Usability Begins with You

Our catch-phrase

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:

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.

The best error message is one that you don't have to show!

Avoid errors by providing embedded assistance on more complex controls.

Deep within many of the systems we evaluated lies a complex, and sometimes non-standard UI control feature that is critical to performing an important task.

In the ONC 2014 Edition Summative tests, this control was usually related to the “Clinical information reconciliation task.” The control was usually some type of “Shuttle” widget where the user selects multiple items from one or more lists and places them into a single reconciled list (of Problems, Allergies, and Medications)

Let's sort this out!

A common usability problem that we've seen in many of the EHRs that we've evaluated is that default sort settings are the same for every list

Most of these systems seemed to have an ascending alphabetical sort (Things are sorted from A to Z) for all or most of the lists of items that are provided.

Developers often tell us that they set the sort order the same in each list so that their is a consistancy across the application.

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