As app advisers we are fortunate enough to be involved in a number of healthcare apps that are currently under development and it has provided us with a unique opportunity to see healthcare mobilisation up close.
We were interested therefore to see this recent article posted on cmio.net discussing guidelines for evaluating app performance within a healthcare setting.
While this information is from overseas, I felt that the guidelines were worth sharing as they apply to not just medical apps but also to any app evaluation, including your own user testing.
The knowledge that these guidelines have been formulated by professionals involved in one of the most mission-critical industries around would certainly create the expectation that they have been well considered for their purpose!
Anyway, these guidelines consider app design, functionality and useability as key elements to app evaluation:
Consider goals and measurable objectives – Understand what you want to accomplish with a mobile app, is it to improve efficiency or assist with education (as just two examples)? Use existing measurable goals to measure the performance for evaluation and usability testing should also be based around those goals.
Check other resources to supplement app reviews – Publicly available app reviews can guide the usability tests but should not influence independent assessment efforts. Rely on internal knowledge to look for pressure points to ensure that usability testing can address them.
Assess the app’s useability with typical scenarios – Develop a useability questionnaire with practice goals in mind, use multiple devices to perform the same task within controlled process step scenarios and have the test users complete a useability questionnaire after use to help understand overall usage experiences.
While the ideal situation allows you to discover an app that meets all of your requirements off the shelf however many people also fail to realise that you can work with the app developer who created the app to make the customisations you require or licence out the source code for your own developers to modify.