AMA: 10 ways to enhance usability of mobile health apps

Consumers want mobile health applications that are both safe and secure as well as easy to interact with, according to the American Medical Association.

To achieve adequate usability, mobile apps must incorporate the five following usability principles: learnability, efficiency, memorability, prevention of errors and user satisfaction, according to guidelines developed by Xcertia. The independent nonprofit was founded by AMA and other health and technology organizations.

Here are 10 items to consider when designing a mobile health app to improve usability, according to Xcertia guidelines:

1. Visual design should promote content clarity and user engagement without distractions.

2. Text should be readable and not alter the screen layout in a confusing way for users.

3. Users should be able to navigate between screens quickly and easily.

4. Onboarding first-time users should be an intuitive process.

5. App should give users feedback on their actions.

6. Notifications, alerts and alarms must consider safety and usability when informing users.

7. Apps must include resources and troubleshooting features to helps guide users.

8. Historical data should be easy for users to access and understand.

9. Apps should be accessible for a wide range of users, including those with visual, auditory or cognitive impairment.

10. Apps should undergo ongoing evaluations.

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