Advertisement

Reusable Software Usability Specifications for mHealth Applications

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Usability mHealth Smartphone Reuse Software requirements specification 

Notes

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.

References

  1. 1.
    Zapata, B.C., Fernández-Alemán, J.L., Idri, A., et al., Empirical studies on usability of mHealth apps: A systematic literature review. J. Med. Syst. 39:1–19, 2015.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oh, H., Rizo, C., Enkin, M., et al., What Is eHealth (2015) A systematic review of published definitions. J. Med. Internet Res. 7:e1.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017, research2guidance. http://www.research2guidance.com/shop/index.php/mobile-health-trends-and-figures-2013-2017. Accessed 20 Mar 2017, 2013.
  4. 4.
    Zapata, B.C., Niñirola, A.H., Idri, A., et al., Mobile PHRs Compliance with Android and iOS Usability Guidelines. J. Med. Syst. 38:1–16, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schnall, R., Rojas, M., Bakken, S., et al., A user-centered model for designing consumer mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps). J. Biomed. Inform. 60:243–251, 2016.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gagnon, M.-P., Ngangue, P., Payne-Gagnon, J., et al., m-Health adoption by healthcare professionals: A systematic review. J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 23:212–220, 2016.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Xu, J., Ding, X., Huang, K., et al., A Pilot Study of an inspection framework for automated usability guideline reviews of mobile health applications. In: Proceedings of the Wireless Health 2014 on National Institutes of Health. Bethesda: ACM 7:1–7:8, 2014.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Montague, K., Hanson, V. L., and Cobley, A., Designing for individuals: Usable touch-screen interaction through shared user models. In: Proceedings of the 14th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. New York, NY, USA: ACM, p 151–158, 2012.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    An, A.-J., Shim, W.-H., and So, H.-J., Developing a mobile application for elderly people: Human-centered design approach. In: Proceedings of HCI Korea. Seoul: Hanbit Media, Inc., p 452–460, 2014.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kawsar, F. A., Haque, M. M., Adibuzzaman, M., et al., e-ESAS: Improving quality of life for breast cancer patients in developing countries. In: Proceedings of the 2Nd ACM International Workshop on Pervasive Wireless Healthcare. Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA: ACM, p 9–14, 2012.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chang, C.-W., Ma, T.-Y., Choi, M.-S., et al., Electronic personal maternity records: Both web and smartphone services. Comput. Methods Programs Biomed. 121:49–58, 2015.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kim, M. S., Aro, M. R., Lage, K. J., et al., Exploring the usability of mobile apps supporting radiologists’ training in diagnostic decision making. J. Am. Coll. Radiol., 2015.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mendoza-González, R., Rodríguez, F. J. Á., Arteaga, J. M., et al., Guidelines for designing graphical user interfaces of mobile e-Health communities. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on InteracciÓN Persona-Ordenador. Elche: ACM, 3:1–3:4, 2012.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Silva, P. A., Jordan, P., and Holden, K., Something old, something new, something borrowed: Gathering experts’ feedback while performing heuristic evaluation with a list of heuristics targeted at older adults. In: Proceedings of the 2014 Workshops on Advances in Computer Entertainment Conference. Funchal, Portugal: ACM. 19:1–19:8, 2014.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vedanthan, R., Blank, E., Tuikong, N., et al., Usability and feasibility of a tablet-based Decision-Support and Integrated Record-keeping (DESIRE) tool in the nurse management of hypertension in rural western Kenya. Int. J. Med. Inf. 84:207–219, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Navarro, R. F., and Favela, J., Usability assessment of a pervasive system to assist caregivers in dealing with repetitive behaviors of patients with dementia. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 28:1–28:8, 2011Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    de Barros, A. C., Cevada, J., Bayés, À., et al., User-centred design of a mobile self-management solution for Parkinson’s disease. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia. New York, NY, USA: ACM, 23:1–23:10, 2013.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    International Organization for Standardization, ISO 9241-11:1998 Guidance on usability, 1998.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    W3C, Mobile web best practices 1.0. http://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/. Accessed 25 Mar 2017, 2008.
  20. 20.
    W3C, Mobile web application best practices. http://www.w3.org/TR/mwabp/. Accessed 22 Aug 2016, 2010.
  21. 21.
    Android Developers Reference. Android Design Guidelines. http://developer.android.com/design/index.html. Accessed 22 Aug 2016.
  22. 22.
    iOS Developer Library. iOS Human Interface Guidelines. https://developer.apple.com/ios/human-interface-guidelines/. Accessed 22 Aug 2016.
  23. 23.
    mHIMSS App Usability Work Group, Selecting a Mobile App: Evaluating the usability of medical applications. http://www.himss.org/ResourceLibrary/genResourceDetailPDF.aspx?ItemNumber=28900. Accessed 26 Mar 2017, 2012.
  24. 24.
