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Title page for ETD etd-07222016-124830

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Dufendach, Kevin Reid
URN etd-07222016-124830
Title Design of an Interactive Crowdsourcing Platform to Facilitate User-Centered Information Needs Evaluation
Degree Master of Science
Department Biomedical Informatics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Christoph U. Lehmann Committee Chair
Cynthia S. Gadd Committee Member
Kim M. Unertl Committee Member
  • user-centered design
  • human factors
  • neonatology
  • pediatrics
Date of Defense 2016-07-15
Availability unrestricted

Effective medical software is designed to fit the needs of the end users, translating their work into action. User-centered design seeks to involve users at all stages of the design process, but the process itself can be tedious, leading to variable degrees of implementation amongst vendors. This research seeks to create a new method of involving multiple end users remotely in the user-centered design process in order to establish the features and design required for clinicians need to perform effectively.


The objectives of this research are to summarize currently identified necessary pediatric-specific EHR functionalities and create an online software platform to delineate further needs and functionalities, contributing to remote user-centered design of electronic medical record software.


We created Vanderbilt Active Interface Design (VandAID), a novel web-based software platform for crowdsourcing user interface design. The platform provides immediate real-time feedback on user interface design and layout decisions using example patient scenarios. The scenarios can pull information from a variety of sources using standards such as a Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR). The design platform allows the selected options to be sent to a REDCap project for statistical analysis or viewed directly in the VandAID platform. We performed a randomized controlled trial to test the usability and utility of this software platform for the design of a neonatal handoff tool.


This research advances scientific approaches to user-centered design of health information technology by creating a means of collecting remote feedback from multiple users. Results from the randomized controlled trial in the first use case demonstrate this software platform to be a highly usable and effective means of performing cooperative user-centered design.

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