Health outcomes are affected by the socio-demographic and physical-environmental characteristics of the places where people live. Therefore, epidemiologists have been interested in the use of maps to explore spatial patterns of disease for a long time. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are not only useful when visualizing complex spatial datasets but also when mapping the results of analytical processes. One such process is multi-criteria evaluation (MCE), which can be used to generate composite measures of public health based on individual, medical and non-medical factors.
The objective of this study was to determine if geovisual MCE can be an effective tool in community health planning. We provided highly interactive thematic maps coupled with MCE tools to planners at a community health centre and evaluated their use for community health planning and decision-making. User task scenarios were designed in a way to compare the usefulness of different representation methods for a number of tasks.
The pilot user test with two expert participants included interviews, questionnaires, and user task scenarios with think-aloud audio and screen video recording. We assessed the easiness of completing the tasks using completion rates and times and could identify a number of specific usability issues with the tool at hand.
B. Kelsey, C. Rinner: User Task Scenarios for Map-Based Decision Support in Community Health Planning. Abstract and poster presentation at the AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science, 2-5 June 2009, Hannover, Germany