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Table 2 Proposed user interface design recommendations for mobile health applications

From: User interface design for mobile-based sexual health interventions for young people: Design recommendations from a qualitative study on an online Chlamydia clinical care pathway

Theme Sub-theme Design recommendations Description
Privacy & security Social privacy Password protection App-level password or passcode protection should be implemented every time the user accesses the app or after a certain period of inactivity
Privacy settings App-specific privacy settings should be available; default settings should err owards providing higher levels of privacy
Discreet design Logos, icons and terminology used should be subtle and not draw attention to sexual health
  Institutional privacy & security Assurances & disclaimers Information should be provided on the reason for requesting any sensitive data
Just-in-time disclosures Disclosures should be provided before allowing the app to access sensitive content (such as geo-location information) through APIs
Confidentiality & security policy A clear policy on how information will be collected and stored should be provided and should be available to view in a number of formats (e.g. online, or download and read offline).
Credibility & Legitimacy Explicit Credibility Assurances of medical content accuracy Apps should provide information supporting their adherence to established medical guidelines including references/links to trustworthy third party material or resources
Identification of ‘app operator’ Apps should disclose information about the legitimate organisation behind the application, including how to contact them; web apps and online support should use a culturally relevant domain name and support information should be up to date
Affiliations Any affiliations with existing respected providers (such as the NHS) should be clearly displayed, for example through the integration of relevant logos within the app design
  Implicit credibility User community cues Accompanying website / social media / app store presence should include user reviews and/or case studies
Visual aesthetics Culturally relevant and conventional health-related colour schemes and typeface should be used
Language The language used should have a serious and professional tone; sentences should be concise and use uncomplicated structures; a glossary of medical terms should be available
User journey support   Simplification of complex healthcare journeys Provide graphical representation of progress made for multi-step interactions; give overview of steps to be completed at the start of the task
Content relevance and logic Where the app includes a decision support system (such as a medical consultation to decide if it is safe to prescribe) the questions should be relevant and dynamic, using logic to filter out irrelevant questions based on the information already provided
Specific and appropriate feedback Visual (or audio) cues should be used to indicate erroneous data entry and also proactively indicate once a user has entered acceptable data in a field; error messages should support error recovery
Reassurances Take steps to reassure users that there are no catastrophic consequences of making errors in completing an online consultation; provide opportunities to change erroneous inputs
Flexibility in the delivery of support Provide flexibility to users in terms of how they can access support (e.g. online and offline; web, telephone and face to face)
Task-technology-context fit   Ubiquity Design should accommodate different contexts of use, supporting platform independence and the ability to switch seamlessly between contexts of us
Mobility Design should support mobile context of use which may include interruptions due to concurrent activity or lack of connectivity; design should thus accommodate short bursts of interaction, allowing user to save interaction with app and not lose progress
Customisation Users should be able to customise parameters of the app to accommodate their own preferences, particularly for system notifications