin (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada) and Laura C. Rodríguez-Martínez (Instituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes, Mexico)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 20
Source title: User-Driven Healthcare: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2770-3.ch027

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Abstract

We believe that well-designed and usable user interface is critical, as the adequate use and the effectiveness of any application usually depend on it, especially when a specific system is oriented to play a key role into the process of patients’ care (healthcare applications). Very good examples of healthcare applications are E-Health Communities, which are generally oriented to contribute in the process for improving the quality of life for members of a community suffering from chronic diseases. In order to contribute to previous efforts, we propose a set of 15 basic usability requirements specifically oriented to mobile interfaces for blog-based instant messaging e-health communities. We structured our set of usability requirements on two sources: Firstly we consider the survey-obtained feedback from 72 participants who regularly access social networks from mobile devices. Then we complemented this information with some ideas presented in previous research. We show the effectiveness of the proposal by using an illustrative example (designing an interface-prototype for a mobile e-health community) as a proof-of-concept together with a preliminary usability study. The prototype was entirely created by observing our usability requirements. The results of the study are encouraging and reflect a good correlation between the requirements proposed and the users’ perception. This seems to indicate that although this research-work is focused on providing a starting point to developers with guidance in designing usable interfaces for e-health communities accessed by mobile devices, our findings could be easily adapted and applied to other mobile scenarios for blog-based instant messaging applications.

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