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This qualitative usability evaluation study has compared interaction techniques of a paper based medical chart and three versions of a PDA based system, based on interaction with stylus, finger or hardware buttons. Users' preferences and opinions were collected from 56 simulated hospital ward rounds with 14 physicians. Despite a number of disadvantages compared to paper the users preferred PDA-based interaction techniques. Within the PDA-based interaction techniques the physicians' preferences showed large variations. Moreover, the techniques had different qualities in different situations. The study identifies 14 factors influencing the users' preference and shows how each interaction techniques accommodate each factor. This study can inform the design and choice of interaction techniques on new handheld point-of-care systems.
Date of Conference: 22-25 March 2010