Human-centered Design

Human-centered Design (HCD) has had a number of names over the years, from Human Factors, to Usability, to "Design Thinking."

The concept is simple, take a look at your site/application from the perspective of your end-users and design the information architecture, nomenclature and workflow to match THEIR mental model.

Human-Centered Design for Healthcare IT Usability

The usability (or lack thereof) of Healthcare IT has been in the news a lot again.

This time a research report published in JAMA (Howe JL ; Adams KT ; Hettinger AZ; et al. Electronic health record usability issues and potential contribution to patient harm. JAMA. 2018; 319: 1276-1278) researchers analyzed voluntary error reports associated with Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and found that problems with EHR usability may have directly resulted in patient harm.

Lauber's Law: The best error message is the one that you don't have to show!

One of the easiest ways to improve the usability (and perceived usability) of a web/application is to improve the text that appears on the screen specifically around labels, embedded assistance and error messages.

In many web/applications, there is a false assumption that all of the users are already experts. In many situations, the placement of a simple bit of embedded assistance will help the novice and intermediate users know exactly what to do.