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Design for Digital Health Reading Course

Please join us for the Design for Digital Health Reading Course, starting Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at noon CST on Zoom. The course will run for 8 sessions, every other week.

To sign up, please fill out this form.




This reading course will provide an introduction to designing digital health technologies. It is intended for clinical scientists who are developing and studying digital health technologies. The course will teach about the user-centered design process, focusing on methods and techniques that can be leveraged. We will use peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings to provide instruction in these areas.  


By the end of the course, it is expected that participants will be able to leverage design theory and methods to improve engagement with and the clinical impact of digital health technologies.  


The goals of this course are to provide clinical scientists with a foundational understanding of the user-centered design process and how it adds value to research on digital health technologies. By learning design methods and techniques that can be applied in their research, participants will be prepared to embark on this work in their clinical research. The course also aims to build collaborations around digital health research through a shared knowledge base and learning opportunity with other digital health researchers.   


Classes will occur every other week for 8 sessions. Sessions will be held virtually via Zoom. We expect participants to attend 75% of sessions. Participants who complete at least 75% of sessions will receive a certificate from Northwestern University.  

Prior to each session, participants will spend approximately 2 hours reading materials and formulating 1-2 discussion questions. Participants will submit questions before the session via Slack (link below).  

Participants will be asked to volunteer to co-lead one session. Session leaders will collate participants’ questions and facilitate a discussion of the research topic.  


Andrew Berry, Ph.D. and Kaylee Kruzan, Ph.D., Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs), Departments of Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

CBITs is supported by a NIMH-funded ALACRITY grant (P50 MH119029) that focuses on designing digital mental health interventions for implementation.  

Contact: and  


COURSE SCHEDULE (Zoom Link in Calendar Invite)

A schedule of the 2024 course, with 8 sessions between January 3, 2024 to April 10, 2024.




The User-Centered Design Process


 Needs Assessment & User Design Elicitation 




Evaluation & Usability Testing 


 Analyzing & Publishing Design Research 


 Design in NIH Grants 


Design for Implementation 


Other Topics in HCI & Wrap-Up 




Session 1: Human-Computer Interaction and the User-Centered Design Process

Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centered design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55(4), 587–591 minimum, 587-634 preferred. 

Mohr, D.C., Lyon, A.R., Lattie, E.G., Reddy, M., & Schueller, S.M. (2017). Accelerating digital mental health research from early design and creation to successful implementation and sustainment. J Med Internet Res, 19(5), e153. doi:  

Additional readings: 

McCurdie T., Taneva, S., Casselman, M., Yeung, M., McDaniel, C., Ho, W., & Cafazzo, J. (2012). mHealth consumer apps: The case for user-centered design. Biomed Instrum Technol, 46(s2), 49-56. doi: 10.2345/0899-8205-46.s2.49 

Lyon, A.R. & Koerner, K. (2016). User-centered design for psychosocial intervention development and implementation. Clin Psychol (New York), 23(2), 180-200. doi: 10.1111/cpsp.12154 

Graham, A.K., Wildes, J.E., Reddy, M., Munson, S.A., Taylor, C.B., & Mohr, D.C. (2019). Usercentered design for technologyenabled services for eating disorders. Int J Eat Disord, 52, 1095-1107. doi: 10.1002/eat.23130 

Kruzan, K. P., Meyerhoff, J., Biernesser, C., Goldstein, T., Reddy, M., & Mohr, D. C. (2021). Centering Lived Experience in Developing Digital Interventions for Suicide and Self-injurious Behaviors: User-Centered Design Approach. JMIR Mental Health, 8(12), e31367. doi: 10.2196/31367 


Session 2: Needs Assessment & User Design Elicitation 

Kinzie, M.B., Cohn, W.F., Julian M.F., & Knaus, W.A. (2002). A user-centered model for web site design: Needs assessment, user interface design, and rapid prototyping. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 9(4), 320-330. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M0822 

Harrington, C., Erete, S., & Piper, A.M. (2019). Deconstructing community-based collaborative design: Towards more equitable participatory design engagements. In Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 1-25. doi: 10.1145/3359318 


Additional readings: 

Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centered design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55(4), 593–604. 

Ali, A.X. (2020). Understanding elicitation design studies: Why, when, and how. 

Ali, A.X., Morris, M.R., & Wobbrock, J.O. (2019). Crowdlicit: A system for conducting distributed end-user elicitation and identification studies. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1-12. doi: 10.1145/3290605.3300485 


Session 3: Prototyping   

Moggridge, B., & Atkinson, B. (2007). Designing interactions (Vol. 17). Cambridge: MIT press. Chapter 10: pp 683-699. (First part of chapter only) 

Houde, S. & Hill, C. (1997). What Do Prototypes Prototype? In M. Helander, T. Landauer & P. Prabhu (Eds), Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction (2nd ed., pp. 367-381). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science B.V. doi: 10.1016/B978-044481862-1.50082-0 

Lenarduzzi, V. & Taibi, D. (2016). MVP explained: A systematic mapping study on the definitions of minimal viable product. 42th Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, 112-119. doi: 10.1109/SEAA.2016.56 

Additional Readings: 

Moggridge, B., & Atkinson, B. (2007). Designing interactions (Vol. 17). Cambridge: MIT press. Chapter 10: pp 700–723. (Second part of chapter if interested) 

Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centered design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55(4), 604–613. 

Rudd, J., Stern, K., & Isensee, S. (1996). Low vs. High-fidelity prototyping debate. Interactions, 3(1), 76–85. 

