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Clients: Stories

  • Missouri:
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Tiger Institute
  • HEALTHCAREfirst
  • Shelter Insurance
  • East Central College of Missouri
  • Fontbonne University Library
  • State Library of Missouri
  • Missouri State University Library
  • MOBIUS Consortium
  • MOREnet
  • LANIT Consulting, Inc.
  • University of Missouri:
  • Reynolds Journalism Institute
  • College of Education
  • Computer Science
  • Division of Information Technology
  • Division of Extension
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Medicine
  • Office of Research
  • Office of Admissions
  • Office of the Registrar

 

 

PUSH: An open source mobile platform for media organizations

In Oct 2017, the Information Experience (IE) Lab at the University of Missouri, Columbia worked with the 2017-2018 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow, Christopher Guess to conduct a usability study of the Push app. Push is an open-source mobile platform for media organizations to build their own mobile news apps for news distribution. The IE Lab conducted a task-based analysis, a heuristics design review, and a mobile device test on the MeydanTV and the Bivol apps – two apps designed and developed on the Push platform – to thoroughly identify the usability and the issues of the apps built on the platform.  Additionally, the IE Lab translated the Push app into five languages, Vietnamese, Farsi, German, Chinese and Arabic to support media organizations in building their mobile news apps in these languages..

The findings from our study of the apps revealed that the Push platform has great potential to help small media organizations build their own quality mobile news apps. The apps designed and developed on the Push platform include fundamental functions required for mobile news apps. Also, media organizations, especially small startup publishers can forget about the hard-coding normally required to build apps and easily and quickly develop their mobile news apps on Push. The study also identified functionality, design, navigation, and user control issues of the apps. Recommendations for the further enhancement of the user-friendliness of the apps were also provided based on Neilsen’s heuristics principles and the cross-comparison of the other mobile news apps.

For further information of Christopher Guess and his Push app stories, click here:

https://www.rjionline.org/account/profile/4064

Reading patterns on the Panacea’s Cloud index page, using Tobii as the eye-tracking tool

Heat map for the Panacea’s Cloud index page

Panacea’s Cloud: An augmented reality (AR) triage and communication tool for mass casualty disaster incidents

Funded by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Panacea’s Cloud is a collaboration between MU researchers Prasad Calyam, assistant professor of computer science, and Sal Ahmad, assistant professor of surgery and medical director of the Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Panacea’s Cloud is an augmented reality communication and coordination tool for mass casualty disaster situations intended to “coordinate resources, information sharing, and two-way communication between medical incident commanders (ICs) and first medical responders (paramedics)”.  In multiple concurrent disaster situations, task completion time and task completion success rates are critically important to save people’s lives (Demir et.al, 2017). Any system built to respond to mass casualty incidents (MCI) sites should be able to have easy-to-use interface which can effectively analyze and present information and foster critical decisions to reduce casualties (Demir et.al, 2017). Usability research is therefore indispensable to improve the system and to make the best solution available in terms of technology and user-friendly interface design.

The IE Lab was hired to conduct the usability research for Panacea’s Cloud. The usability research was conducted between March 1 – May 5, 2016 in order to evaluate the initial proof-of-concept product of Panacea’s Cloud.  This system has been iteratively developed and refined based on user experience research driven methodology that employed a mixed methods approach, including the views of clinical experts. Specifically, the IE lab initially conducted the design review to test and revise the system; then, task-based eye-tracking studies; and post-task surveys and interviews were conducted to derive further design recommendations.

Main design recommendations for the system include incorporating Situational Awareness features, a Synchronous Map View system, a Hands-Free Communication service with AR and smart glasses, Digital Notes, and resilient Wi-Fi networks (Demir et.al, 2017).

For further information about  Panacea’s Cloud system and its use as a disaster solution, please read more at:

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7444772/

https://panaceascloud.wordpress.com

http://www.uxpajournal.org/augmented-reality-casualty-incidents/

References:

Demir, F., Ahmad, S., Calyam, P., Jiang, D., Huang, R., & Jahnke, I. (2017). A Next-Generation Augmented Reality Platform for Mass Casualty Incidents (MCI). Journal of Usability Studies, 12(4).

Division of IT

The Division of IT at the University of Missouri recently updated their website to include more options on their homepage as well as dropdown menus for improved information architecture. The IE Lab conducted a think-aloud usability study in order to evaluate the new website and learn the perspectives of current University of Missouri students, faculty members and staff. The goal of the study was to evaluate the Division of IT website by looking at how users located commonly sought information such as email accounts and the password manager. During the study, users frequently commented on the usability of the website, which gave the researchers an insight into the overall perceived functionality, navigation and aesthetics. A findings report was delivered to the Division of IT and the site went live in the summer of 2014.

Cerner Health Wins

The IE Lab was hired by Cerner to help them develop Cerner Heath Wins. Health Wins is a Web based application designed to coordinate and motivate weight loss competitions at the individual or organizational level. The lab provided expert reviews of the site, opening and closing surveys for their pilot launch, and participant driven usability tests of their application. We were able to identify functionality, navigation, and information architecture issues that helped them improve the project.

University of Missouri Libraries

According to their about section: “The MU Libraries serve a student body of 34,748 plus a faculty of 2,121, and have a collection of 3.1 million print volumes, 53,400 journal titles (in print or online), and over 7.5 million microforms. With an annual budget of $16.8 million, the Libraries support the instruction, research, service, and economic development missions of the University of Missouri. By acquiring scholarly resources, developing innovative services, and applying new information technologies, the MU Libraries fulfill their primary purpose: to serve our users.” (http://library.missouri.edu/about/) It is in this final aspect of the MU libraries mission “to serve our users” that the IE Lab helped the MU libraries in making a more user-centric homepage.

The IE Lab assisted in four phases of the MU library website redesign process that implemented various aspects of user centered design principles. These phases included: a card sort, verifying information architecture, prototype testing, and a summative evaluation of the redesign. These phases were conducted in an iterative manner with each subsequent phase building upon the findings of the previous phase. After each phase, members of IE Lab met to discuss the findings and to provide recommendations for the Library Website Redesign Committee.

Key Changes:

  • Simplified the appearance by adding more white space and reducing the amount of content on the homepage
  • Went from 7 navigation menus to 5
  • Re-worded the navigation menus based on user feedback to make the navigation menus more in line with how users
  • Added a Quick Links section
  • Added 4 interactive icons

The opportunity to work with MU Libraries allowed the IE Lab to implement innovative usability techniques and help create a redesign that will better serve the MU community.

Newsy.com

Newsy.com is an innovative online news service that connects users with ‘Multiple sources to help provide the real story.’  Newsy.com was established as a start-up company with strong ties to the Missouri School of Journalism at MU. The IE Lab worked with Jim Spencer, President of Newsy.com, and his staff to determine what usability studies should be conducted before Newsy.com went public.
A rapid user-centered iterative approach was used in the study.  A two-part study with potential users conducting tasks and providing verbal feedback was recorded  and analyzed.  In one week period, the study was designed, data was collected & analyzed, and a findings report was delivered to Newsy.com with actionable feedback.  Newsy.com took the feedback, made immediate changes to the website, and a second study was conducted in similar fashion soon thereafter.