Usability study of an application for epidemiology data

About SWAP
The Surveillance Window Application (SWAP) is a web-based tool that provides information about unfolding disease outbreaks by providing information on historical outbreaks. The SWAP has a library that contains information surrounding 22 diseases and around 500 global outbreaks. Using various analytic factoring, SWAP allows public health analysts to see if there are any historical outbreaks similar to current events.
Our goal was to provide a usability evaluation with recommendations which SWAP can implement to improve their application. The client wanted to improve the use of the website for public health professionals, epidemiologists, and data analysts. Our goal was to perform usability tests to evaluate the overall effectiveness of by testing the navigation, site terminology, and ease of use.
User journeys
Interactive map
Participant characteristics
– Age: 20+
– Has at least Bachelor’s degree in science or related field
– Works with data
– Studies/employed/previously employed in the field of public health or epidemiology and/or has medical training
– Has at least moderate computer proficiency
We interviewed 6 participants who work or do research in public health or a medical field.
Methods and procedures
We performed 6 in-person interviews. Each session lasted 45-60 minutes. We developed usability test kit which was used to evaluate the success rate and satisfaction of the participants. The users performed 7 tasks and their on-screen activity and feedback were recorded with TechSmith’s Camtasia.
Quantitative data
– Task completion/failure rate
– System Usability Scale
– Semantic Differentials
Qualitative data:
– First impressions
– Feedback on the terminology used on the site
– Suggestions provided by the participants
– How useful participants found the site to be
Findings, severity ratings, recommendations
Example of a Severity 1 finding, rating and associated recommendations
Usability report presentation
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