Usability Laboratory Test of a Novel Mobile Homecare Application with Experienced Home Help Service Staff

I Scandurra*, 1, M Hägglund1, S Koch1, 2, M Lind3
1 Centre for eHealth, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2 Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
3 Department of Information Science, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

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© Scandurra et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Centre for eHealth, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; E-mail:


Using participatory design, we developed and deployed a mobile Virtual Health Record (VHR) on a personal digital assistant (PDA) together with experienced homecare staff. To assess transferability to a second setting and usability when used by novice users with limited system education the application was tested in a usability lab. Eight participants from another homecare district performed tasks related to daily homecare work using the VHR. Test protocols were analyzed with regard to effectiveness, potential usability problems and user satisfaction. Usability problems having impact on system performance and contextual factors affecting system transferability were uncovered. Questionnaires revealed that the participants frequently used computers, but never PDAs. Surprisingly there were only minor differences in input efficiency between novice and experienced users. The participants were overall satisfied with the application. However, transfer to another district can not be performed, unless by means of careful field observations of contextual differences.