Usability Evaluation of a Private Social Network on Mental Health for Relatives
Usability is one of the most prominent criteria that must be fulfilled by a software product. This study aims to evaluate the usability of SocialNet, a private social network for monitoring the daily progress of patients by their relatives, using a mixed usability approach: heuristic evaluation conducted by experts and user testing. A double heuristic evaluation with one expert evaluator identified the issues related to consistency, design, and privacy. User testing was conducted on 20 users and one evaluator using observation techniques and questionnaires. The main usability problems were found to be related to the structure of SocialNet, and the users presented some difficulties in locating the buttons or links. The results show a high level of usability and satisfaction with the product. This evaluation provides data on the usability of SocialNet based on the difficulties experienced by the users and the expert. The results help in redesigning the tool to resolve the identified problems as part of an iterative process.
KeywordsUsability testing Heuristic evaluation Social network Information system Patient care system Web
This research was performed under the University of Salamanca Ph.D. Program on Education in the Knowledge Society (http://knowledgesociety.usal.es) and supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte under the FPU fellowship (FPU014/04783), the Research Group in InterAction and eLearning (GRIAL) (http://grial.usal.es), and the INTRAS Foundation (http://www.intras.es).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (grant number FPU014/04783).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.
- 1.ISO 9241–210, Ergonomics of human-system interaction - Part 210: Human-centred design for interactive systems. International Organization for Standardization, 2010.Google Scholar
- 3.Kemp, S., Digital in 2016. We Are Social, http://www.slideshare.net/wearesocialsg/digital-in-2016, Singapore, 2016.
- 5.García-Peñalvo, F.J., Franco Martín, M.A., García-Holgado, A., Toribio Guzmán, J.M., Largo Antón, J., and Sánchez-Gómez, M.C., Psychiatric patients tracking through a private social network for relatives: development and pilot study. J. Med. Syst. 40(7):Paper 172), 2016. doi: 10.1007/s10916-016-0530-5.
- 7.Gulati, A., and Dubey, S.K., Critical analysis on usability evaluation techniques. Int. J. Eng. Sci. Technol. 4(3):990–997, 2012.Google Scholar
- 8.Toribio-Guzmán, J.M., García-Holgado, A., Soto Pérez, F., García-Peñalvo, F.J., and Franco Martín, M.A., Heuristic evaluation of SocialNet, the private social network for psychiatric patients and their relatives. In: García-Peñalvo, F.J. (Ed.), Proceedings of the fourth international conference on technological ecosystems for enhancing multiculturality (TEEM’16) (Salamanca, Spain, November 2–4, 2016). ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 525–532, 2016. doi: 10.1145/3012430.3012568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Nielsen, J., Molich, R., Heuristic evaluation of user interfaces. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 1990. ACM, pp. 249–256.Google Scholar
- 12.Nielsen, J., Finding usability problems through heuristic evaluation. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 1992. ACM, pp. 373–380.Google Scholar
- 13.Hollingsed, T., Novick, D.G., Usability inspection methods after 15 years of research and practice. In: Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM international conference on Design of communication, 2007. ACM, pp. 249–255.Google Scholar
- 14.Toribio Guzmán, J.M., García-Holgado, A., Soto Pérez, F., García-Peñalvo, F.J., and Franco Martín, M.A., Study of the Usability of the Private Social Network SocialNet using Heuristic Evaluation. In: Moreno López, L., Rubia Cuestas, E.J., VMR, P., and García-Peñalvo, F.J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Interacción ‘16 Proceedings of the XVII International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Salamanca, Spain — September 13–16, 2016). ACM, New York, NY, p Article 22, 2016. doi: 10.1145/2998626.2998674.
- 15.Nielsen, J., Heuristic evaluation. In: Nielsen, J., and Mack, R.L. (Eds.), Usability inspection methods, vol 17. Vol. 1. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 25–62, 1994.Google Scholar
- 16.Pierotti, D., Heuristic evaluation-a system checklist. Xerox Corporation, 1995.Google Scholar
- 17.Vermeeren, A.P., van Kesteren, I., Bekker MM Managing the’Evaluator Effect’in User Testing. In: INTERACT, 2003.Google Scholar
- 18.Nielsen, J., Success Rate: The Simplest Usability Metric. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/success-rate-the-simplest-usability-metric/. Accessed 27/04/2017, 2001.