Usability Testing


Team Members:

Krista Weber
Renuka Anil Aundhekar
Sarah Davis
Amanda Kendal-Brown
Abhinit Nitin Parelkar


My Contributions:

Heuristic Evaluation







Usability Testing

High-Fidelity Prototype


research iconRESEARCH


Medtep is a healthcare app that allows users to take care of their health. The app has several plans to aid in treating
different conditions. For the purpose of this evaluation, we focused on the plan to help users manage their asthma.
Due to some issues with the app crashing, this evaluation involves both the app, and the Medtep website when it was
necessary to complete a task. Some functions that caused the app to crash could only be completed on the website.


The users of this app and the asthma plan would be patients trying to control their asthma. There is no specific
demographic, other than for users to use the app they would need an iOS or Android smartphone. Ideally, the patient
would be using the app in conjunction with a physician who also uses the Medtep app. While using the app with a
doctor is ideal, it’s not required. The app should work for all the users with varied levels of medical knowledge. Since the
app includes private medical information, the user should be able to restrict access to their information and have total
control over what they choose to share, even with their physician. Asthma is a chronic condition, and most patients have
a goal to control versus a cure, which means the app is something that most patients would use over a long period of


Initially the heuristic evaluation was limited to the app’s usability on iPhones and Android devices, but it’s important to
note that the app itself crashes when a user attempts to register, which means the app is non-functional without the
website because the activities of registering, adding a plan, and adding medication only work on the website.
The Medtep app was evaluated using the a set of ten heuristic guidelines that are based on Jakob Nielsen’s work (see
Table 1). The problems were then rated on a scale of 0-4 (see Table 2). There were a number of heuristics that were
identified, and in many cases the app’s user interface violated more than one heuristic. The report is presented in
chronological order to avoid redundancy.

The heuristic evaluation and cognitive walkthough report is over 50 pages long. I’m not going to post the entire thing here, but I will provide a short sample for the heuristic evaluation and cognitive walkthough and a link to the PDF of full report should you want to view it.

Login Screen


iOS: Register here button causes app to crash, meaning that the user can’t
actually get into the app without going to the website.
Android: App takes users to an external site via chrome in order to
continue registration.
– Violates 9: Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
– Violates 5: Error prevention
– Severity Rating: 4
Register here link is very small and on a background image, outside of
the highlighted area. New users may miss it and not understand how to
– Violates 5: Error prevention
– Severity Rating: 2


1. Fix the app to allow users to be able to register without crashing.
2. Put the Register here button under the Login button with a similar




There are three indicator bars under the password field. These bars
are initially grey, but as the user gets closer to meeting the password
requirements, the color changes on the bars to red, yellow, and green. Once
the green bar is present, the register button unlocks. This acts as a good
visual indicator of progress for the user and will work well when it’s integrated
with the other suggestions below.



In order to register for an account, (since it crashes the app) a user must
go to the website to set it up. When setting a password, the user can use
the bars to gauge how close they are to creating an acceptable password.
Unfortunately, there is no information regarding what those requirements
are, and the requirements are beyond a typical requirement for a password.
For example, a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, two numbers,
a special character, and a total of nine characters wasn’t good enough to
move the bar from red to yellow. This resulted in several attempts to find an
acceptable password. The password ended up being so complicated that it
was hard to remember, which led to an incorrect password being entered,
and a warning about being locked out of the account.
– Violates 9: Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
– Violates 5: Error prevention
– Severity Rating: 3



1. Set reasonable requirements for a password. Tell the user what the
requirements are so that they don’t have to keep guessing.
2. Consider not requiring a password that is so complicated the user will
have a hard time remembering it OR
3. Allow thumbprint recognition as a login method so the user doesn’t have
to remember the complicated password.

Cognitive Walkthrough Overview

The Cognitive walkthrough was conducted in order to understand the user’s perspective, to understand how easy
or difficult users find the app to use, and their context of use. The evaluators determine tasks and evaluate system
performance from the user’s point of view. The Medtep app was evaluated to get answers for four basic questions
to determine usability of the app. The tasks defined to evaluate system are:
1. Registration & Profile set up (Web App)
2. Addition of a plan to user profile (Web App & iOS)
3. Adding medication to the profile (Web App)
4. Daily control set up (iOS & Android)
5. Uploading files to the system (iOS & Android)
Each answer discusses user’s learnability, context of use and app’s feedback for the task. The questions against
which the app evaluated are:
1. Will user try to produce the right effect the action has?
2. Will user see the button for the action?
3. Will the user recognize correct action with the effect to be achieved?
4. Will the user see the feedback after performing correct task?
There were a few usability problems which were identified with the application, which will be discussed in the
cognitive walkthroughs.

For the sake of space, I’m only going to post a short excerpt of the walkthrough, but you can download the entire report in PDF form.


1. Users click the My Plans button at the bottom of the screen.

2. Users click the button “INSTALL AND MANAGE PLANS”.

Will users try to produce the effect the action has?

Yes. The app only has three buttons, and the My Plans button is the only one that has anything to do with plans.

Yes. This button is the only possible action on this page until a plan is added.

Will users see the control for the action?

Yes. The button is located at the bottom of the phone screen, and it’s on every screen once the user logs in. Plus there are only three buttons so it’s not crowded.

Yes. The button is very clearly labelled and in an easily observed location.

Will users recognize the control produces the effect?

Yes. The My Plans button takes them to the main plan page in the app.


Will users understand the feedback?

Yes. The page doesn’t have a title, but the button is prominent on the page and it says INSTALL AND MANAGE PLANS.

No. Pressing the button causes the app to crash and there is no error message or explanation to the user as to what happened.

analyze icon INSIGHTS

List of Recommendations:

The app had a lot of areas that could use improvement, with varying degrees of severity. The summary list of
recommendations focuses on fixing the three biggest problems with the highest severity level, because many of those issues
keep the app from functioning at an acceptable level.
In iOS the app crashes at two points, when the user tries to register, and when the user tries to add any plan to their app.
These two issues essentially render the app unusable as very few users would be determined enough to find the app’s
website and register there, or download a plan from the website. Without being able to register, the user can’t use the app at
all. Without a plan, the app doesn’t serve a purpose because it’s functionality is all in the plan. Fixing the crashing to allow the
user to do these two things within the app is imperative for it’s success.
In addition to the registration and login sections requiring the user to go to the website, the medication section also can only
be accessed from the website. This isn’t explained to the user, which essentially renders the medication section unusable.
Fixing the app to allow the user to manage their medications without leaving the app is important, because without that the
user is not likely to find the app helpful.
Currently there is no help at all within the app. In fact, the only place to find help documentation is a tiny link found after a
user downloads a plan on the website. The link downloads a PDF designed for a computer screen, not a tiny phone screen.
It’s hard to read on a phone. In addition to the difficulties a user will have finding the help, when they need assistance they
must leave the app, open the PDF, then remember what they read when they go back to the app. Instead, the help should be
accessible from every screen.