Researchers promote usability for everyone, everywhere
(Press-News.org) According to Michael Twidale, professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, bad usability can be an irritation for everyone but "especially awful" for the underprivileged. In "Everyone Everywhere: A Distributed and Embedded Paradigm for Usability," which was recently published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Twidale and coauthors David M. Nichols (University of Waikato, New Zealand) and Christopher P. Lueg (Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland) present a new paradigm to address the persistence of difficulties that people have in accessing and using information.
Twidale points to the COVID vaccination rollout as one recent example of bad usability. In many places, people have to book their vaccine appointments online, which can be difficult for the especially vulnerable elderly population.
"When hard to use software means a vulnerable elderly person cannot book a vaccination, that's a social justice issue," he said. "If you can't get things to work, it can further exclude you from the benefits that technology is bringing to everyone else. Making a computer system easier to use is a tiny fraction of the cost of making the computer system work at all. So why aren't things fixed? Because people put up with bad interfaces and blame themselves. We want to say, 'No, it's not your fault! It is bad design.'"
Twidale and his coauthors propose expanding awareness of usability and distributing the topic across disciplines, beyond the "tiny elite" of usability professions. In turn, this increased emphasis on usability could lead to improvements in other disciplines such as politics (e.g., better ballot design) and medicine (e.g., user-friendly medical devices).
"A wider usability movement would remind members of any profession that regardless of their domain and efforts in making the world a better place, bad usability makes everything worse. In contrast, reducing bad usability is often a relatively low-cost way of contributing to improvements within these professions."
Twidale holds a PhD in computing from Lancaster University. He is an expert in computer-supported cooperative work, collaborative technologies in digital libraries and museums, user interface design and evaluation, information visualization, and museum informatics. He holds joint appointments at Illinois in the Department of Computer Science, Information Trust Institute, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
(New York, NY) - May 3, 2021 - In advance of a wildfire season projected to be among the worst, the American Thoracic Society has released a report that calls for a unified federal response to wildfires that includes investment in research on smoke exposure and forecasting, health impacts of smoke, evaluation of interventions, and a clear and coordinated communication strategy to protect public health.
The report, Respiratory Impacts of Wildland Fire Smoke: Future Challenges and Policy Opportunities, was published online ahead of print in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society on May 3, 2021.
The report comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing an increasing frequency of very large destructive wildfires, due to years ...
Over 400 common disinfectants currently in use could be made safer for people and the environment and could better fight the COVID-19 virus with the simple application of UVC light, a new study from the University of Waterloo shows.
Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) is the most common active ingredient in many disinfectants regularly used in hospitals, households, and food processing plants to protect against a wide range of viruses and bacteria - including all strains of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 - but its toxicity means that it can't be used in high concentrations. It also means that products containing BAK are harmful to humans ...
LUGANO, Switzerland, 3 May 2021 - As breast cancer becomes a largely curable disease, with more than 70% of women surviving at least 10 years after diagnosis across most of Europe thanks to early detection and treatment, (1) the quality of life after cancer has become an important aspect of the patient journey - one that may be inadequately addressed with current standards of follow-up. A study presented at the ESMO Breast Cancer 2021 Virtual Congress (2) has shown that breast cancer survivors differ widely in the burden of symptoms they experience after the end of treatment and thereby revealed an unmet need for tailored approaches to follow-up care. (3)
Lead author Kelly de Ligt ...
TORONTO - Scientists at the Krembil Brain Institute, part of University Health Network (UHN), in collaboration with colleagues at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), have used precious and rare access to live human cortical tissue to identify functionally important features that make human neurons unique.
This experimental work is among the first of its kind on live human neurons and one of the largest studies of the diversity of human cortical pyramidal cells to date.
"The goal of this study was to understand what makes human brain cells 'human,' and how human neuron circuitry functions as it does," says Dr. Taufik Valiante, neurosurgeon, scientist at the Krembil Brain Institute at UHN and co-senior author on the paper.
"In our study, we wanted ...
Customised medicines could one day be manufactured to patients' individual needs, with University of East Anglia (UEA) researchers investigating technology to 3D 'print' pills.
The team, including Dr Andy Gleadall and Prof Richard Bibb at Loughborough University, identified a new additive manufacturing method to allow the 3D printing of medicine in highly porous structures, which can be used to regulate the rate of drug release from the medicine to the body when taken orally.
Dr Sheng Qi, a Reader in Pharmaceutics at UEA's School of Pharmacy, led the research. The project findings, 'Effects of porosity on drug release kinetics of swellable and erodible porous pharmaceutical solid dosage forms ...
A research team from the Institut de Neurociències at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) has showed that inhibition through a drug of the Tac2 neuronal circuit, involved in the formation of the memory of fear, has opposite effects on the ability to remember aversive events in mice according to sex: it is reduced in male mice and increased in female mice.
Is the first time that a drug has been shown to produce this opposite effect on the memory of male and female mice. The study also evidences that opposing molecular mechanisms and behaviours can occur ...
Diatoms are tiny unicellular plants -- no bigger than half a millimeter -- which inhabit the surface water of the world's oceans where sunlight penetration is plenty. Despite their modest size, they are one of the world's most powerful resources for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. They currently remove, or "fix," 10-20 billion metric tons of CO2 every year by the process of photosynthesis. But not much is known about which biological mechanisms diatoms use, and whether these processes might become less effective with rising ocean acidity, temperatures, and, in particular, CO2 concentrations. A new study in Frontiers in Plant Science shows that diatoms predominantly ...
New research shows that planned cesarean deliveries on maternal request are safe for low-risk pregnancies and may be associated with a lower risk of adverse delivery outcomes than planned vaginal deliveries. The study is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
The study used province-wide data from the Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN), Ontario's provincial birth registry. The authors analyzed data on 422,210 low-risk pregnancies over 6 years (2012 to 2018). There were 46,533 cesarean deliveries, of which 1827 (3.9%) were planned at the request of the mother; this proportion was unchanged during the years of study. Mothers who requested cesarean delivery ...
The legacy of systemic racism in the U.S impacts psychosis risk at the individual and neighborhood level, according to a definitive review published online today. Researchers examined U.S. based evidence connecting social and environmental factors with outcomes relating to psychotic experiences, including schizophrenia.
The review examined potential risk factors and influence of structural racism within three key areas. These included disparities in neighborhoods; trauma and stress experienced at both collective and individual levels; and complications experienced around pregnancy.
Disparities in U.S. neighborhoods perpetuate disadvantage for racially minoritized ...
Candidates often give in to temptation to attack opponents in electoral campaigns through negative ads (more than 55% of the ads aired by the Clinton and Trump campaigns in 2016 were negative), even if evidence of this tactic effectiveness is, at least, mixed. A study by Bocconi University professors Vincenzo Galasso, Tommaso Nannicini and Salvatore Nunnari, just published in the American Journal of Political Science, reveals the backlash of electoral smearing and shows that, in a three-candidate race, it's the "idle candidate" (the one neither attacking nor being attacked) to have the upper hand.
During a three-candidate mayoral race in a mid-sized Italian town in 2015, the authors ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
[Press-News.org] Researchers promote usability for everyone, everywhere