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Am J Health Behav. 2016 Jul;40(4):461-71. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.40.4.8.

User-centered Design of a Texas WIC App: A Focus Group Investigation.

Author information

1
School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA.
2
School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA. scrixell@txstate.edu.
3
School of Social Work, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this research was to conduct the first stages of a user-centered design of a smartphone app designed to improve health behaviors among participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Texas.

METHODS:

Focus groups explored facilitators and barriers to health behaviors, current use of apps, and desired features in a WIC app.

RESULTS:

Facilitators to improve health behaviors included access to information, support from healthcare practitioners and family, and implementation of strategies. Current app use themes included texting/chatting, accessing information, tracking/locating, planning/scheduling, sharing, and gaming. Frequencies of key themes within and across groups were used to inform app prototype design. Mock-ups of 15 prototype features were developed based on themes of facilitators and currently used app features. Participants agreed that having all features combined into a single WIC app would be convenient and provide trustworthy information from WIC.

CONCLUSIONS:

The enthusiasm of focus group participants for a comprehensive WIC app suggests that this initiative is timely, and that an app has potential to improve health behaviors. Future research should continue the user-centered design process through further evaluation of prototype features, incorporating cultural preferences at every step.

PMID:
27338993
DOI:
10.5993/AJHB.40.4.8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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