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Thought Leadership

5 Reasons We Love Usability Testing - by Justin Williams

User Experience and Usability Testing have become fashionable lingo in the health IT world, yet EHR software is rife with usability issues; convoluted workflows, poor content, and poor interaction design are common frustrations that plague providers daily. Changing healthcare reimbursement models, Meaningful Use, PQRS, ICD-10... don’t providers have enough concerns without having to worry about their EHR?

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!)

Ask the right questions!

Perhaps you are in the process of interviewing for a new User Experience position.

Great! Make sure you make a good impression by following all the ”standard” interview question guidelines. Usually at the end of an interview they ask you, “Do you have any questions?”

As a UX professional, there are questions that you can ask that can help you to decide whether or not the organization will be able to support the user-centered-design approach.

The 5 U's of Usability and User-Centered Design:

  • User-centered Design
  • User-centered design is a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given the primary focus of attention at each stage of the design process.

    The main difference from other product design philosophies is that user-centered design tries to optimize the product around how users can, want, or need to use the product, rather than forcing the users to change their behavior to accommodate the product (aka. Engineering-Centric Design).

    See also: http://www.w3.org/WAI/redesign/ucd

  • Usability Testing
  • Who are your end users?

    Over the past several years we have had the opportunity to work with companies of various sizes as they plan and redesign their web presence. Some began using a CMS for the first time, while others were transitioning from either an open-source system (WP, Drupal, etc.) or some homegrown system to a more robust complete CMS solution (Adobe CQ5, Sitecore, Sharepoint, etc).

    We’ve worked with these organizations to help them better understand the mental models of their “End Users” so that together we could design a system that is effective, efficient and satisfying. But who are these “End Users?” One common thread that we’ve noticed is that a majority of these organizations seemed to forget about a number of “end users” by focusing exclusively on the experience of visitors to their sites and their customers.

    Don’t get us wrong, we think that it is vital to understand, and design towards the understanding of visitors and customers. We often create personas that help drive that design conversation.

    What we are saying is that most of the organizations that we’ve worked with never completely thought about all of the user touch-points they need to consider.

    Don’t let them know you can write code

    There have been a few rumblings in the past year or so in the “twittersphere” from some noted UX professionals that as UX’ers we should learn programming. You may or may not agree with this in principle, but I would like to add this story to the mix. The “moral “to the story is that if you can code, don’t let them know!

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