How to Use This Guide

Scenarios are created by either a Human Factors Engineering practitioner or a clinical subject matter expert working on usability testing projects.

Overview – Creating Scenarios of Use

The creator should start with an understanding of the feature or application being tested and write scenario(s) that will enable effective testing, taking into consideration the different items discussed in this whitepaper.

After one or more scenarios are created, tasks are developed and data may be loaded into the system so that users receive results similar to what they would in a real world setting.

This UX Guide exists to facilitate coordination of VA HIT designers, developers, and program offices alongside the Office of Informatics and Analytics (OIA)

This will ensure that the VA HIT products, as a suite, will provide the most positive user experience possible and will contribute to building caring relationships with the people who use them.

As a Reference

While interesting to read in one sitting, the materials included in the guide are intended to be used as a reference.

Ideally, when beginning any software design task, the development team will familiarize themselves with the content of the guide and then use its contents to ease design and development tasks while building in consistency with other VHA HIT products. The materials are heavily cross referenced and provide easy access to supporting evidence.

For example, while designing an interface for medication reconciliation, your team may reference a handful of user interface patterns related to medications, some of which link to supporting principles of user interface design (such as cognitive load) and applicable guidelines, standards and policies (such as the guidelines for medication information display), while explaining how that pattern is experienced by a specific persona (Veteran, caregiver or clinician) within a scenario of use (for example, refilling a prescription). Your team may also choose to reference the specific content items in the guide that are applicable to your product, easing requirements documentation burden or augmenting requirements definitions.

At any point in your product’s development lifecycle, your team may uncover new opportunities to develop content for this guide. Because we share the responsibility to construct the user’s experience, we also share the responsibility to maintain this guide. The UX Guide is a joint effort between the software development teams (VA and contractor) and supporting staff, including human factors engineering, patient safety and accessibility experts.

It is an evolving document. As such, it is not static but can be relied upon to provide the most current information on what the end-user of the software will experience and why/how that design was chosen. If you have resources that would be a valuable addition to this content found in this guide, or should be used as a basis for revisions, please submit them to the UX Guide Governance Board for consideration.