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New Checklist for the Heuristic Evaluation of mHealth Apps (HE4EH): Development and Usability Study

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-06-05, 05:13 and posted on 2024-06-09, 12:42 authored by Kamran Khowaja, Dena Al-Thani

Background

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in developing countries. Existing mobile health (mHealth) app design guidelines lack a description of the support of continuous self-monitoring of health status, behavior change to improve and adopt a healthy lifestyle, and communication with health educators and health care professionals in case of any need.

Objective

This paper presents the development of a specialized set of heuristics called heuristic evaluation for mHealth apps (HE4EH) as an all-in-one tool and its applicability by performing a heuristic evaluation of an mHealth app.

Methods

An extensive review of heuristics and checklists was used to develop the HE4EH. The HE4EH was evaluated by domain experts for heuristics, checklist items, severity ratings, and overall satisfaction. The OneTouch app, which helps individuals with diabetes manage their blood glucose levels, was evaluated using HE4EH to identify usability problems that need to be fixed in the app.

Results

The expert evaluation of HE4EH revealed that the heuristics were important, relevant, and clear. The checklist items across the heuristics were clear, relevant, and acceptably grouped. In terms of evaluating the OneTouch app using the HE4EH, the most frequently violated heuristics included Content, Visibility, Match, and Self-monitoring. Most of the usability problems found were minor. The system usability scale score indicated that the OneTouch app is marginally acceptable.

Conclusions

This heuristic evaluation using the OneTouch app shows that the HE4EH can play a vital role for designers, researchers, and practitioners to use HE4EH heuristics and checklist items as a tool to design a new or evaluate and improve an existing mHealth app.

Other Information

Published in: JMIR mHealth and uHealth
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.2196/20353

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

JMIR Publications

Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU

Methodology

An extensive review of heuristics and checklists was used to develop the HE4EH. The HE4EH was evaluated by domain experts for heuristics, checklist items, severity ratings, and overall satisfaction. The OneTouch app, which helps individuals with diabetes manage their blood glucose levels, was evaluated using HE4EH to identify usability problems that need to be fixed in the app.