Thought Leadership

Hick’s and Fitt’s laws: Two important psychological principles to consider when designing navigational menu structures

Most web-based or mobile applications are organized in some type of hierarchical menu structure. Company information is usually located in an ‘about us’ tab, Products and Services each have a tab, etc.

Some company websites, for example, provide a menu structure that is initially simple, but then may require several more interactions to navigate down the tree to the target information.

See for example Verizon.com:

Jean Piaget & the Usability of Healthcare Software

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theories of cognitive development helped pioneer the field of developmental psychology and influenced generations of elementary school curriculum.

The usability of healthcare software, or lack thereof, has been a topic of discussion for several years. The problem has become so widespread that the American Medical Association (AMA) has recently issued a framework for improving the ease of use of EHRs that, in part, includes the reduction of 'cognitive load.'

Section 508 and User-Centered Design

We've often blogged about Section 508 compliance as a means to convince very engineering-centric developers to consider their users.

Accessible designs work for everyone - see also Universal Design. Ever use a curb-cut?

By thinking about a disabled user and designing a solution that works for them, developers adopt a user-centered design strategy without even knowing it.

It is an excellent foot-in-the-door for designing for an admin user, a casual user, the sales team, an expert user, and many of other personas associated with the solution.

How to choose a usable Electronic Health Record (EHR) system

The usability of the system is the probably most important factor in making an informed choice of which EHR to use for your practice. Most every bit of software says that it is easy to use, but how can you choose an EHR that is actually usable?

The myth of too many clicks

We have seen a number of recent blog posts and tweets complaining about EHRs having ‘too many clicks.’ A number of people have proclaimed that reducing the number of clicks in an EHR as a method to improve EHR Usability

Multiple clicks are not a deterrent to usability and user satisfaction, in fact there are many occasions where having more clicks may actually improve usability.

In our experience facilitating a large number of usability tests, people don't complain about having too many clicks. Making the click is automatic.

Please don’t air our dirty laundry!

Before running the summative usability evaluation for §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design we recommend that EHR vendors begin working with a usability expert to identify possible usability issues before they are exposed as “dirty laundry” in a formal report.

Our Favorite INFOgraphic about UX Design

This graphic was created by Cloud Forest Design. I'm not sure if they are still in business--their website blog hasn't been updated in a while. Glad that Psychology is at the root! (but they misspelled it!)

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