Title: Evaluating consumer food safety mobile applications: lessons learned from combining assessment of users, usability and context

Authors: Adeola Bamgboje-Ayodele; Leonie Ellis; Paul Turner

Addresses: School of Technology, Environment and Design, College of Sciences and Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia ' School of Technology, Environment and Design, College of Sciences and Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia ' School of Technology, Environment and Design, College of Sciences and Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Abstract: Numerous consumer food safety mobile applications (apps) are aimed at mitigating health risks arising from poor lifestyle, nutrition and domestic food poisoning due to unsafe food handling. There is limited research evaluating the effectiveness of these apps in mitigating specific health risks; and how consumers adopt and use these apps. The few existing evaluations have marginalised questions about the importance of contexts of use and the attributes and behaviours of end-users. This paper describes an over-arching evaluation approach to address these issues. The approach adapted a heuristics framework and combined it with a consumer-based evaluation (CBE) to holistically assess the usability of these apps, their contexts of use and the attributes of end-users. The paper further presents detailed research findings, generated from the CBE of three food safety mobile apps, which is the focus of this paper. This CBE was conducted through scenario-based focus groups session with nine Australian consumers using card sorts. The results identify three application design considerations recommended to enhance apps that provide consumers with safe food handling information. This is part of a broader research focused on improving understanding of how best to enhance consumer food safety and mitigate health risks associated with unsafe food handling.

Keywords: usability; heuristics evaluation; consumer evaluation; food safety; mobile application.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISAM.2019.10025250

International Journal of Information Systems and Management, 2019 Vol.2 No.1, pp.17 - 45

Received: 17 Jan 2019
Accepted: 11 Feb 2019

Published online: 13 Nov 2019 *

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