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Usability Testing of AsthmaWise With Older Adults

BURNS, PIPPA BSc (Hons), MPH (Dist); JONES, SANDRA C. BA, MBA, MPH, MAE, PhD; IVERSON, DON BSc, MSc, PhD; CAPUTI, PETER BA (Hons), Dip Math, PhD

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: May 2013 - Volume 31 - Issue 5 - p 219–226
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e31828a0dc2
Continuing Education

There are many reasons why online self-management education is attractive to both patients and providers. AsthmaWise, an online self-management program, was developed using a Moodle platform, to enable older adults to learn asthma self-management skills. This study aimed to improve AsthmaWise through conducting: usability testing with a sample of end users; a cognitive walk-through undertaken by an independent health researcher; and assessment of content readability. A Perceived Health Web Site Usability Questionnaire score of 67% was achieved, indicating that there were usability issues that needed to be addressed. The cognitive walk-through and readability assessment identified unique issues that were not identified through usability testing with end users. The testing process allowed issues to be identified and rectified before piloting AsthmaWise, creating a more accessible and refined end product. The involvement of the site designer in the testing process was valuable and is highly recommended. This study shows that usability testing involving both end users and experts is an essential part of the design process that is relatively easy and inexpensive to undertake and can be effectively conducted by a nonexpert.

Author Affiliations: Centre for Health Initiatives (Ms Burns and Drs Jones, Iverson, and Caputi) and Illawarra Health & Medical Research Institute (Dr Iverson), University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

This project was funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant in partnership with Asthma Foundation New South Wales.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Pippa Burns, BSc (Hons), MPH (Dist), Centre for Health Initiatives, Building 233 (ITAMS), Innovation Campus, Northfields Avenue, University of Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia (pippa@uow.edu.au).

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.