• 10x10 with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

    Healthcare Interface Design Distance Learning Course

10x10 with UTHealth

10x10 with University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth): Course Description

An important challenge in the development of computer-based health care environments is the design of effective user interfaces. User interface should be designed with consideration of the information requirements, cognitive capabilities, and limitations of the end users. The goal of the AMIA-UTHealth 10x10 program is to provide a detailed overview of user interface design for health information systems, medical devices, consumer health web sites, and other healthcare related systems.

Health care professionals will have the opportunity to learn the fundamental principles of human-computer interaction and human factors and learn how to apply them to real world problems. The focus is on learning why and how user-friendly interfaces can greatly improve work productivity and enhance the quality of health care without radically changing the underlying technology.

Course Logistics

The course is offered in two parts:

  1. An 11-unit Web-based component starting July 10, 2017. Each web-based unit is composed of narrated presentations, assigned readings, online discussions, quizzes and course projects, etc.
  2. An intensive half-day optional in-person session held in conjunction with the AMIA Annual Symposium in Washington, DC in November 2017.  The Symposium's dates are November 4 - 8, 2017.  The goal of the face-to-face session is to meet the instructor as well as other students in person, to go over course materials and other learning issues. Students will also have the opportunity to communicate their work to an audience of peers and faculty.

The registration deadline for the course is July 10, 2017. We will accept enrollees after that date on a space-available basis.

The course is taught in a completely asynchronous manner, i.e., there are no scheduled classes. Each unit contains the following elements:

  • Unit Overview – This section contains a brief introduction to the unit, learning objectives covered in the unit, reading assignments, and learning tasks students need to complete.
  • Narrated presentation(s) – The key materials are delivered via the Internet using streaming video. Students can listen to the narrated lecture and view the corresponding PowerPoint slides.
  • PowerPoint Slides (in PDF format) – PowerPoint slides are provided for the student to download
  • Weekly quiz – Each unit is accompanied by a 10-question self-assessment that aims to have the student apply the knowledge from the unit.
  • Weekly assignment - Each unit has an assignment that helps students apply the theories to practical EHR problems.

Students are responsible for reading all the materials and finishing the corresponding weekly quiz. There are two texts that will be required for the course, registrants are encouraged to purchase if possible.  These texts are:

  • Shneiderman & Plaisant. (2009) Designing the user interface: Strategies for effective human-computer interaction (5th Ed.) New York: Addison-Wesley
  • Jakob Nielsen. (1993) Usability Engineering. Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN-10: 0125184069

These texts will be used during the 10x10 course and they also are great resources for use after the course has been completed.  All other readings are made freely available from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

The online portion of this course runs from July through September 2017.

Curriculum and Dates

The following table outlines the Unit titles, learning objectives, and posted dates of the UTHealth 10x10 course:

Course Content Learning Objectives Demonstrations Date Posted
Unit 0: Introduction: Health Information Technology and Patient Safety
  • Define usability
  • Discuss the problem of usability in health information technology
  • Discuss the impact of usability on patient safety
  July 10
Unit 1: Interface Design: Theoretical background
  • Describe cognitive principles in human interaction with objects 
  • Describe human factors directing human-computer interaction
  • Describe system factors directing human-computer interaction
Theoretical aspects incorporated 
​in design 
of CPOE with CDSS
July 17
Unit 2: An Interface Design Project
  • List the steps in a design project
  • Describe user-centered design cycle
  • Plan a design project
Design and evaluation of a
CPOE system with CDSS
July 24
Unit 3: TURF - Theoretical Foundation
  • List the components of TURF
  • Describe the scientific foundation of TURF
  • Demonstrate how to implement TURF in design project
  • Demonstrate how to implement TURF in evaluation project
Designing EHR for Emergency Room July 31
Unit 4: User analysis and Contextual inquiry
  • Identify the role of User analysis in usability
  • Demonstrate how to conduct user analysis
  • Demonstrate how to conduct contextual inquiry
  • Transform results of user analysis and contextual inquiry into design.
  • Plan a user study for interface design
Contextual inquiry for CPOE system August 7
Unit 5: Functional analysis and Task analysis
  • Identify the role of Functional and Task analyses in usability
  • Demonstrate how to conduct functional analysis
  • List different methods for Task analysis
  • Demonstrate how to conduct task analysis
Task and functional analysis
of CPOE interface
August 14
Unit 6: Graphic Design Basics and Representational analysis
  • Identify the role of graphic design and representational analysis in usability
  • Transform a design using graphic design principles to improve usability
  • Demonstrate how to conduct representational analysis
Representational analysis
of Patient Dashboard
August 21
Unit 7: Usability Evaluation and User Experience
  • List methods for usability evaluation
  • Describe each method for usability evaluation
  • Demonstrate how to conduct usability evaluation
  • Identify methods to measure user experience
  • Plan a usability evaluation project
Heuristic Evaluation of 
e-prescribing interface
August 28
Unit 8: Interface design models and analytics
  • Describe models - cognitive models, state chart models in interface design
  • Analyze results of user experience survey
  • Analyze results of user testing and user path (behavior)
User testing of
e-prescribing interface
September 4
Unit 9: Design for devices
  • Identify opportunities for design in devices
  • Describe human and system factors influencing design for devices
  • Describe design challenges for a usable mobile health app
Design of mobile health app-
design cycle and evaluation cycle
September 11
Unit 10: Design for Medical Errors
  • Describe the effect of design on medical errors
  • Identify potential informatics interventions for medical errors.
Medical errors
in medical devices
September 18

Course Competencies

Upon successfully finishing the course, the student will attain the following core competencies in the field of health interface design:

  • Professional Perspective. Acquire professional perspective on human-centered design of health interfaces. Understand and analyze the history and values of the user interface design discipline and its relationship to healthcare fields while demonstrating an ability to read, interpret, and critique the core literature.
  • Theories, Principles, and Methods. Master the fundamental theories, principles and methods in health interface design.
  • Problem Identification. Use the methods to identify usability problems of existing products, communicate the findings to developers, designers, decision makers, and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Problem Solving. Use the methods to understand the space of possible solutions and generate designs that capture essential aspects of the solutions.