    Georgsson, M., and Staggers, N., Quantifying usability: An evaluation of a diabetes mHealth system on effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction metrics with associated user characteristics. J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 23:5–11, 2016.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    International Organization for Standardization, ISO/IEC 9126-1 Quality model. https://www.iso.org/standard/22749.html. Accessed 26 Mar 2017, 2001.
  26. 26.
    International Organization for Standardization, ISO/IEC 25010:2011 System and software quality models. https://www.iso.org/standard/35733.html. Accessed 26 Mar 2017, 2011.
  27. 27.
    Sunyaev, A., Dehling, T., Taylor, P.L., et al., Availability and quality of mobile health app privacy policies. J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 22:e28–e33, 2015.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Toval, A., Moros, B., Nicolas, J., et al., Eight key issues for an effective reuse-based requirements process. Comput. Syst. Sci. Eng. 23, 2008.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Toval, A., Nicolás, J., Moros, B., et al., Requirements reuse for improving information systems security: A practitioner’s approach. Requir. Eng. 6:205–219, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Toval, A., Carrillo-de-Gea, J. M., Nicolás, J., et al., Learning systems development using reusable standard-based requirements catalogs. In: 2011 I.E. Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) 907–12, 2011.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    IEEE, 830-1998 recommended practice for software requirements specifications. IEEE Std. 830-1998:1–40, 1998.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    IEEE, Guide for developing system requirements specifications. IEEE Std 1233 1998 Ed 1–36, 1998.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    International Organization for Standardization, ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148 Systems and software engineering - Life cycle processes - Requirements engineering, 2011.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ouhbi, S., Fernández-Alemán, J.L., Carrillo-de-Gea, J.M., et al., E-health internationalization requirements for audit purposes. Comput. Methods Programs Biomed. 144:49–60, 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2017.03.014.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Fernández-Alemán, J.L., Sánchez-Henarejos, A., Toval, A., et al., Analysis of health professional security behaviors in a real clinical setting: An empirical study. Int. J. Med. Inf. 84:454–467, 2015.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2015.01.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Fernández-Alemán, J.L., Sánchez-Henarejos, A., García-Amicis, V.M., et al., Estudio sobre la importancia y la seguridad de uso de las contraseñas en el ámbito laboral sanitario. Gac. Sanit. 29:74–76, 2014.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2014.07.003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Sánchez-Henarejos, A., Fernández-Alemán, J.L., Toval, A., et al., Guía de buenas prácticas de seguridad informática en el tratamiento de datos de salud para el personal sanitario en atención primaria. Aten. Primaria. 46:214–222, 2014.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aprim.2013.10.008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Robertson, S., and Robertson, J., Mastering the requirements process: Getting requirements right. Addison-Wesley, 2012.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Martínez, M.A., Lasheras, J., Fernández-Medina, E., et al., A personal data audit method through requirements engineering. Comput. Stand. Interfaces. 32:166–178, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Martinez, M. A., Toval, A., and Campos, M., Requirements engineering to audit privacy issues in medical and health software. In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Health Informatics (BIOSTEC 2008), p 74–81, 2008.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. S Health. http://shealth.samsung.com/. Accessed 25 Mar 2017.
  42. 42.
    Turner-McGrievy, G.M., Beets, M.W., Moore, J.B., et al., Comparison of traditional versus mobile app self-monitoring of physical activity and dietary intake among overweight adults participating in an mHealth weight loss program. J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 20:513–518, 2013.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. S Health in Google Play. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sec.android.app.shealth. Accessed 25 Mar 2017.
  44. 44.
    Dougherty, J., Kohavi, R., and Sahami, M., Supervised and unsupervised discretization of continuous features. In: Proceedings of the twelfth international conference on machine learning. Morgan Kaufmann, p 194–202, 1995.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Neil, T., Mobile design pattern gallery: UI patterns for mobile applications. O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2012.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Alshaikh, M., Mayet, A., Adam, M., et al., Intervention to reduce the use of unsafe abbreviations in a teaching hospital. Saudi Pharm. J. 21:277–280, 2013.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Koczmara, C., Jelincic, V., and Dueck, C., Dangerous abbreviations: “U” can make a difference! Dynamics. 16:11–15, 2005.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Brunetti, L., Santell, J.P., and Hicks, R.W., The impact of abbreviations on patient safety. Jt. Comm. J. Qual. Patient Saf. 33:576–583, 2007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Gatsou, C., Politis, A., and Zevgolis, D., The importance of mobile interface icons on user interaction. Int. J. Comput. Sci. Appl. 9:92–107, 2012.Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belén Cruz Zapata
    • 1
  • 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

Personalised recommendations