Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Cognitive usability evaluation of the SFARI system  

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) has developed a suite of powerful tools for scientists to ask questions that are central to their own research. It also affords them access to large scale collections of data and biospecimens from families affected with autism across the nation. Although this is a very promising development in the science of autism, it is well known that even the best conceived systems present difficulties for end-user populations. It is increasingly recognized that the usability and learnability of a system is a critical determinant of both the acceptance of a technology and its efficacy as a productive tool. The process of continual or iterative design informed by usability evaluation is becoming a standard practice in the healthcare arena as well as in other sectors. The team at Columbia University has developed a usability evaluation framework with a particular focus on the skills and knowledge required to accomplish tasks in across a range of health related domains. Our ultimate goal is to discover and characterize the ways in which the suite of SFARI tools can be used productively to advance the science of autism. Towards this objective, we propose to conduct a series of evaluation studies with the SFARI suite of tools. The methods include expert task analysis that involves breaking a task into steps, characterizing the complexity and identifying potential problems. We also plan to conduct usability testing evaluations with a sample of users of the SFARI tools including investigators and database managers. The subjects will be presented with a series of tasks of varying levels of complexity. This will help us identify aspects of the system that users find to be problematic. It will also contribute to the development of design concepts for future generations of the SFARI system. Project Status


Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $99,162.00
Current Award Period 2010-2011
Project Number 171423
Principal Investigator Kaufman, David
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 7: What Other Infrastructure and Surveillance Needs Must Be Met? (Infrastructure)
Subcategory Data Tools
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 7O. Create an information resource for ASD researchers (e.g., PhenX Project) to share information to facilitate data sharing and standardization of methods across projects by 2013. o This includes common protocols, instruments, designs, and other procedural documents and should include updates on new technology and links to information on how to acquire and utilize technology in development. o This can serve as a bidirectional information reference, with autism research driving the development of new resources and technologies, including new model systems, screening tools, and analytic techniques. IACC Recommended Budget: $2,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Columbia University
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Cognitive usability evaluation of the SFARI system (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Cognitive usability evaluation of the SFARI system | $33,054.00 | 2011 | 171423