Informing the Canadian Public about Health Topics Using Dashboards: Examining the Usability and Identifying Opportunities to Improve Dashboards for Communicating Health Information

Date

2023-03-19

Authors

Ma, Liyao

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Abstract

Dashboards and information visualizations are widely used to inform and aid decision-making across many fields, including healthcare. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous health organizations developed new dashboards to observe, illustrate and communicate data about the virus to the public, resulting in their widespread adoption. As the number of health dashboards continues to grow, usability factors, such as system visibility, efficiency, and consistency, become increasingly important to ensure that users can easily navigate them and extract valuable insights. This research project initially assessed the usability of three tuberculosis (TB) dashboards using established heuristics specific to information visualization. The heuristic evaluation revealed that, while these dashboards displayed appropriate information coding, two out of the three lacked efficiency in content navigation and contained extraneous material. These findings were then used to inform the development of a new prototype dashboard using publicly available datasets for TB. The prototype leveraged the strengths of the existing dashboards and incorporated design elements such as embedded filtering and a consistent colour scheme. These improvements reduced usability concerns and delivered a superior dashboard to facilitate communication and aid decision-making about TB.

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Keywords

Usability, Dashboards, Information visualization, Public health informatics

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