CHI+MED researchers from Swansea (Patrick Oladimeji, Abigail Cauchi), UCL (Sarah Wiseman) and Queen Mary University of London (Rimvydas Ruksenas) have created an online game to give a clear demonstration of how design affects usability.
The game invites you to assume the role of a nurse. You’re in a busy ward with several patients and they all need you to set up their drug pumps for them.
Each patient needs a different dose (a different volume of drug to be infused and a different rate at which it’s delivered) and your job is to enter the right numbers to get the pump delivering the medicine they need. Different types of number entry interface are used in the game, such as numeric keypads and up/down arrow displays and the aim of the game is to show how different interfaces can make it harder or easier to complete the task successfully.
The catch is that there’s a timer counting down and if you don’t set the infusion volume and rate within the time available then sadly it’s…
Speed is important in this game but avoiding errors is essential – if some designs seem more likely to help the user avoid or recover from errors before the infusion starts then this could have a big impact on patient safety. These ideas are developed further in the papers listed below.
Play the game http://cs.swan.ac.uk/~cspo/demos/games/stp/
• Cauchi A, Curzon P, Eslambolchilar P, Gimblett A, Huang H, Lee P, Li Yunqiu, Masci P, Oladimeji P, Ruksenas R and Thimbleby H (2011) Towards dependable number entry for medical devices (PDF, 651 KB)
• Cauchi A, Gimblett A, Thimbleby H, Curzon P and Masci P (2012) Safer “5-key” number entry user interfaces using differential formal analysis (PDF, 1.4 MB)
• Oladimeji P, Thimbleby H and Cox A (2011) Number entry interfaces and their effects on error detection (PDF, 356 KB)
See all posts on this blog tagged with number entry.