Test result display - User research & usability testing

Updating the display of test results 


The test results page is one of the most visited pages in Patients Know Best (PKB). Aside from the positive feedback about showcasing historical data and allowing patients to see the trend of all their test results at a glance, we had also received feedback from patients and professionals that they would also like the option to see a list of just their latest test results in a table on the page. 

After running an initial round of interviews to better understand our users’ pain points, we began doing some usability testing on possible updates to the page. We decided to use various methods which included interviews,  prototype testing, preference testing and first-click testing. We tested the updates with both existing users and those who have not accessed PKB before, users were aged 20-75+ from around the UK.

The first round of research 

Initial research 

We collated all feedback sent in from patients and professionals in the past and reviewed it in detail. This gave us an initial idea of what the users wanted and we were able to draft some initial designs. 

Patient interviews 

We held our first set of interviews with patients already using PKB to better understand our users’ pain points, to see what they felt was missing from the test result display and how it could be improved. 

Patients said the most vital information to them was their latest set of test results. Some patients stated they even wake up in the middle of the night just to check them. These test results inform the patient on how their disease is doing.  In some cases,  they also indicate whether they should change their lifestyle in some way or seek further medical attention. Some patients felt that PKB could improve how this information was presented, to allow them to see their latest test results more clearly and access a condensed list of recent results. 


There were a few initial requirements from these sessions. 

Initial outcomes

We took the feedback from the initial set of interviews and looked at how we could fulfil these patients' requirements in the near future. We agreed on the following outcomes:

Adding result values to notification panel

Highlighting latest result

Further wireframe testing 

After the initial round of interviews, we created some new designs and wanted to test the very foundations of our new concepts, the structure and visual hierarchy, so we ran the tests on some black-and-white variations to see which layout people prefer. 

Three versions used for wireframe testing

Preference testing - Showing whether results are in or out of range

We ran these tests with 20 people in each round between 44-64 all from the UK.

The first test we tested three variations with only minor differences. What we wanted to know is which layout helps certain information stand out more clearly, in this case this information was the out-of-range test result. In the test, we showed people all three variations next to each other in random order and then asked “which design helps you spot your out-of-range test result more clearly?” 

The outcome was that the overall majority (87%) favoured Version 1 (the one with the label token to the right as opposed to below the value (13%) or written out without a token (0%).

Feedback snippets from preference testing

First-click testing are in or out of range

After the initial preference testing, we turned to another method called first-click testing. This technique, as the name suggests, is usually used to determine where people click first when given a task to complete and how quickly they do so.  We ran these tests with 20 people in each round between 44-64 all from the UK.

As first-click testing measures the time it takes for someone to make a decision; our primary intention was to see which version helped people spot the out of range test result more quickly. The users were instructed by the task “You want to find out more about your out-of-range test result. Where would you click to get that information?”.  After participants clicked the out-of-range test result they also answered three questions to get further confirmation on what we see from the data: 

 The results suggest that the version with the label token to the right-hand side again performed significantly better than the other version where the label token was below the value. Participants found and clicked on the out-of-range test result much more quickly when the label token was on the right-hand side and also favoured it more, 67% said it was extremely clear and easy to use as opposed to 47% on the other version. 

On the version where the label token was to the right, all participants clicked on the out-of-range result, whilst on the other version, lots of participants clicked on other areas of the user interface including the search button. This seems to further confirm that the time to click numbers suggest that people spotted the out-of-range label token much more quickly when it was to the right. 

As this was a black-and-white version lots of people commented on the fact that they would prefer the out-of-range label token with a different colour as opposed to the in-range label tokens. 

Feedback snippets from first-click testing

Outcomes from preference and click testing

Showing whether results are in or out of range 

The final round of research and interviews 

We used all the previous feedback and usability testing results to adapt the designs so that they would meet user needs based on the feedback and user testing done so far. 

We then used these new designs to carry out further usability testing with renal patients that had sent us feedback on how to improve our display in the past. 

We interviewed these users about their experience with other systems and their new experience with PKB, and then showed them our new designs and asked for their feedback.

 The user's reaction to the new designs was positive and their insight helped us make some further important changes, including layout changes and how we indicate out-of-range results.

Final outcomes & designs

We have created a new tabular view of test results that will appear on the landing page of the test results section

New web & mobile designs 

New mobile design for table and graphs