Design-principles and guidelines for usability

1 - 2 students

Contact Magnus Li if you have any questions.

Project description

ICTs are getting widespread in the global south, and digital interfaces for entry and management of health-related data is increasingly introduced to new groups of users. Many whom have limited experience with desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. These health workers are mainly concerned with patient-related tasks, and data reporting is often seen as a burden. Further, resources for training are limited. In this setting, the design of user-friendly and intuitive interfaces is more relevant than ever. This master project aims at finding design-principles or guidelines on how such interfaces best can be designed to support the users, their mental models, established work practices, and contextual conditions.

There exists a myriad of design principles for computer-based user interfaces. These are, however, often generic (in that they cover interfaces serving a variety of specific purposes and areas of use) or defined based on western assumptions about users, use, and usability. There is, therefore, a need for extended knowledge of how interfaces for more specific tasks and user groups should be designed to provide good usability, and what usability means to these users in their context.

The students will work with real-life implementation cases of the health information software DHIS2, cooperating with end-users and developers to improve the usability of interfaces for data entry or data use. The project may include one or several field-trips to relevant countries in the global south. The practical output will be prototypes in the form of sketches, wireframes or working applications, and theoretically through design-principles or guidelines for design in similar contexts, domains or use-cases.

Examples of relevant interfaces to work with:

  • Aggregate data reporting
  • Facility report dashboards
  • Patient follow-up registration and management

The project provides an excellent opportunity to practice design and user participation in a real-life context, actively participating in improvements that can have a global impact, affecting the lives of health workers and patients in several countries. 


About the overall project

user: interfaces, experiences, and participation @ HISP

This master project is a part of a larger project of several researchers and master students studying aspects of end-user interfaces, experiences, and participation in the design of health information software in the global south within the Health Information Systems Program (HISP).

The available master theses of the project mainly focus on four topics:

  • Design principles and guidelines for improved usability
  • Methods and frameworks for end-user participation in the design of user interfaces
  • Development and design of tools to support local customization of user interfaces

Throughout the master projects, all students will meet for joint-supervision on a regular basis to exchange findings and ideas, and to discuss relevant literature and contributions. Students can work in teams with the same practical contribution while focusing their theoretical contribution towards distinct aspects such as usability, design-principles, and guidelines, or methods and techniques for user involvement. The thesis can also be written in pairs of two students.

The project aims at contributing to improved usability associated with implementations of the DHIS2 ( software, and to research on health information systems, ICT for development, and user participation in information systems design. By being a part of the global HISP network, the practical and theoretical contributions provide the potential of real impact on the lives of health workers and patient in several countries.

Recommended courses:

  • IN5320 – Development in Platform Ecosystems
  • IN5510 – Participatory experimental design
  • IN5210 – Information Systems
  • IN5000 – Qualitative Research Methods (mandatory)
  • INF5761 – Health Management Information Systems
  • INF5850 – ICT for Development: Building a Better World?
Emneord: DHIS2, HISP, usability, design, end-users, user participation
Publisert 28. mai 2018 11:38 - Sist endret 28. mai 2018 11:38


Omfang (studiepoeng)