Improving the experience
Employing user experience design (UXD) could help to improve health education materials, according to a new study. Researchers looked at printed information about breast and cervical cancer screening and its perceived usability. They compared printed education materials (PEMs) created by user experience designers with standard documents and discovered that the UXD materials were seen as more usable.
However, the study didn’t find that applying UXD principles improved how much people learned from the educational materials or their intention to go for screening.
The research has been published in the Applied Ergonomics journal. The authors said: “The results of our study suggest that PEM developers should incorporate not only design practices, guidelines and principles in their processes but also user experience design. Incorporating both experts and patient feedback provides a more holistic understanding when designing a knowledge translation tool such as a PEM, since the two groups bring a different set of experiences and perspectives, and both types of evaluators are necessary for a fully formed understanding of the perceived usability of a particular product.
“However, the present results also indicate that we should be realistic about what improvements are possible with user experience design, and when they can be achieved. In general, we found that improving layout and design can improve the perceived usability of PEMs, with the caveat that this improvement may not apply to the visual redesign of longer or more complex PEMs.”