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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
This entry is part 9 of 43 in the series Words

  When designing a computer screen, we have to keep in mind one of the defining elements of the computer monitor: its ability to display many colors. Having desktop publishing software does not mean we know how to design a magazine, and just because we have color monitors does not automatically mean that we know […]


The Magic Number 7 (or maybe 4?), Forced Errors, Triage, and Color-Blindness

Friday, March 12th, 2010
This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Tracking Systems

In its most pedantic definition, an ED tracking system is a system for tracking things in the ED. Tracking things that, well, things that we need to keep track of. People. Orders. Labs. Consults. Messages from docs. Many different bits of information that are needed to keep the ED running smoothly. One of the reasons […]



Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
This entry is part 42 of 43 in the series Words

Sometimes usability is just typography. Or perhaps common sense. Look at the following demographic section at the top of a LabCorp lab report. (Yes, I like to name names. It’s OK: truth is an absolute defense against claims of slander.) Imagine you’re working in a very busy ED and the follow-up nurse hands you a […]



Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
This entry is part 45 of 43 in the series Words

Information Design is the art and science (or perhaps engineering) of presenting information so it can be easily interpreted without error. Sometimes it seems that the presentation of data in electronic medical record systems is the art and science of presenting information so that it is difficult to interpret and highly likely to cause error. […]



Thursday, September 11th, 2014
This entry is part 26 of 43 in the series Words

In Icons, Pedagogic Vectors, Forms Design and Posture we briefly discussed icon design. (Icons, in this context, meaning the sketch-pictures on buttons that you can click.) The bottom line was that it’s hard to learn and remember what icons stand for. In Performance, Data Pixels, Location, and Preattentive Attributes we discussed how icons should be […]