Low-Cost Rapid Usability Testing: Is it Worth the Effort? Tristin Baylis, MSc Senior Technical Consultant
Overview • Background • What is Usability Testing • Cost-benefit Analysis • Results • Questions
Faculty/Presenter Disclosure • Presenter: Tristin Baylis • Relationships with commercial interests: • Tristin Baylis is a Senior Technical Consultant with CGI • This Study was conducted with the support of Andre Kushniruk – University of Victoria • Permission was granted by the BC Ministry of Health
Usability Testing Usability testing is a branch of usability engineering that focuses on analyzing and improving user interactions with computer systems.
Low-cost Rapid Usability Testing “Low-Cost Rapid Usability Testing” is a form of usability testing that removes the need for the expensive test lab A portable laboratory is created that may involve as little equipment as a laptop, a video camera and screen recording software taken into a real-world setting where testing is conducted. Low-Cost Rapid Usability Testing also implements a simplified approach to analysis of video data obtained from testing sessions.
Low-cost Rapid Usability Testing Low-cost rapid usability testing requires a small amount of physical materials. The basic testing setup requires a Laptop to run the software and equipment to record the users actions.The costs of all materials were tracked.
Cost-Benefit Analysis 1. Conducting Low Cost Rapid Usability Testing 2. Analysis of Costs 3. Cost-Benefit Analysis
BC Ministry of Health CDM Toolkit Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Toolkit: A secure web application that was developed as an information management and technology decision support tool to be used to support chronic disease management.
Conducting Low Cost Rapid Usability Testing Low-cost Rapid Usability Test Procedure: • Pre-Test Setup: Test equipment was setup, questionnaires prepared and testing data set to a consistent start point. • Overview: Before starting testing subjects were given an overview of testing process and asked to sign a consent form. • Performs Test Scenarios: 8 subjects were asked to complete 2 predefined test scenarios using the CDM Toolkit (Computer screens , audio and external interactions were recorded). • Post –Task Interview: When the subjects were done testing they were then asked several open ended questions while still being recorded. • Questionnaire: The subjects were then asked to complete a questionnaire about there overall impression of the system and the issues they encountered. • Analysis: The data collected (video recordings, screen capture and questionnaires) was then analyzed to determine application errors that were encountered and the associated severity of each error.
Cost-benefit Analysis The cost-benefit analysis was completed by comparing the cost of performing Low-Cost Rapid Usability Testing using 3 different scenarios: • Direct Measurable Savings • Cost of Errors related to when resolved in the SDLC • Cost of Medical Error
Analysis of Costs The first step of completing the cost-benefit analysis was to determine the total cost of the Usability testing which came to $8,362.91
Cost-benefit analysis As indicated in the table below a cost savings was found in all 3 cost-benefit cases
Discussion: Cost-Benefit Analysis In all cases a positive cost-benefit was found with savings attributed to the implementation low-cost rapid usability testing. The average cost savings was $15,774.45, which meant a total percent savings of 59.9% compared to the impact of errors going undetected and potentially causing a technology-induced error. It should be noted that the most conservative case was used in all cost-benefit analysis. If the extreme case was considered (i.e. Each Medical Error costing $600,000 ) a total cost savings of $1,791,637.09 could possibly be achieved.
Conclusion Early detection of errors (i.e. prior to production release) will allow organizations to achieve a 36.5% to 78.5% cost saving compared to the impact of errors going undetected and causing a medical error. Overall, Low-Cost Rapid Usability Testing was found to be a cost effective testing technique that can be implemented in conjunction with other testing techniques (e.g. unit testing, black box testing, white box testing, clinical simulations) in a cost effective manner to develop health information systems which will have a lower incidence of technology-induced errors.
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