Mobile computer Web-application design in medicine: some research based guidelines

Long Paper

Abstract

Designing Web-applications is considerably different for mobile computers (handhelds, Personal Digital Assistants) than for desktop computers. The screen size and system resources are more limited and end-users interact differently. Consequently, detecting handheld-browsers on the server side and delivering pages optimized for a small client form factor is inevitable. The authors discuss their experiences during the design and development of an application for medical research, which was designed for both mobile and personal desktop computers. The investigations presented in this paper highlight some ways in which Web content can be adapted to make it more accessible to mobile computing users. As a result, the authors summarize their experiences in design guidelines and provide an overview of those factors which have to be taken into consideration when designing software for mobile computers. “The old computing is about what computers can do, the new computing is about what people can do” (Leonardo’s laptop: human needs and the new computing technologies, MIT Press, 2002).

Keywords

Information interfaces and representation Interface design Mobile computing Life and medical sciences Internet applications 

References

  1. 1.
    Andrews, K.: Web usability on the cheap. In: Holzinger, A. (ed.) Human–Computer Interaction in the 21st Century, pp. 83–95. Austrian Computer Society, Vienna (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benbasat, I., Todd, P.: An experimental investigation of interface design alternatives: icon versus text, direct manipulation versus menus. Int. J. Man. Mach. Stud. 38(3), 369–402 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Benyon, D.: The new HCI? navigation of information space. Knowl. Based Syst. 14(8), 425–430 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brekka, T.: Select mobile computers tailored to healthcare environment. Health. Manag. Technol. 16(13), 48, 50 (1995)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brewster, S.: Overcoming the lack of screen space on mobile computers. Personal Ubiquitous Comput. 6(3), 188–205 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Choi, J., Chun, J., Lee, K., Lee, S., Shin, D., Hyun, S., Kim, D., Kim, D.: MobileNurse: hand-held information system for point of nursing care. Comput. Methods Programs Biomed. 74(3), 245–254 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Duchnicky, RL., Kolers, P.A.: Readability of text scrolled on visual display terminals as a function of window size. Hum. Factors 25(6), 683–692 (1983)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Field, D., Elbourne, D.: The randomized controlled trial. Curr. Paediatrics. 13(1), 53–57 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Forman, GH., Zahorjan, J.: The challenges of mobile computing. IEEE. Comput. 27(4), 38–47 (1994)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gittins, D.: Icon based human–computer interaction. Int. J. Man. Mach. Stud. 24, 519–543 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Goethe, J.W.: Farbenlehre (Theory of colors, English from Charles Eastlake, 1970). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart (1810)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goonetilleke, R.S., Martins Shih, H., Kai On, H., Fritsch, J.: Effects of training and representational characteristics in icon design. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 55(5), 741–760 (2001)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gould, J.D., Lewis, C.: Designing for usability: key principles and what designers think. Commun. ACM 28(3), 300–311 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hering, E.: “Principles of a new theory of color sense”. In: Teevan, R.C., Birney, R.C. (eds.) Color Vision. van Nostrand, Princeton (1961)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hix, D., Hartson, H.R.: Developing user interfaces: ensuring usability through product & process. Wiley, New York (1993)MATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Holzinger, A.: Computer–aided mathematics instruction with mathematica 3.0. Math. Educ. Res. 6(4), 37–40 (1997)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Holzinger, A.: Multimedia Basics, vol. 1: Technology. Technological Fundamentals of Multimedia Information Systems. Laxmi Publications, New Delhi (available also in German, www.basiswissen–multimedia.at) (2002)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Holzinger, A.: Multimedia Basics, vol. 3: Design. Developmental Fundamentals of Multimedia Information Systems. Laxmi Publications, New Delhi (available also in German, www.basiswissen–multimedia.at) (2002)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Holzinger, A.: User–centered interface design for disabled and elderly people: first experiences with designing a patient communication system (PACOSY). In: Miesenberger, K., Klaus, J., Zagler, W. (eds.) Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 2398, pp. 34–41. Springer, Berlin (2002)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Holzinger, A.: Experiences with user centered development (UCD) for the front end of the virtual medical campus graz. In: Jacko, J.A., Stephanidis, C. (eds.) Human–Computer Interaction, Theory and Practice, pp. 123–127. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Holzinger, A.: Application of rapid prototyping to the user interface development for a virtual medical campus. IEEE. Softw. 21(1), 92–99 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Holzinger, A.: Usability Engineering Methods. Online at: http://user.meduni–graz.at/andreas.holzinger/holzinger/usability.html (last access: November 15, 2006) (2004)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Holzinger, A.: Usability engineering for software developers. Commun. ACM 48(1), 71–74 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Holzinger, A., Errath, M.: Designing web–applications for mobile computers: experiences with applications to medicine. In: Stephanidis, C., Stary, C. (eds.) User–Centered Interaction Paradigms for Universal Access in the Information Society. Lecture Notes of Computer Science, vol. 3196, pp. 262–267. Springer, Berlin (2004)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Huang, S–M., Shieh, K–K., Chi, C–F.: Factors affecting the design of computer icons. Int. J. Ind. Ergon. 29(4), 211–218 (2002)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jessup, L.M, Robey, D.: Issues and challenges in mobile computing: the relevance of social issues in ubiquitous computing environments. Commun. ACM 45(12), 88–91 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Karampelas, P., Akoumianakis, D., Stephanidis, C. (eds.): User Interface Design for PDAs: Lessons and Experiences with the WARD–IN–HAND prototype. Springer, Berlin (2003)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kim, L., Albers, M.J.: Web design issues when searching for information in a small screen display. In: 19th Annual International Conference on Computer Documentation, pp. 193–200. Santa Fe (2001)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kjeldskov, J., Stage, J.: New techniques for usability evaluation of mobile systems. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 60(5–6), 599–620 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kleinrock, L.: Nomadicity anytime, anywhere in a disconnected world. Mob. Netw. Appl. 1(4), 351–357 (1996)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Konstantakos, A.K.: Personal computers versus patient care: at the desktop or at the bedside? Curr. Surg. 60(4), 353–355 (2003)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Krug, S.: Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. New Riders, Indianapolis (2000)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lewis, J.R.: Sample sizes for usability studies: additional considerations. Hum. Factors 36(2), 368–378 (1994)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Marcus, A.: The ten commandments of color. Comput. Graph. Today 3(11), 7, 12, 14 (1986)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Marcus, A.: Dare we define user–interface design? Interaction 9(5), 19–24 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Marcus, A., Chen, E.: Designing the PDA of the future. Interaction 9(1), 34–44 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Maulsby, D., Greenberg, S., Mander, R.: Prototyping an intelligent agent through wizard of Oz. In: SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 277–284. Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1993)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    McDougall, S.J., de Bruijn, O., Curry, M.B.: Exploring the effects of icon characteristics on user performance: the role of icon concreteness, complexity, and distinctiveness. J. Exp. Psychol. 6(4), 291–306 (2000)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Miller, G.A.: The magical number seven, plus or minus two: some limits of our capacity for processing information. Psychol. Rev. 63, 81–97 (1956)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mills, C.B., Weldon, L.J.: Reading text from computer screens. ACM Comput. Surv. 19(4), 329–358 (1987)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Moffett, S.E., Menon, A.S., Meites, E.M., Kush, S., Lin, E.Y., Grappone, T., Lowe, H.L.: Preparing doctors for bedside computing. Lancet 362(9377), 86 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Myers, B.A.: Using handhelds and PCs together. Commun. ACM 44(11), 34–41 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Myers, B., Ioannidis, Y., Hollan, J., Cruz, I., Bryson, S., Bulterman, D., Catarci, T., Citrin, W., Glinert, E., Grudin, J.: Strategic directions in human–computer interaction. ACM Comput. Surv. 28(4), 794–809 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Nielsen, J.: Paper versus computer implementations as mockup scenarios for heuristic evaluation. In: IFIP TC13 3rd Interantional Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, pp. 315–320 (1990)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Nielsen, J.: Usability Engineering. