Learning Designers as Expert Evaluators of Usability: Understanding Their Potential Contribution to Improving the Universality of Interface Design for Health Resources

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Abstract

User-based evaluation by end users is an essential step in designing useful interfaces. Inspection methods can offer an alternate approach when end-user recruitment is problematic. A Learning Designers’ usability scholarship could offer usability evaluation expertise adjunct to multidisciplinary teams in academic settings. The feasibility of Learning Designers as ‘expert evaluators’ is assessed within this study. Two groups, healthcare professionals and Learning Designers, applied a hybrid evaluation method to generate usability feedback from a palliative care toolkit prototype. Expert data were compared to end-user errors detected from usability testing. Interface errors were categorised, meta-aggregated and severity calculated. The analysis found that reviewers detected N = 333 errors, with N = 167 uniquely occurring within the interface. Learning Designers identified errors at greater frequencies (60.66% total interface errors, mean (M) = 28.86 per expert) than other evaluator groups (healthcare professionals 23.12%, M = 19.25 and end users 16.22%, M = 9.0). Patterns in severity and error types were also observed between reviewer groups. The findings suggest that Learning Designers are skilled in detecting interface errors, which benefits developers assessing usability when access to end users is limited. Whilst not offering rich narrative feedback generated by user-based evaluations, Learning Designers complement healthcare professionals’ content-specific knowledge as a ‘composite expert reviewer’ with the ability to generate meaningful feedback to shape digital health interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4608
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • expert peer review
  • expert-based evaluation
  • interface design
  • Learning Designers
  • multidisciplinary teams
  • palliative care
  • usability evaluation
  • user-centred design

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