A case study on better iconographic design in electronic medical records user interface
This is a review for Umut Burcu Tasa, Oguzhan Ozcan, Asim Evren Yantac and Ayca Unluer's A Case Study on Better Iconographic Design in Electronic Medical Records' User Interface. 
The understanding of how a user interface should look and function has always differed between users and user interface designers and is apparent in medical informatics.
The authors suggest that in a healthcare setting, an iconographoc interface should improve usability. The objective is to study methods for improving usability of an electronic health record user interface.
Sixty-four providers at the Istanbul Acibadem Hospital and 30 interface developers were given a questionnaire of patient-record terms and asked to make visual associations to these terms. These proposed visualizations are analyzed and developed into icons for the interface. Users were then given a second questionnaire to match these developed icons with the list of terms.
75.3% of the icons were correctly matched to the terms in the second questionnaire. There were three icons that brought down the average of correct matches. Of those three, two (Check-in and Habits) the designers were not guided on but designed themselves.
The results of this study suggests that user interface specifics can be effectively designed by using this method of conducting "user experiments" rather than the original "user requirements" gathering that has been in use for so long. This case study is a good example to show that User centered design is effective and accurate.
In this article, the authors put to test a revolutionary idea. Taking in drawings from the actual users to create guidelines for a user interface creates a situation where providers can easily navigate through a system without much formal training or even textual keys. They did a wonderful job explaining each step of the case study along with pictures of actual submissions so readers have a clear understanding of the information being analyzed. The authors mostly explained the results thoroughly, however it was never explicitly stated that the ‘Check-in’ and ‘Habits’ icons were the only icons the designers were not given a guideline on. This leaves the reader wondering if, in fact, there was an icon that was matched correctly consistently that did not follow the experimental new method.
- Umut Burcu Tasa, Oguzhan Ozcan, Asim Evren Yantac and Ayca Unluer's A Case Study on Better Iconographic Design in Electronic Medical Records' User Interface. Inform Health Soc Care. 2008 Jun ; 33(2):125-38. doi: 10.1080/17538150802127298. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18604756