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Completing questionnaires is a core task for most healthcare workers using
mobile health apps.
Data entry can be difficult and errors happen. Our goal with the Structured
Data Capture (SDC) library and the
design guidelines is to empower you to improve the user experience of data entry
and the quality of captured data.
The Android FHIR SDK has two layout options for you to choose between:
Long scroll (default)
A long scroll questionnaire shows all questions on one page and users navigate
to each question by scrolling.
A paginated questionnaire displays the content across separate pages. Related
questions or input fields can be grouped together on one page. Back and next
buttons are anchored at the bottom of the page to navigate between pages.
Each layout option has its advantages and disadvantages. Below are some
attributes of each layout type to consider as you're making the choice about
which layout to use.
Speed of navigation
check_circle Faster to navigate
warning Slower to navigate
Accuracy of navigation
warning Less precise navigation
check_circle More precise navigation
Refocus on question after task switching
warning Difficult to reorient after interruption
check_circle Easier to reorient after interruption
Completing the digital questionnaire after the visit (copying from paper)
check_circle Easier when copying from paper
warning More difficult when copying from paper
warning Worse for small screens
check_circle Better for small screens
warning Worse for accessibility. Difficult to navigate.
check_circle Better for accessibility. Discrete screens that can be handled by screen readers, text-to-speech, and other technologies.
Space for instructions and explanations
warning Worse for guidance and instructions
check_circle Better for guidance and instructions
The progress indicator reflects progress made within a questionnaire.
Include a progress indicator on long questionnaires to help users navigate and
see progress. Progress indicators show location within a questionnaire, and
how much is left to complete.
Navigation buttons (back, next) are anchored at the bottom of the
questionnaire. In an infinite scroll or on the last page of a paginated
questionnaire the next button is labeled Submit.
Keep buttons in a consistent location and always use active buttons that are
labeled with their action, such as back and next.
Questions & instructions
Group header is a text header that is displayed above question titles.
Use the group header to group similar questions together. Only use the group
header when it adds helpful information.
The question title succinctly describes what information is requested.
Question titles have the largest font size on the page to draw the user's eyes
to the question.
Every page or question should have a question title. Keep question titles
short or phrase it as a question.
Instructions is an optional text field shown below the question title.
Use the instructions field to explain relevant instructions such as if the
question is required, how many selections can be made (one or many), and what
users should do if unable to complete all info or answer the question.
Label text informs users about what information is requested for a text field
or dropdown. When the field is selected, the label text moves from the middle
of the text field to the top.
Every text field and dropdown box should have a label. Label text should
be short, clear, and fully visible.
EntryFormat is shown below the text field to inform users of the specific
format data needs to be entered in. Error messages will be displayed in the
EntryFormat field and replace existing EntryFormat instructions.
Use EntryFormat for dates, phone numbers, units, and integers.
Required fields indicate that a user must complete the field and is blocked
from advancing until the field is completed.
To indicate that a field is required, display an asterisk (*) at the end of the
question title. Include 'required question' in the instructions field as it is
not obvious to everyone what an asterisk (*) indicates. If there's no question
title, display the asterisk (*) in the label text.
A help icon is displayed next to the question title. Upon tapping the icon, a
help information box appears with additional information. Tapping the icon again
closes the help information box.
This is an optional component. Only use when helpful to display additional
information that does not need to always be visible.
When to use which component?
Type of data entry
Select Yes or No
Select one option
Select multiple options
Text fields indicate that users can enter information.
Use text fields when someone needs to enter text into the questionnaire, such
as a name, phone number, or address. Limit data entry that requires text
(keyboard) entry when a pre-populated selection (multiple choice or single
choice) can be used instead.
Single choice and boolean choice are a selection control that appear as
radio buttons when users are asked to select one choice from options.
Use boolean choice when there's a binary choice of 'Yes' or 'No.' Otherwise,
use the single choice component. If there's more than ~10 options in the list,
use a dropdown instead of single choice. A dropdown is more dense and easier
to navigate when there are many options.
The date picker allows users to enter dates through both the calendar date
picker and the keyboard. The calendar date picker is activated when the calendar
icon is tapped.
Use the calendar date picker only for dates that are close to today's date such
as last menstrual period or next visit. Otherwise prioritize keyboard entry for
dates like birthdate.
Dropdown menus allow users to make a selection from multiple options. As the
user begins typing, options filter based on what's entered. This can help users
quickly find the right option from a large list.
Dropdown menus are a great alternative to single choice when the list of
options is very long (10+ options) as they take up less space.
Multiple choice is a selection control that appears as checkboxes when users
can make multiple sections from a list of options.
Use multiple choice when users can only select from a predetermined list of
options. If users can also add their own free response, use the open choice
component instead. In the instructions field write "Select all that apply" so
users know they can select multiple options.
Open choice is similar to multiple choice, but adds the ability for a user to
Other and type in free text.
Use open choice when there's a pre-set list of options, but users can also add
additional options. Use open choice when the majority of options are known,
but you foresee some users will select Other because none of the supplied
Sliders allow users to make selections from a range of values. The slider in
the Android FHIR SDK is a discrete slider. A discrete slider allows users to
select a specific value from a predetermined range. Tick marks may be used to
indicate available values. Avoid using the slider for numerical data entry.
Instead use a text field or a dropdown menu.