Developing a Usability Guidance Framework for Design and Evaluation of mHealth Apps for Aging Populations

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Mobile health (mHealth) applications are widely adopted by clinicians, medical students, allied health workers, and end users for the fast dissemination of health news and health management. Mobile health applications are believed to enhance medical care, improve public health, and lower the burden on healthcare systems. This research aims to develop a comprehensive usability framework for mobile health (mHealth) applications to cater to the ageing population. Existing usability guidelines for mHealth applications do not address age-related cognitive limitations, motivational issues, and limitations, which can result in poor adoption of the technology. The research used a mixed method approach and was divided into three phases. In phase one, usability barriers were explored to identify critical success factors in the adoption of mHealth applications by older people. In phase two, critical usability parameters or metrics were identified that inform the usability framework for designing and evaluating mHealth applications. In phase three, a comprehensive usability framework was established based on identifying key usability aspects in studies one and two. The usability framework designed for mHealth applications in phase three consisted of four layers, and it was tested and validated by analysing user personas and scenarios. The research contributed to establishing a comprehensive usability framework that will aid designers, programmers, and stakeholders in developing mHealth applications by assisting them in understanding usability barriers for this demographic.
Date of Award10 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorAlice Good (Supervisor), Bola Omisade (Supervisor) & Philip James Scott (Supervisor)

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