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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.