Skip to main content

Table 3 Actions in response to findings from usability study

From: User-centered design of a web-based self-management site for individuals with type 2 diabetes – providing a sense of control and community

Identified areas with usability problems

Solution implemented

(a) Website layout and organization:

Reorganization of website categorization (from “type of tool” to “tool topic”), with provision of introductory information for website components, and intuitive overview of available content; specifically:

Unclear scope, content and purpose of website

• Removal of knowledge, skills, behavior change, reinforcement and support categorization of tools

• Inclusion of introductory page for first-time users

• Inclusion of introductory page to sub-categories

• Inclusion of a crumb trail

• List of subtitles at top so viewers can get overall sense of the page

• Combining Journal with Tracker functions

• Grouping trackers all together in separate section of home page

• Making log section more prominent

• Description of purpose of logs

(b) Website navigation:

Simplification of search strategy, and presentation of search results, as well as providing intuitive links between recommended content

Multiple search options confusing

• use only one search option (Boolean) and include examples

Too many search results

• changed search algorithm, keyword system, sorted by relevance, show number of search results

Presentation of search results overwhelming

• Indicate category of search result

• Underline links, remove extraneous bullets (that look like buttons)

Content not grouped in meaningful way

• Tool titles and descriptions to be more concise and skimmable, simplify wording

• Alphabetical listing of topics, phrasing of title

• Smart recommender widget

• Links between related concept

(c) Visual elements:

Incorporation of icons, colors, bolded and larger font and diagrams; specifically:

Limited use of meaningful aids, graphics, colors, fonts or alerts to help interpret data and facilitate learning

• Icons to differentiate interactive vs. non-interactive tools, Print function, Report function, Graph function, pill bottles

• Highlight keywords

• Increased color contrast

• Inclusion more color within programs

• Increased default font size

• Ensure important content is visible without having to scroll

(d) Data entry:

Reduction of data entry tasks with automation of unnecessary tasks; specifically:

Complex data entry tasks and unwanted workload

• Date/default info filled in automatically

• Launch search automatically

• Place cursor at beginning of each relevant field

• Add a pull down menu for date and time, such as a “rolodex clock” for date and time

(e) Interactivity:

Incorporation of immediate feedback in response to user input; specifically:

Limited attention-attracting features an feedback to engage user

• Immediate feedback after completing checklist (e.g. pop-ups to congratulate)

• Provide feedback so user can check their “score”, e.g. ‘6 out of 10’

(f) Language:

Tailoring of content to lay-person; specifically:

Information and instructions not suitable for users’ task and skill level

• Avoid medical terminology

• Avoid abbreviations (FAQ, BP)

(g) Tracker layout

Clarification of actions required through use of buttons, clues, and alerts; specifically:

Not intuitive in navigation and actions required to be taken

• Clarification of next steps, buttons more prominent

• Inclusion of “clues” on how to enter in information (picture of prescription bottle label, with boxes and arrows indication which information is to be entered)

• Making entries editable

• Inclusion of tool that lists blood pressure readings and indicates when blood pressure is getting dangerously high

(h) Report layout

Provision of tailored report options relevant to the user’s needs; specifically:

Display of information not tailored to user’s needs

• Inclusion of options to include summary or all readings

• Inclusion of only necessary info


• Incorporation of options to add physician’s names, phone numbers and locations.