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Informing the Design of Direct-to-Consumer Interactive Personal Genomics Reports.

Shaer O, Nov O, Okerlund J, Balestra M, Stowell E, Ascher L, Bi J, Schlenker C, Ball M - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Bottom Line: In particular, results showed that a new interactive bubble chart visualization designed for the study resulted in the highest comprehension scores, as well as the highest perceived comprehension scores.These scores were significantly higher than scores received using the industry standard tabular reports currently used for communicating personal genomic information.We discuss implications for designers and researchers.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Human-Computer Interaction Lab, Computer Science Department, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: In recent years, people who sought direct-to-consumer genetic testing services have been increasingly confronted with an unprecedented amount of personal genomic information, which influences their decisions, emotional state, and well-being. However, these users of direct-to-consumer genetic services, who vary in their education and interests, frequently have little relevant experience or tools for understanding, reasoning about, and interacting with their personal genomic data. Online interactive techniques can play a central role in making personal genomic data useful for these users.

Objective: We sought to (1) identify the needs of diverse users as they make sense of their personal genomic data, (2) consequently develop effective interactive visualizations of genomic trait data to address these users' needs, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of the developed visualizations in facilitating comprehension.

Methods: The first two user studies, conducted with 63 volunteers in the Personal Genome Project and with 36 personal genomic users who participated in a design workshop, respectively, employed surveys and interviews to identify the needs and expectations of diverse users. Building on the two initial studies, the third study was conducted with 730 Amazon Mechanical Turk users and employed a controlled experimental design to examine the effectiveness of different design interventions on user comprehension.

Results: The first two studies identified searching, comparing, sharing, and organizing data as fundamental to users' understanding of personal genomic data. The third study demonstrated that interactive and visual design interventions could improve the understandability of personal genomic reports for consumers. In particular, results showed that a new interactive bubble chart visualization designed for the study resulted in the highest comprehension scores, as well as the highest perceived comprehension scores. These scores were significantly higher than scores received using the industry standard tabular reports currently used for communicating personal genomic information.

Conclusions: Drawing on multiple research methods and populations, the findings of the studies reported in this paper offer deep understanding of users' needs and practices, and demonstrate that interactive online design interventions can improve the understandability of personal genomic reports for consumers. We discuss implications for designers and researchers.

No MeSH data available.


Users' comprehension of the reports across the report types. Error bars represent 95% CI.
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figure12: Users' comprehension of the reports across the report types. Error bars represent 95% CI.

Mentions: The analyses revealed significant differences between the report types (see Figure 12). The zoomable treemap and zoomable partition reports were found to be less effective in communicating genomic data than the visualizations in the other conditions—5.08 and 4.63 out of 10, respectively. Indeed, scores obtained using the zoomable treemap report resulted in significantly lower comprehension scores compared with all nonzoomable reports (P<.001), and the zoomable partition report led to significantly lower understanding compared with the bar chart (6.21/10), bubble graph (6.30/10), and heat map reports (6.25/10) (P<.001). In addition, the table report (5.65/10) was also found to be significantly less effective than the bubble graph report (P=.04).


Informing the Design of Direct-to-Consumer Interactive Personal Genomics Reports.

Shaer O, Nov O, Okerlund J, Balestra M, Stowell E, Ascher L, Bi J, Schlenker C, Ball M - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Users' comprehension of the reports across the report types. Error bars represent 95% CI.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526936&req=5

figure12: Users' comprehension of the reports across the report types. Error bars represent 95% CI.
Mentions: The analyses revealed significant differences between the report types (see Figure 12). The zoomable treemap and zoomable partition reports were found to be less effective in communicating genomic data than the visualizations in the other conditions—5.08 and 4.63 out of 10, respectively. Indeed, scores obtained using the zoomable treemap report resulted in significantly lower comprehension scores compared with all nonzoomable reports (P<.001), and the zoomable partition report led to significantly lower understanding compared with the bar chart (6.21/10), bubble graph (6.30/10), and heat map reports (6.25/10) (P<.001). In addition, the table report (5.65/10) was also found to be significantly less effective than the bubble graph report (P=.04).

Bottom Line: In particular, results showed that a new interactive bubble chart visualization designed for the study resulted in the highest comprehension scores, as well as the highest perceived comprehension scores.These scores were significantly higher than scores received using the industry standard tabular reports currently used for communicating personal genomic information.We discuss implications for designers and researchers.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Human-Computer Interaction Lab, Computer Science Department, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: In recent years, people who sought direct-to-consumer genetic testing services have been increasingly confronted with an unprecedented amount of personal genomic information, which influences their decisions, emotional state, and well-being. However, these users of direct-to-consumer genetic services, who vary in their education and interests, frequently have little relevant experience or tools for understanding, reasoning about, and interacting with their personal genomic data. Online interactive techniques can play a central role in making personal genomic data useful for these users.

Objective: We sought to (1) identify the needs of diverse users as they make sense of their personal genomic data, (2) consequently develop effective interactive visualizations of genomic trait data to address these users' needs, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of the developed visualizations in facilitating comprehension.

Methods: The first two user studies, conducted with 63 volunteers in the Personal Genome Project and with 36 personal genomic users who participated in a design workshop, respectively, employed surveys and interviews to identify the needs and expectations of diverse users. Building on the two initial studies, the third study was conducted with 730 Amazon Mechanical Turk users and employed a controlled experimental design to examine the effectiveness of different design interventions on user comprehension.

Results: The first two studies identified searching, comparing, sharing, and organizing data as fundamental to users' understanding of personal genomic data. The third study demonstrated that interactive and visual design interventions could improve the understandability of personal genomic reports for consumers. In particular, results showed that a new interactive bubble chart visualization designed for the study resulted in the highest comprehension scores, as well as the highest perceived comprehension scores. These scores were significantly higher than scores received using the industry standard tabular reports currently used for communicating personal genomic information.

Conclusions: Drawing on multiple research methods and populations, the findings of the studies reported in this paper offer deep understanding of users' needs and practices, and demonstrate that interactive online design interventions can improve the understandability of personal genomic reports for consumers. We discuss implications for designers and researchers.

No MeSH data available.