Despite the many diabetes applications available, the rate of use is low, which may be associated with design issues. This study examined app usability compliance with heuristic design principles, guided by the Self-determination Theory on motivation. Four top-rated commercially available apps (Glucose Buddy, MyNetDiary, mySugr, and OnTrack) were tested for data recording, blood glucose analysis, and data sharing important for diabetes competence, autonomy, and connection with a healthcare provider. Four clinicians rated each app's compliance with Nielsen's 10 principles and its usability using the System Usability Scale. All four apps lacked one task function related to diabetes care competence or autonomy. Experts ranked app usability rated with the System Usability Scale: OnTrack (61) and Glucose Buddy (60) as a “D” and MyNetDairy (41) and mySugr (15) as an “F.” A total of 314 heuristic violations were identified. The heuristic principle violated most frequently was “Help and Documentation” (n = 50), followed by “Error Prevention” (n = 45) and “Aesthetic and Minimalist Design” (n = 43). Four top-rated diabetes apps have “marginally acceptable” to “completely unacceptable.” Future diabetes app design should target patient motivation and incorporate key heuristic design principles by providing tutorials with a help function, eliminating error-prone operations, and providing enhanced graphical or screen views.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing. The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Corresponding author: Helen N. C. Fu, PhD, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis MN 55455 (email@example.com). Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
- Diabetes app
- Heuristic evaluation
- Self-determination Theory
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article