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Project Retrospective: TCMP Resource Tool

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Project Retrospective
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I joined the This Changed My Practice team because I was interested in the opportunity to design and improve a real-world tool. We began by assessing what was and wasn’t working on the site. TCMP was very good at accomplishing its primary goal: to have BC physicians read articles posted by other physicians about knowledge and resources that improved and/or changed their practice. This was indicated by the website’s traffic and user behaviour on the site.

The website was not successful in achieving its secondary goal of acting as a repository of knowledge. Nina, who works with TCMP professionally, had previously collected survey data about user experiences and preferences. The survey data told us physicians wanted to be able to access resources at the point of care quickly and easily. The data also told us physicians did not want a login and that previous attempts to connect the site with external platforms to save PDFs had limited success. This told us users needed to be able to recall a resource, retrieve it and use it (read, email, save, and/or print it) in less than a minute. With this in mind, we decided to add a search page, improve the layout of search results, improve the search process (utilizing query loops), and add easy to access instructions.

Having worked with microlearning before, I was familiar with research that found microlearning struggled to impart lasting behavioural change on its own and if it’s only viewed once (Gawlik et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2020). Social learning and return visits would likely help (Puah et al., 2022). This meant there was research to support our prediction that improving the search and retrieval experience would improve the site’s learnability (as defined by Issa and Isaias, 2015) since,

  1. Physicians could share what they’d learned with patients and other health care professionals

  2. They would return to the site and review what they’d learned before

  3. They would return to the site and use resources to engage in the exact behaviour the site aimed to affect

Eason’s causal framework of usability (Isa and Isaias, 2015) was also helpful during the design because it forced us to consider what changes would support full site utilization and return visits and what would decrease the likelihood of both. Issa and Isaias’ Usability Principles (2015) also informed and supported our decision making.

One of the greatest challenges for our team was gaining the technological know-how to accomplish what we had planned. I found it very hard to learn enough about a task to then do it at the pace we needed to produce the tool on time. Nina and Linh were much faster so I took on time-consuming but simpler HTML-related work, such as adding, updating and ensuring consistency of the article tags language and colour on our sandbox site. I really valued acting as a sounding board and editor for Noor, who spearheaded the usability testing, as this practice was somewhat new to me. While I valued learning about the back end of Wordpress search functions, I don’t think that I’d pick an aspect of the site that was so technical to redesign.

I was glad to have had read Woolgar’s “Configuring the user: The case of usability trials” (1990) going into this project because one of the most impactful lessons I learned was the degree to which designers are constrained by the tools they use. Wordpress, UBC Wordpress, and our knowledge/skills added layers of constraints on our goals. With Woolgar’s (1990) exploration of configuration in mind, I was able to notice the way the original site configured its users, which then configured our design, which would then configure the user in new ways when it was launched.



Gawlik, K., Guo, J., Tan, A., & Overcash, J. (2021). Incorporating a microlearning wellness intervention into nursing student curricula. Nurse Educator, 46(1), 49-53.

Issa, T., & Isaias, P. (2015) Usability and human computer interaction (HCI). In Sustainable Design (pp. 19-35). Springer.

Puah, S., Bin Mohmad Khalid, Muhammad Iskandar Shah, Looi, C. K., & Khor, E. T. (2022). Investigating working adults' intentions to participate in microlearning using the decomposed theory of planned behaviour. British Journal of Educational Technology, 53(2), 367-390.

Wang, C., Bakhet, M., Roberts, D., Gnani, S., & El-Osta, A. (2020). The efficacy of microlearning in improving self-care capability: A systematic review of the literature. Public Health, 186, 286-296. 

Woolgar, S. (1990). Configuring the user: The case of usability trials. The Sociological Review, 38(1, Suppl.), S58-S99.


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