HIMSS Usability Maturity Model Assessment Tool

The HIMSS Usability Maturity Model measures how well your organization incorporates usability and other user-centered design (UCD) priniciples into it's development and strategic planning processes.  The five phase model provides a common vocabulary for the healthcare & healthcare IT industry to quanitfy their UCD efforts both internally and externally to the marketplace.

The HIMSS Usability Maturity Model Assessment Tool reviews your responses to a series of questions designed to determine the level of usability maturity within an organization.  Click here to begin your organization's usability maturity assessment.

Depending on the level of your organization's usability maturity, there are a number of actions that can be taken to support the transistion from one phase of usability maturity to the next.  Click on your organization's current level of usability maturity to access action plans to for your organization to take advantage of on the journey towards tranitioning through the phases of usability maturity.

Three actions that you could take to move your organization's usability maturity from Unrecognized to Preliminary:

 

  • Find a champion/ other usability supporters within the organization to start to educate the organization on the importance of usability
  • Bring in external usability specialists to do an assessment of an existing product/service.
  • Include a usability activity [e.g., usability testing] in a project currently under development.

 

Click here for a worksheet containing this and subsequent phases' action plans.

Five actions that you could take to move your organization's usability maturity from Preliminary to Implemented:

 

  • Engage end user teams in a systematic way when considering new systems, products or devices and refocus implementation efforts on the end user.
  • Focus on ways to incorporate end user feedback in a formal way into the selection process for all systems/products/devices.
  • Begin to apply and formally document design standards and resources used in all projects where usability is an issue.
  • Appoint an ad-hoc group to focus on usability and allow the group to develop the knowledge and resources needed to embed usability principles within all system projects.
  • Find an upper level administrator capable of championing usability and provide training on usability initiatives best practices.

 

Click here for a worksheet containing this and subsequent phases' action plans.

Seven actions that you could take to move your organization's usability maturity from Implemented to Integrated:

 

  • Develop a usability standard and process for your organization that is repeatable and builds on past successes.
  • Develop standardized methods and tools to assure that usability is consistently applied.
  • Embed user requirements research and usability testing within system projects.
  • Find an upper level administrator capable of championing usability within the organization.
  • Insist that your usability team maintain an up-to-date “usability library” for their personal use as well as for the benefit of the organization.
  • Employ/contract with usability specialists to support organizational usability and to build/maintain momentum for end user design.
  • Establish a dedicated usability budget to assure that adequate resources are focused on usability.

 

Click here for a worksheet containing this and subsequent phases' action plans.

Six actions that you could take to move your organization's usability maturity from Integrated to Strategic:

 

  • Once senior management has bought into the importance of usability work with managers to develop a process to ensure that user centered design activities are included in all system/product/device selections, implementations and optimizations.
  • Ensure that usability experts are involved in conducting usability activities – either through hiring or contracting external experts.Start to collect all usability documents and artifacts and make them available to internal staff. This could include usability test reports on existing systems and products, style guides, RFP responses from vendors on usability processes completed on their products, internal usability awareness presentations, etc.
  • Before each new system/product implementation or optimization have the team responsible define success metrics that be measured. These metrics should include at least one usability goal. For example, reduce user errors from 5% to 1%. Track these metrics, before, during and after implementation.
  • Develop a common set of metrics [e.g., time to complete tasks, # of errors, etc.] that can be applied to all systems/products/devices and track these on a regular basis.
  • Develop a format for usability performance measures and share these with senior management at appropriate intervals.
  • Develop presentations or case studies on successful projects incorporating usability activities. These presentations can include: testimonials for users of the improved system/product, video clips from testing to demonstrate the issues users encounter, screen captures of the before and after version – basically anything that helps tell the story in a compelling way and helps non-usability staff throughout the organization ‘feel’ the impact of improved usability.

 

Click here for a worksheet containing this and subsequent phases' action plans.

Four actions that you could take so your organization's usability maturity can remain Strategic:

 

 

  • Develop a continuous usability quality improvement process within your organization to elicit feedback from stakeholders and usability team members, incorporate emerging usability concepts and technologies etc.
  • Develop and implement a formal program to measure and communicate the outcome your usability program within your organization.
  • Set up workgroups with stakeholders and usability team members to share, communicate and disseminate usability issues, successes and recommended improvements.
  • Join usability working groups outside your organization and share your findings at professional conferences.

 

Click here for a worksheet containing all of the phases' action plans.

Keywords: 
HIMSS Usability Maturity Model, usability, Assessment