Reusable Software Usability Specifications for mHealth Applications

Reusable Software Usability Specifications for mHealth Applications

For my PhD I write scientific articles that are submitted to scientific journals or conferences. This post is about a new published article.  “Reusable Software Usability Specifications for mHealth Applications” is published in the Journal of Medical Systems. The Journal of Medical Systems is indexed in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) and its current impact factor is 2.415.

The Journal of Medical Systems provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the increasingly extensive applications of new information systems techniques and methods across all health care settings. It features four sections focusing on mobile systems, systems level quality improvement, transaction processing systems, and patient facing systems.

Here is the reference and the link to my article:

Cruz Zapata, B., Fernández-Alemán, J.L., Toval, A. et al. Reusable Software Usability Specifications for mHealth Applications. J Med Syst 4245 (2018).

The abstract of the article:


One of the key factors for the adoption of mobile technologies, and in particular of mobile health applications, is usability. A usable application will be easier to use and understand by users, and will improve user’s interaction with it. This paper proposes a software requirements catalog for usable mobile health applications, which can be used for the development of new applications, or the evaluation of existing ones. The catalog is based on the main identified sources in literature on usability and mobile health applications. Our catalog was organized according to the ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148:2011 standard and follows the SIREN methodology to create reusable catalogs. The applicability of the catalog was verified by the creation of an audit method, which was used to perform the evaluation of a real app, S Health, application created by Samsung Electronics Co. The usability requirements catalog, along with the audit method, identified several usability flaws on the evaluated app, which scored 83%. Some flaws were detected in the app related to the navigation pattern. Some more issues related to the startup experience, empty screens or writing style were also found. The way a user navigates through an application improves or deteriorates user’s experience with the application. We proposed a reusable usability catalog and an audit method. This proposal was used to evaluate a mobile health application. An audit report was created with the usability issues identified on the evaluated application.

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