Evaluating the usability of a co-designed power assisted exercise graphical user interface for people with stroke

Rachel Young, Karen Sage, David Broom, Andrew Hext, Nicky Snowdon, Christine Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Digital advancement of power assisted exercise equipment will advance exercise prescription for people with stroke (PwS). This article reports on the remote usability evaluation of a co-designed graphical user interface (GUI) and denotes an example of how video-conference software can increase reach to participants in the testing of rehabilitation technologies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usability of two sequential versions of the GUI. Methods: We adopted a mixed methods approach. Ten professional user (PU) (2M/8F) and 10 expert user (EU) participants (2M/8F) were recruited. Data collection included a usability observation, a ‘think aloud’ walk through, task completion, task duration and user satisfaction as indicated by the Post Study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ). Identification of usability issues informed the design of version 2 which included an additional submenu. Descriptive analysis was conducted upon usability issues and number of occurrences detected on both versions of the GUI. Inferential analysis enabled comparison of task duration and PSSUQ data between the PU and EU groups. Results: Analysis of the ‘think aloud’ walkthrough data enabled identification of 22 usability issues on version 1 from a total of 100 usability occurrences. Task completion for all tasks was 100%. Eight usability issues were directly addressed in the development of version 2. Two recurrent and 24 new usability issues were detected in version 2 with a total of 86 usability occurrences. Paired two tailed T-tests on task duration data indicated a significant decrease amongst the EU group for task 1.1 on version 2 (P = 0.03). The mean PSSUQ scores for version 1 was 1.44 (EU group) and 1.63 (PU group) compared with 1.40 (EU group) and 1.41 (PU group) for version 2. Conclusions: The usability evaluation enabled identification of usability issues on version 1 of the GUI which were effectively addressed on the iteration of version 2. Testing of version 2 identified usability issues within the new submenu. Application of multiple usability evaluation methods was effective in identifying and addressing usability issues in the GUI to improve the experience of PAE for PwS. The use of video-conference software to conduct synchronous, remote usability testing is an effective alternative to face to face testing methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95 (2023)
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.


This work was supported by Grow MedTech under Grant (POF00095).


  • Assistive technology
  • Co-design
  • Graphical user interface
  • Power assisted exercise
  • Rehabilitation technology
  • Stroke
  • Usability evaluation


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the usability of a co-designed power assisted exercise graphical user interface for people with stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this