Investigating the effect of visual aids in working with preventive healthcare data
MetadataShow full item record
In the preventive healthcare sector, enormous amounts of data are collected and stored in digital health records, resulting in information overload for users of such systems. Too little priority is given to the way this information is presented to the user. This study aimed to investigate to what extent visual aids in the form of colours, icons, and metaphors can be applied to the preventive healthcare sector, and what their effect is on the cognitive load of the user and the usability of digital health records. A case study was conducted at Topicus, for which two interfaces were designed, based on exploratory interviews with 7 youth nurses and youth doctors. Both designs present the most important data about parents as elicited from the interviews, but in different ways. One design was a baseline version of a parent record, the other was a version with added visual aids. Then, a between-subject experiment was conducted in which 32 participants performed tasks with either the baseline version or the version with visual aids. Afterwards, they filled in an adjusted 5-item NASA - Task Load Index questionnaire, which is a questionnaire often used to measure cognitive load during tasks. Then, they filled in an adjusted 9-item System Usability Scale questionnaire, which is an effective questionnaire often used to measure perceived usability. No conclusive result was found, only a slight trend indicating decreased cognitive load and increased usability when applying visual aids. Furthermore, it was found that colours and icons are preferred over textual information, but that it is hard to apply such interventions in the preventive healthcare sector due to its unstructured and textual data types. Lastly, participants had mixed reactions with regards to metaphors and the number of visualisations used in one screen. Future studies are needed to test different types of visual aids as well as to consider additional metrics such as time, interaction logs and accuracy to better support the healthcare sector on information overload.