Background: Mobile apps have a great potential to support patients in healthcare, and to encourage healthy behavioral changes such as smoking cessation. Nevertheless, the user rejection levels are still high. A set of factors that has impact on the app effectiveness is related to the quality of those features that lead to positive user experiences when using the app. This work aims to evaluate the user experience, and more specifically the usability and the user satisfaction with a mobile application for smoking cessation. This will also provide a basis for future improvements. Methods: We provided a smoking cessation mobile Android app to two different user cohorts, the smokers as valid users and the experts, for three weeks. The app featured usual functionalities to help quit smoking, including an achieved benefits section, mini-games to distract during cravings, and supportive motivational messages. We collected information about user experience, through game playability and message satisfaction questionnaires, and the experts’ opinions. We also considered usage of app sections, the duration of the mini-game sessions, and the user ratings for motivational messages. Results: We included 45 valid users and 25 experts in this study. The questionnaire indicated 80% satisfaction rate for the motivational messages. According to game questionnaires, over 69% of the participants agreed that the games have good usability features, however, for questions related to mobility and gameplay heuristics, agreements were below 67%. The most accessed app sections were achieved benefits and the one with motivational messages. The experts described issues that could help to improve the application. Conclusions: The combination of questionnaires with expert reports allowed to identify several problems and possible corrections. Our study showed that motivational messages have a good satisfaction rate, although it is necessary to consider technical features of some mobile devices that may hinder message reception. Games have good usability and it's expected that the addition of difficulty levels and a better accessibility to the game menu could make them more attractive and increase its usage. Future development of mHealth apps based on gamification and motivational messages need to consider these factors for better user satisfaction and usability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Health Informatics