Fidelity considerations for simulation-based usability assessments of mobile ICT for hospitals

Yngve Dahl, Ole A Alsos, Dag Svanæs

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Controlled laboratory-based usability assessments of mobile information and communications technologies (ICT) for hospitals have been conducted. As part of these assessments, clinicians have acted out mobile work scenarios and used the systems to solve related tasks. The evaluations show that relevant usability issues go beyond those of graphical user interfaces. Many of these usability issues only show up when the real-world context of use is replicated in the laboratory to a high degree of fidelity. The complexity of the context of use for mobile ICT in hospitals has motivated us to explore training simulation fidelity theories. Based on a review of the training simulation literature, a set of fidelity dimensions through which training simulations are often adjusted to meet specific goals are identified. It is argued that the same mechanisms can be used in usability assessments of mobile ICT for hospitals. Our argument is substantiated by using the identified set of fidelity dimensions in a retrospective analysis of two usability assessments. The analysis explains how the configuration of fidelity dimensions, each reflecting various degrees of realism vis-à-vis the actual performance context, contributed to the identification of relevant usability issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)445-476
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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