Mobile PHRs Compliance with Android and iOS Usability Guidelines

  • Belén Cruz Zapata
  • Antonio Hernández Niñirola
  • Ali Idri
  • José Luis Fernández-Alemán
  • Ambrosio Toval
Mobile Systems
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mobile Systems


Mobile Personal Health Records (PHRs) have achieved a particularly strong market share since the appearance of more powerful mobile devices and popular worldwide mobile application markets such as Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play. However, Android and Apple have a set of recommendations on design and usability targeted towards developers who wish to publish apps in their stores: Android Design Guidelines and iOS Human Interface Guidelines. This paper aims to evaluate compliance with these guidelines by assessing the usability recommendations of a set of 24 selected mobile PHR applications. An analysis process based on a well-known Systematic Literature Review (SLR) protocol was used. The results show that the 24 mobile PHR applications studied are not suitably structured. 46 % of these applications do not use any of the recommended patterns, using instead lists or springboards, which are deprecated patterns for top-level menus. 70 % of the PHRs require a registration to be able to test the application when these interactions should be delayed. Our study will help both PHR users to select user-friendly mobile PHRs and PHR providers and developers to identify the good usability practices implemented by the applications with the highest scores.


mHealth iOS Android Usability PHR 



This research is part of the PEGASO-PANGEA projects (TIN2009-13718-C02-02) financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Spain), and the GEODAS-REQ project (TIN2012-37493-C03-02) financed by both the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and European FEDER funds.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belén Cruz Zapata
    • 1
  • Antonio Hernández Niñirola
    • 1
  • Ali Idri
    • 2
  • José Luis Fernández-Alemán
    • 1
  • Ambrosio Toval
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Informatics and Systems, Faculty of Computer ScienceCampus de Espinardo – University of MurciaMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Software Project Management Research Team, ENSIASMohammed V Souissi UniversityRabatMorocco

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