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (1993)MATHGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Nielsen, J.: Estimating the number of subjects needed for a thinking aloud test. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 41(3), 385–397 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Norman, D.A., Draper, S.: User Centered System Design. Erlbaum, Hillsdale (1986)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Oquist, G., Goldstein, M.: Towards an improved readability on mobile devices: evaluating adaptive rapid serial visual presentation. Interact. Comput. 15(4), 539–558 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pace, B.J.: Color combinations and contrast reversals on visual display units. In: Conference Proceedings of the Human Factors Society, Santa Monica (1984)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Peirce, C.S.: Collected writings on semiotics. In: Hartshorne, C., Weiss, P. (eds.) The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce 2, pp. 135ff. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1932)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Rettig, M.: Prototyping for tiny fingers. Commun. ACM 37(4), 21–27 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Reuss, E., Menozzi, M., Buchi, M., Koller, J., Krueger, H.: Information access at the point of care: what can we learn for designing a mobile CPR system? Int. J. Med. Inform. 73(4), 363–369 (2004)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Shackel, B.: Ergonomics in design for usability. In: Harrison, M.D., Monk, A.F. (eds.) HCI–86: People and Computers II: Designing for Usability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1986)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Shneiderman, B.: Leonardo’s Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies. MIT Press, Boston (2002)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C.: Designing the user interface, 4th edn. Pearson, Harlow (2004)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Shubin, H., Falck, D., Johansen, A.G.: Exploring color in interface design. Interaction 3(4), 36–48 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    SIGGRAPH.: Physiological principles for the effective use of color. Online at: http://www.siggraph.org/education/materials/HyperGraph/color/coloreff.htm (last access: 20030908) (1999)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Simon, H.A.: How big is a chunk? Science 183, 482–488 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Stary, C., Peschl, M.F.: Representation still matters—cognitive engineering and task-based user interface development. Behav. Inf. Technol. 17(6), 338–360 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Stary, C., Vidakis, N., Mohacsi, S., Nagelholz, M.: Workflow–oriented prototyping for the development of interactive software. IEEE COMPSAC 1997, pp. 530–535. Washington DC (1997)Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Stephanidis, C., Salvendy, G., Akoumianakis, D., Arnold, A., Bevan, N., Dardailler, D., Emiliani, P.L., Iakovidis, I., Jenkins, P., Karshmer, A., Korn, P., Marcus, A., Murphy, H., Oppermann, C., Stary, C., Tamura, H., Tscheligi, M., Ueda, H., Weber, G., Ziegler, J.: Toward an information society for all: HCI challenges and R&D recommendations. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Interact. 11(1), 1–28 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Sutcliffe, A.: User–Centred Requirements Engineering: Theory & Practice. Springer, Berlin (2002)Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Tauscher, L., Greenberg, S.: How people revisit Web pages: empirical findings and implications for the design of history systems. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 47, 97–137 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Tullis, T.S.: Screen design. In: Helander, M., Landauer, T.K., Prabhu, P. (eds.) Handbook of Human–Computer Interaction. Elsevier, Oxford (1997)Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    usabilitynet.org ISO 13407. Online at: http://www.usabilitynet.org/tools/13407stds.htm (last access: 20030611) (2003)Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Virzi, R.A.: Refining the test phase of usability evaluation: how many subjects is enough? Hum. Factors 34(4), 457–468 (1992)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    VisiBone.: Webmasters Color Laboratory. Online at: www.visibone.com (last access: 20030922) (2003)Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Young, P.M.C., Leung, R.M.W., Ho, L.M., McGhee, S.M.: An evaluation of the use of hand–held computers for bedside nursing care. Int. J. Med. Inform. 62(2–3), 189–193 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Ziefle, M.: User productivity and different screen technologies: CRT screens with high refresh rates versus LCD displays. Display Search Monitor 6(14), 11–14 (2001)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation (IMI), Research Unit HCI4MEDMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

Personalised recommendations