This entry is part 41 of 43 in the series Words

The Federal government has warped the fabric of healthcare. By giving away money. They’ve done this both to doctors’ offices and hospitals, for “meaningful use” of healthcare information technology. You get the money only if you use software that the Feds certified to meet their criteria. This is supposed to get us to rapidly have […]


Fitts’s Law

This entry is part 35 of 43 in the series Words

Fitts’s Law has been known since Paul Fitts first proposed it in 1954. Wikipedia has a detailed exposition of Fitts’s Law. In essence, it says that “the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target.” “Targets that are smaller […]


Information Design 2

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Tracking Systems

God is in the details –Mies van der Rohe The primary function of an ED tracking system – at least if you look at it from the right direction – is to display relevant, timely data to the user. A tracking system may do other things, but this function of data display is arguably its […]


Mental Models, Input Modes and Cognitive Friction

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

If the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the Industrial Designer has failed. –Henry Dreyfuss, Designing for People, 1955 Mental Models In the first edition of About Face, one of the first design/usability texts (and a great read, much more personal, personable and readable than subsequent, […]


Discount Usability Testing

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series Medical Computing

In the first of this series, I tried to persuade you that your computer was human-illiterate, and we defined and discussed usability, memorability, and learnability. In the second, we discussed Tognazzini’s Paradox: how the hardest part of designing an effective program is often what seems the most trivial—sometimes simply a matter of changing a single […]