Reusable Software Usability Specifications for mHealth Applications

  • Belén Cruz ZapataEmail author
  • José Luis Fernández-Alemán
  • Ambrosio Toval
  • Ali Idri
Mobile & Wireless Health
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mobile & Wireless Health


One of the key factors for the adoption of mobile technologies, and in particular of mobile health applications, is usability. A usable application will be easier to use and understand by users, and will improve user’s interaction with it. This paper proposes a software requirements catalog for usable mobile health applications, which can be used for the development of new applications, or the evaluation of existing ones. The catalog is based on the main identified sources in literature on usability and mobile health applications. Our catalog was organized according to the ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148:2011 standard and follows the SIREN methodology to create reusable catalogs. The applicability of the catalog was verified by the creation of an audit method, which was used to perform the evaluation of a real app, S Health, application created by Samsung Electronics Co. The usability requirements catalog, along with the audit method, identified several usability flaws on the evaluated app, which scored 83%. Some flaws were detected in the app related to the navigation pattern. Some more issues related to the startup experience, empty screens or writing style were also found. The way a user navigates through an application improves or deteriorates user’s experience with the application. We proposed a reusable usability catalog and an audit method. This proposal was used to evaluate a mobile health application. An audit report was created with the usability issues identified on the evaluated application.


Usability mHealth Smartphone Reuse Software requirements specification 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Belén Cruz Zapata declares that she has no conflict of interest. José Luis Fernández-Alemán declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ambrosio Toval declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ali Idri declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belén Cruz Zapata
    • 1
    Email author
  • José Luis Fernández-Alemán
    • 1
  • Ambrosio Toval
    • 1
  • Ali Idri
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Informatics and Systems, Faculty of Computer Science, Campus de EspinardoUniversity of MurciaMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Software Project Management Research Team, ENSIASMohammed V Souissi UniversityRabatMorocco

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