Can digital health literacy enable diversification of usability evaluation feedback to optimise universal health interface use – A remotely moderated multi-method feasibility study.


  • Amanda Adams Flinders University
  • Priyanka Vandersman Flinders University
  • Jennifer Tieman Flinders University


Background: Providing equitable use of health interfaces is required by all Australians as we transition towards a digital future. Developers undertake usability evaluation to assess designs with representative users although reflecting difficulties diversifying participant samples. An exploration of Digital Health Literacy (DHL) as a mechanism to optimise universal health interface design was undertaken.

Aims: Objectives were 1) To investigate usability feedback by exploring high and low DHL groups suitability when participating in different evaluation methods. 2) To assess if DHL offers developers a strategy to diversify feedback from usability samples to optimise digital health interface design.

Methods: N=28 respondents completed the DHL instrument. Three participants with High-DHL and three with Low-DHL levels were recruited to undertake remotely moderated, multi-method usability protocol. Analysed data explored differences within, and between DHL groups.

Results: Findings suggest stratifying potential participants by DHL can diversify types of usability feedback generated. Overall, participants with High-DHL outperform those with lower DHL when completing tasks. Low-DHL participants experienced: setbacks when initiating tasks, increased interactive complexities, and high cognitive loads increasing likelihood of task failures or abandonments.

Conclusions: Stratifying participants by DHLI was found to be a successful mechanism to diversify usability evaluation feedback generated. Further, this strategy has the potential not only improve the user experience for users who are socially or digitally excluded but also for wider audiences experiencing barriers using of health interfaces