As you readers probably know, developing systems requires lots of tests, hard work, and working hours. Developing eWALL follows exactly that cycle. Until know you have heard a lot of eWALL from a technical perspective. Now the time has come to tell you a bit more about the evaluations and test performed and required from a medical perspective. In this weekly eWALL story here on Facebook, you will be introduced to terms such as heuristics, usability experts, and work domain professionals.

Earlier this year, the eWALL main screen interface application was tested by using the Participatory Heuristic Evaluation. The Participatory Heuristic Evaluation is a participatory inspection technique that serves as an extension to heuristic evaluation defined by the well-known usability expert, Jakob Nielsen. In Participatory Heuristic Evaluation, experts in usability do an inspection as in traditional heuristic evaluation. The term traditional refers to the use of heuristics, severity grades, and a log-schema. After this, work domain professionals are added as a group of users performing the same inspection. The purpose of extending the heuristic evaluation with these work domain professionals is to complement the traditional inspectors’ more abstract knowledge with very specific knowledge from work domain professionals.
In the particular case – evaluating the eWALL main screen interface application – the evaluation partners (usability experts and work domain professionals) were asked to identify and categorize usability issues on the eWALL main screen interface application by means of Muller et al.’ 15 heuristics. These heuristics are rules of thumbs when developing user friendly and usable systems. The heuristics cover the following areas:
1) System status; 2) Task Sequencing; 3) Emergency Exits; 4) Flexibility and Efficiency of Use; 5) Match Between System and Real World; 6) Consistency and Standards; 7) Recognition Rather than Recall; 8) Aesthetic and Minimalist Design; 9) Help and Documentation; 10) Help Users Recognize, Diagnose, and Recover from Errors; 11) Error Prevention; 12) Skills; 13) Pleasurable and Respectful Interaction with the User; 14) Quality Work and 15) Privacy.
Each time the evaluation partners identified a usability issue, they were asked to grade the usability problem be means of a four severity rating scale. The severity grades in the scale were the following: 1) A cosmetic problem; 2) A minor problem; 3) A major problem and 4) A catastrophe. The goal of grading each usability problem was to get information about how severe the identified usability problems of the eWALL main screen interface application were.
Twice, this Participatory Heuristic Evaluation method has been used to evaluate and test the usability of the eWALL main screen interface application. The evaluation method has proven very useful because the method delivers objective results and subjective findings, which can be implemented in next phases of the eWALL main screen interface application.


Author: Clara Schaarup

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