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Using Online Reviews as Narratives to Evoke Designer’s Empathy
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID. Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Informatics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2319-3186
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9804-157X
Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Informatics.
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2411-6417
2015 (English)In: 15th IFIP TC 13 International Conference on Human–Computer Interaction, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015, 298-315 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Gathering health-related data is quite easy, but visualizing them in a meaningful way remains challenging, especially when the application domain is very complex. Research suggests that empathy can facilitate the design process and that narratives can help to create an empathic encounter between designers and the prospective users. We conducted an exploratory quasi-experiment in order to explore whether narratives in form of online reviews are able to evoke designer’s empathy when developing an online platform for a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service. The results suggest that the narratives can help designers to engage with and take the perspective of the prospective user, who is then represented in more detail. Lacking narratives from real people leaves the designers to their own imagination, which can lead to the use of rather abstract stereotypes that do not enable an understanding of the user, but affect the subsequent design decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2015. 298-315 p.
, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9296
Keyword [en]
Human-Computer Interaction, Empathy, Direct-to-Consumer, Genetic Testing, Health and Wellbeing
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-165412DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22701-6_22ISI: 000363681800022ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84945544187OAI: diva2:808899
15th IFIP TC.13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - INTERACT 2015, Bamberg, Germany. September, 14-18, 2015.

QC 20151124

Available from: 2015-04-29 Created: 2015-04-27 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. To Share or Not to Share?: Expectations of and Experiences with eHealth Services that Allow Users Access to their Health Information
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To Share or Not to Share?: Expectations of and Experiences with eHealth Services that Allow Users Access to their Health Information
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates expectations of and experiences with eHealth services that allow users access to their health information. Although eHealth services are endorsed by many politicians and patients, they are met with strong resistance by health care professionals. Lacking this support hinders the uptake of the full potential of the service, especially with relation to patient participation and empowerment.

This research investigates the frames of reference that are constructed by stakeholders in relation to eHealth services, such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing and electronic health records. The results are based on empirical data gathered during an experiment with media informatics students in Germany, and from interviews with physicians in Uppsala, Sweden.

The eHealth services in question were framed by the participants of the conducted studies as potentially harmful for its users. The negative expectations were based mainly on a generalized view of patients as not sufficiently knowledgable and hence unable to understand the health information provided by the service. The participants in the reported studies (physicians and students in their role as designers) felt a responsibility to prevent any potential harm for the users of the eHealth service. Due to the framing based on assumed negative consequences for a supposedly vulnerable user group, the participants preferred to advocate against access rather than for patient empowerment and participation. Accessing health information was associated as holding little value for the users.

This research enhances the understanding of the elements underlying this skepticism and concern. It shows that a specific view of patients and/or prospective users of an eHealth system can result in incongruent technological frames and value attribution. In line with participatory and value-sensitive design approaches as well as the aim to increase technology acceptance, patients and health care professionals should not only be included in the design process but also engage in joint activities in order to enable reframing.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen undersöker förväntningar på och erfarenheter av e-hälsotjänster som ger användare tillgång till sin egen hälsoinformation. Även om e-hälsotjänster har fått stöd av många politiker och patienter har de mötts av starkt motstånd från sjukvårdspersonal. Utan deras stöd blir det svårt att realisera tjänstens fulla potential, särskilt när det gäller patientens delaktighet och egenmakt.Forskningen undersöker de referensramar som konstrueras av intressenter för att förstå e-hälsotjänster, till exempel genetisk testning direkt till konsument och elektroniska patientjournaler. Resultaten baseras dels på empiriska data som samlats in i ett experiment med studenter i Tyskland, dels på intervjuer med läkare i Uppsala.De undersökta e-hälsotjänsterna upplevdes (were framed) av studiernas deltagare som potentiellt skadliga för användarna. De negativa förväntningarna baserades huvudsakligen på en allmän syn på patienter som inte tillräckligt kunniga och därmed oförmögna att förstå tjänstens hälsoinformation. Deltagarna i de rapporterade studierna (läkare och studenter i rollen som formgivare) kände ansvar för att förhindra eventuella skador för e-hälsotjänstens användare. Beroende på de förväntat negativa följderna för de förmodat utsatta patientgrupperna föredrog undersökningens deltagare att ta ställning emot patienternas åtkomst snarare än att ta ställning för deras deltagande och ökade egenmakt. Att ha tillgång till hälsoinformation bedömdes vara av lågt värde för användarna.Forskningen ökar förståelsen av de element som ligger till grund för deltagarnas upplevda skepsis och oro. Den visar att en specifik bild av patienter och/eller framtida användare av ett e-hälsosystemet kan leda till inkongruenta tekniska referensramar och värdebedömningar. I linje med inriktningarna deltagande design och värdebaserade design samt målet att öka teknisk acceptans, bör patienter och hälso- och sjukvårdspersonal inte bara ingå i designprocessen, utan också delta i gemensamma aktiviteter för att möjliggöra omtolkningar av sina tekniska referens- ramar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 53 p.
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2016:09
eHealth, electronic health records, technological frames, expectations, patients, health care professionals
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
Human-computer Interaction; Technology and Health
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185803 (URN)978-91-7595-965-8 (ISBN)
2016-06-02, 1440, Lindstedtsvägen 3, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-04-28 Created: 2016-04-27 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved

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Grünloh, ChristianeWalldius, ÅkeGulliksen, Jan
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