User Experiences of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal’s Evidence Summaries and Blog Posts: Usability Study Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Evidence summaries and blogs can support evidence-informed healthy aging, by presenting high-quality health research evidence in plain language for a nonprofessional (citizen) audience. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to explore citizens' perceptions about the usability of evidence summaries and blog posts on the Web-based McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. METHODS: Twenty-two citizens (aged 50 years and older) and informal caregivers participated in a qualitative study using a think-aloud method and semistructured interviews. Eleven interviews were conducted in person, 7 over the telephone, and 4 by Skype. RESULTS: We identified themes that fell under 4 user-experience categories: (1) desirability: personal relevance, (2) understandability: language comprehension, grasping the message, dealing with uncertainty, (3) usability: volume of information, use of numbers, and (4) usefulness: intention to use, facility for sharing. CONCLUSIONS: Participants recognized that high-quality evidence on aging was valuable. Their intended use of the information was influenced by how much it applied to their own health circumstances or those of a loved one. Some specific formatting features that were preferred included consistent layout, content organized by subheadings, catchy titles, numerical information summarized in a table, and inclusion of a glossary.

publication date

  • August 19, 2016