High-fidelity prototyping for mobile electronic data collection forms through design and user evaluation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Mobile data collection systems are often difficult to use for nontechnical 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, which often creates interaction challenges. Objective: The main objective of this study was to assess the guidelines for form design using high-fidelity prototypes developed based on end-user preferences. We also sought to investigate the association between the results from the System Usability Scale (SUS) and those from the Study Tailored Evaluation Questionnaire (STEQ) after the evaluation. In addition, we sought to recommend some practical guidelines for the implementation of the group testing approach particularly in low-resource settings during mobile form design. Methods: We developed a Web-based high-fidelity prototype using Axure RP 8. A total of 30 research assistants (RAs) evaluated this prototype in March 2018 by completing the given tasks during 1 common session. An STEQ comprising 13 affirmative statements and the commonly used and validated 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 while 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. Results: Of the RAs, 80% (24/30) appreciated the form progress indication, found the form navigation easy, and were satisfied with the error messages. The results gave a SUS average score of 70.4 (SD 11.7), which is above the recommended average SUS score of 68, meaning that the usability of the prototype was above average. The scores from the STEQ, on the other hand, indicated a 70% (21/30) level of agreement with the affirmative evaluation statements. The results from the 2 instruments indicated a fair level of user satisfaction and a strong positive association as shown by the Pearson correlation value of .623 (P<.01). Conclusions: A high-fidelity prototype was used to give the users experience with a product they would likely use in their work. Group testing was done because of scarcity of resources such as costs and time involved especially in low-income countries. If embraced, this approach could help assess user needs of the diverse user groups. With proper preparation and the right infrastructure at an affordable cost, usability testing could lead to the development of highly usable forms. The study thus makes recommendations on the practical guidelines for the implementation of the group testing approach particularly in low-resource settings during mobile form design.