Berry, A.B.L., Lim, C.Y., Liang, C.A., Hartzler, A.L., Hirsch, T., Ferguson, D.M., Bermet, Z.A., & Ralston, J.D. (2021). Supporting collaborative reflection on personal values and health. In Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 5, CSCW2, Article 299. doi: 10.1145/3476040 

Berry, A.B.L., Lim, C.Y., Hirsch, T., Hartzler, A.L., Kiel, L.M., Bermet, Z.A., & Ralston, J.D. (2019). Supporting Communication About Values Between People with Multiple Chronic Conditions and their Providers. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1-14. doi: 10.1145/3290605.3300700  


Session 4: Evaluation & Usability Testing 

Maguire, M. (2001). Methods to support human-centered design. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 55(4), PP 611-622, including Table 7. 

Zhang, D. & Adipat, B. (2005). Challenges, methodologies, and issues in the usability testing of mobile applications. International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 18(3), 293-308. doi: 10.1207/s15327590ijhc1803_3 

Shefali Haldar, Yoojung Kim, Sonali R. Mishra, Andrea L. Hartzler, Ari H. Pollack, and Wanda Pratt. 2020. The Patient Advice System: A Technology Probe Study to Enable Peer Support in the Hospital. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 4, CSCW2 (October 2020), 1–23. DOI: 

Additional readings: 

Faulkner, L. (2003). Beyond the five-user assumption: Benefits of increased sample sizes in usability testing. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 35, 379-383. doi: 10.3758/BF03195514 


Session 5: Analyzing and Publishing Design Research 

O'Leary, K., Schueller, S.M., Wobbrock, J.O., & Pratt, W. (2018). “Suddenly, we got to become therapists for each other”: Designing peer support chats for mental health. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1-14. doi: 10.1145/3173574.3173905 

Morris, R.R., Kouddous, K., Kshirsagar, R., & Schueller, S.M. (2018). Towards an artificially empathic conversational agent for mental health applications: System design and user perceptions. J Med Internet Res, 20(6), e10148. doi: 10.2196/10148 

Additional readings:  

Wobbrock, J. O., & Kientz, J. A. (2016). Research contributions in human-computer interaction. Interactions, 23(3), 38–44. 

O'Brien, B.C., Harris, I.B., Beckman, T.J., Reed, D.A., & Cook, D.A. (2014). Standards for reporting qualitative research: A synthesis of recommendations. Acad Med, 89(9), 1245-51. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000388  

Tong, A., Sainsbury, P., & Craig, J. (2007). Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. Int J Qual Health Care, 19(6), 349-357. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzm042 

Lattie, E.G., Bass, M., Garcia, S.F., Phillips, S.M., Moreno, P.I., Flores, A.M., Smith, J.D., Scholtens, D., Barnard, C., Penedo, F.J., Cella, D., & Yanez, B. (2020). Optimizing health information technologies for symptom management in cancer patients and survivors: Usability evaluation. JMIR Form Res, 4(9), e18412. doi: 10.2196/18412 

Session 6: Design in NIH Grants  

Caine, K. (2016). Local standards for sample size at CHI. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 981-992. doi: 10.1145/2858036.2858498 

Bastien, J.M. (2010). Usability testing: A review of some methodological and technical aspects of the method. Int J Med Inform, 79(4), e18-e23. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2008.12.004  

Additional readings:  

Guest, G., Bunce, A., & Johnson, L. (2006). How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods, 18(1), 59-82. doi: 10.1177/1525822X05279903 

Fusch, P.I. & Ness, L.R. (2015). Are we there yet? Data saturation in qualitative research. Qualitative Report, 20(9), 1408-1416. Retrieved from  

Stavros, C. & Westberg, K. (2009). Using triangulation and multiple case studies to advance relationship marketing theory. Qualitative Market Research, 12(3), 307-320. doi: 10.1108/13522750910963827 

Session 7: Designing for Implementation 

Graham, A.K., Lattie, E.G., & Mohr, D.C. (2019). Experimental therapeutics for digital mental health. JAMA Psychiatry, 76(12), 1223–1224. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.2075 

Lyon AR, Brewer SK, Areán PA. Leveraging human-centered design to implement modern psychological science: Return on an early investment. Am Psychol. 2020 Nov;75(8):1067-1079. doi: 10.1037/amp0000652. PMID: 33252945; PMCID: PMC7709137. 

Knapp, A.A., Carroll, A.J., Mohanty, N. et al. A stakeholder-driven method for selecting implementation strategies: a case example of pediatric hypertension clinical practice guideline implementation. Implement Sci Commun 3, 25 (2022). 

Additional Readings: 

Dopp AR, Parisi KE, Munson SA, Lyon AR. A glossary of user-centered design strategies for implementation experts. Transl Behav Med. 2019 Nov 25;9(6):1057-1064. doi: 10.1093/tbm/iby119. PMID: 30535343. 


Session 8: Other Topics in HCI & Wrap-Up: Information Visualization 

Reading Turchioe M, Grossman LV, Myers AC, Baik D, Goyal P, Masterson Creber RM. Visual analogies, not graphs, increase patients’ comprehension of changes in their health status. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2020 May 1;27(5):677–89.  

Few S. Chapter 3: Thinking With Our Eyes. In: Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis. 1st ed. Oakland, CA, USA: Analytics Press; 2009. p. 29–54. 

Additional Readings 

Few S. Chapter 4: Analytical Interaction and Navigation. In: Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis. 1st ed. Oakland, CA, USA: Analytics Press; 2009. p. 55–92. 


Additional Design Resources  

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