Volume 11 Issue 5
Dec.  2020
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Marion Lara Tan, Raj Prasanna, Kristin Stock, Emma E. H. Doyle, Graham Leonard, David Johnston. Modified Usability Framework for Disaster Apps: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis of User Reviews[J]. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 2020, 11(5): 615-629. doi: 10.1007/s13753-020-00282-x
Citation: Marion Lara Tan, Raj Prasanna, Kristin Stock, Emma E. H. Doyle, Graham Leonard, David Johnston. Modified Usability Framework for Disaster Apps: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis of User Reviews[J]. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 2020, 11(5): 615-629. doi: 10.1007/s13753-020-00282-x

Modified Usability Framework for Disaster Apps: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis of User Reviews

doi: 10.1007/s13753-020-00282-x
  • Available Online: 2021-04-26
  • Publish Date: 2020-12-01
  • The public has access to a range of mobile applications (apps) for disasters. However, there has been limited academic research conducted on disaster apps and how the public perceives their usability. This study explores end-users’ perceptions of the usability of disaster apps. It proposes a conceptual framework based on insights gathered from thematically analyzing online reviews. The study identifies new usability concerns particular to disaster apps’ use: (1) content relevance depends on the app’s purpose and the proximate significance of the information to the hazard event’s time and location; (2) app dependability affects users’ perceptions of usability due to the lifesafety association of disaster apps; (3) users perceive advertisements to contribute to their cognitive load; (4) users expect apps to work efficiently without unnecessary consumption of critical phone resources; (5) appropriate audio interface can improve usability, as sounds can boost an app’s alerting aspect; and, finally (6) in-app browsing may potentially enhance users’ impression of the structure of a disaster app. As a result, this study argues for focussed research and development on public-facing disaster apps. Future research should consider the conceptual framework and concerns presented in this study when building design guidelines and theories for disaster apps.
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