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Conceptualization and application of an approach for designing healthcare software interfaces

Journal of Biomedical Informatics
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2014.02.007
  • Interface Design
  • Rhetorical Situation
  • Move Analysis
  • Stereotype
  • Healthcare
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Abstract Objective The aim of this study is to conceptualize a novel approach, which facilitates us to design prototype interfaces for healthcare software. Methods Concepts and techniques from various disciplines were used to conceptualize an interface design approach named MORTARS (Map Original Rhetorical To Adapted Rhetorical Situation). The concepts and techniques included in this approach are (1) rhetorical situation – a concept of philosophy provided by Bitzer (1968); (2) move analysis – an applied linguistic technique provided by Swales (1990) and Bhatia (1993); (3) interface design guidelines – a cognitive and computer science concept provided by Johnson (2010); (4) usability evaluation instrument – an interface evaluation questionnaire provided by Lund (2001); (5) user modeling via stereotyping – a cognitive and computer science concept provided by Rich (1979). A prototype interface for outpatient clinic software was designed to introduce the underlying concepts of MORTARS. The prototype interface was evaluated by thirty-two medical informaticians. Results The medical informaticians found the designed prototype interface to be useful (73.3%), easy to use (71.9%), easy to learn (93.1%), and satisfactory (53.2%). Conclusions MORTARS approach was found to be effective in designing the prototype user interface for the outpatient clinic software. This approach might be further used to design interfaces for various software pertaining to healthcare and other domains.

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