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Usability of American Nurses Association State Web Sites: A Follow-up Evaluation

Koch, Gina MSN, APRN, FNP-BC; Wakefield, Bonnie J. PhD, RN, FAAN; Alexander, Gregory L. PhD, RN, FAAN; Wilson, Melissa A. MSN, APRN, CCNS-BC; Becker, Colleen MSN, RN, CCRN

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: May 2016 - Volume 34 - Issue 5 - p 215–223
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000235
FEATURE ARTICLES
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The American Nurses Association supports professional nurses through Web sites administered by state nursing associations, providing important information for current and potential members. Optimal usability of these Web sites is critical for nurses to obtain the information they seek. Heuristic evaluations are general criteria used to evaluate the usability of technology such as Web sites. A study published in 2014, using heuristic criteria from Nielsen's 10 principles and Health on The Web, evaluated 27 state nursing Web sites to identify usability concerns that could prevent nurses from obtaining accurate information regarding state nursing practice. The purpose of this study is to conduct a second heuristic evaluation to assess for changes in a subset of 12 Web sites. The analysis comparing the evaluation from 2012 to 2014 found that mean scores increased and variance decreased; however, no statistically significant difference was found between the two studies. Scores increased in 2014 for “help users to diagnose, and recover from errors,” “match between the system and real world,” and “consistency and standards.” Scores decreased due to absence of mission statements and identification of intended audience. Ideally, Web site designers will use the feedback from this study and make changes that improve their usability to provide information to nurses.

Author Affiliations: Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia (Ms Koch, Dr Wakefield, Dr Alexander, Ms Wilson, and Ms Becker); The Center for Comprehensive Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation, Iowa City Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (Dr Wakefield).

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

Corresponding author: Gregory L. Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN, Sinclair School of Nursing, S415, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 (alexanderg@missouri.edu).

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