Accepted for/Published in: JMIR Human Factors
Date Submitted: Aug 7, 2018
Open Peer Review Period: Aug 9, 2018 - Oct 4, 2018
Date Accepted: Dec 31, 2018
(closed for review but you can still tweet)
High-fidelity prototyping for Mobile Electronic Data Collection Forms through design and user evaluation
Mobile data collection systems are often difficult to use, for non-technical or novice users. This can be attributed to the fact that, developers of such tools do not adequately involve end-users in the design and development of product features and functions. This has led to products which seem obvious to the developers in their functions but not to the general users, creating a big usability gap.
The main objective of this study was to assess the research assistantsâ€™ (end users) user experience of a high-fidelity prototype that was developed based on their design preferences using the group testing approach. We also sought to gain insight into the use of group testing approach in the design of generic mobile data collection systems.
We developed an online high fidelity prototype for data collection forms between January and February 2018, using Axure RP8, and the prototype did not have any backend functionality. Thirty four (n=34) research assistants who were all involved in data collection on a maternal and child health project in Northern Uganda evaluated the high fidelity prototype in March 2018 based on the group testing approach by completing some tasks. A study tailored evaluation questionnaire (STEQ) comprising of 13 affirmative statements, coupled with the commonly used and validated System Usability Scale (SUS) were administered to evaluate the usability and user experience after interaction with the prototype. The STEQ evaluation was summarized using frequencies in an excel sheet where the evaluation statement with majority agreeing to it was taken as the most preferred option. The SUS scores were calculated based on whether the statement was positive (user selection minus 1) or negative (5 minus user selection). These were summed up and the score contributions multiplied by 2.5 to give the overall form usability from each participant.
The results gave an SUS average score of 67.5, which is marginally below the recommended average score of 68, depicting some levels of dissatisfaction. Results from the Study Tailored Evaluation Questionnaire (STEQ) indicated a 70% level of agreement with the affirmative evaluation statements, which shows a fair level of satisfaction with the forms. Notably, low scores were observed for readability of the content on the screen and the instructions indicating the data capture format being unclear. The study proves that the group testing approach is an appropriate technique for cases where software developers are unable to elicit user requirements for projects whose conceptualization is innovative, formative and evolving.
Evaluating user design preferences as a part of user experience using the group testing approach is not a very common approach in the development of mobile data collection forms and yet this could be one way of tailoring design to the user needs so as to cater for the diversity in context and user groups especially in rural Africa. Using high fidelity prototyping turned out to be a feasible and affordable form development option. The adoption of design variations to clearly understand user design preferences cannot be under estimated. This may be more time-consuming compared to other approaches; however, the long-term benefits could lead to development of highly usable forms, increased data accuracy, and a pleasant user experience.
Note: Per the author's request, the preprint files are not publicly accessible.
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