Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen Would Like EMRs / EHRs with Big Targets, Less Functionality and Better Workflow Management

Short link: http://ehr.bz/9z

In previous posts I’ve argued that most traditional EMRs EHRs with desktop interfaces (monitor, keyboard, and mouse) are wrongheaded and misguided. Instead of mimicking Microsoft’s explicit and implicit user guidelines, resulting in EMRs EHRs that resemble Microsoft Office, they should copy smartphones and tablets.

I’ve written that EMRs EHRs need to

and to do this EMRs EHRs need to become more context-ware/process-aware.

In short,

Neilsen does not appear to have publicly weighed in on EMR EHR lack of usability. But he has commented about smartphone usability experience. His comments are right on, and just as relevant to EMR and EHR usability.

Neilsen says:

“What are the biggest mistakes companies make when building their sites and apps?

  1. Making it difficult to touch and manipulate. As Nielsen explains, your eyes are more agile than your fingers. You see that link among but your fingers can’t select it, so Nielsen recommends using larger touch targets.
  2. Trying to do too much. Those responsible for the mobile UE must be ruthless when fighting internal political battles. Every department wants their content front and center, but when everything is prominent, nothing is prominent, so eliminate the nice-to-have.

Nielsen argues for fewer commands and a few basics on first screen. Use progressive disclosure to build the experience, rather than try to put every option up front. More screens are better if each is simple and focused….

Without context, Nielsen reports, comprehension is degraded. While our brains are great for long-term storage, they fail in the short term. For this reason, people will not use mobile for research or comparing large amounts of information. Don’t require a user to remember things from screen to screen.”

So, consistent or inconsistent with what I’ve been posting?

I say: Consistent!

Jacob Neilsen on Mobile Usability Implications for EMR EHR Usability
“Nielsen recommends using larger touch targets” EMRs EHRs need larger buttons/targets, therefore fewer per screen, therefore fewer total or spread across more screens
“Every department wants their content front and center, but when everything is prominent, nothing is prominent, so eliminate the nice-to-have” Nielsen blames adding everything, including the kitchen sink, to an app on “Politics” — I wonder what he’d think about Meaningful Use?
“Don’t require a user to remember things from screen to screen” That’s part of what EMR EHR workflow management does: a workflow engine executing process definitions does and remembers things for the user (even what screens comes next) reducing EMR EHR user cognitive load

Case closed! Neilsen would agree with me. (I’m so smart!)