Thought Leadership

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.

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.

Usability and User Experience is a team sport!

Usability and user experience teams have traditionally been way understaffed and often under-utilized.

Usability teams that I have led in the past have had to beg, borrow, or steal resources in order to achieve the significant gains in user productivity, user satisfaction (and reduction of user errors) for the software systems of the many companies and organizations that I’ve worked with.

Error message Errors - Don't blame the user

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.

Usability is the most important "ility."

The lack of usability of electronic health records (EHRs) and healthcare IT applications, in general, has been in the news again. A research report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzed voluntary error reports associated with EHR systems and found that problems with EHR usability may have directly resulted in patient harm (Howe JL ; Adams KT ; Hettinger AZ; et al. Electronic health record usability issues and potential contribution to patient harm. JAMA. 2018; 319: 1276-1278).

Let Dr.s be Doctors?

Let's all remember that before Electronic Health Records (EHRs ) were prevalent, medical staff, pharmacists, and others had to struggle to decipher physician's orders, prescriptions and other hand-written (aka. scribbled) text. By using EHRs the burden of entering correct information into a form has fallen back on to the physician.

Still "Let doctors be doctors" they say.

EHRs typically do have a lot of "areas for improvement."

Seven plus or minus 2 things the Health IT Industry should know about Cognitive Psychology

The capacity of the human brain to process information has remained not changed—even as the number of types of users for software-based Internet connected devices has increased at an exponential rate. The field of psychology, especially cognitive psychology has, among other things, focused on understanding the processes by which we store information, make decisions, and communicate with others.

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