Table 4

Classes of software issue considered during assessment

Issue type

Description

Example(s)


Data entry validation

Data can be entered that are out-of-range or inappropriate. New data can overwrite existing data without warning.

Negative values of peak flow can be entered and are stored. New entries can overwrite existing data without warning.


Functionality

A function of the app (for example, saving data, performing a calculation) does not operate as expected.

App miscalculates the score of Asthma Control Test for adults; app displays an 'unfortunately you did not beat your highest score' message even if score is 100%.


Presentation and user interface (UI)

Content having spelling and layout mistakes. User interface controls (for example, textboxes, labels, buttons) are mislabelled, inoperative or inaccessible. Navigation between different parts of the app does not occur as expected or can lead to the user getting stuck on a particular screen.

Some controls hidden when opened on a lower resolution screen; text box for recording peak flow labelled as 'Peek Flow'; some user controls not labelled in English.


Crash

The app stopped responding in a timely way to user input or was closed unexpectedly by the smartphone or tablet operating system.

App crashed when a backup of data entered by the user was attempted.


Other

Any other software issue, for example an online or other data service (for example, a website that the app uses for data) is unavailable or does not work as expected.

Some linked content that is displayed within the app on allergens is broken; GPS function does not work.


The table summarizes the classes of error used for assessment and provides illustrative examples based on those observed during the appraisal process.

Huckvale et al. BMC Medicine 2012 10:144   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-144

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