Formative evaluation of a mobile liquid portion size estimation interface for people with varying literacy skills

Beenish Moalla Chaudry, Kay Connelly, Katie A. Siek, Janet L. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Chronically ill people, especially those with low literacy skills, often have difficulty estimating portion sizes of liquids to help them stay within their recommended fluid limits. There is a plethora of mobile applications that can help people monitor their nutritional intake but unfortunately these applications require the user to have high-literacy and numeracy skills for portion size recording. In this paper, we present two studies in which the low- and the high-fidelity versions of a portion size estimation interface, designed using the cognitive strategies adults employ for portion size estimation during diet recall studies, was evaluated by a chronically ill population with varying literacy skills. The low fidelity interface was evaluated by ten patients who were all able to accurately estimate portion sizes of various liquids with the interface. Eighteen participants did an in situ evaluation of the high-fidelity version incorporated in a diet and fluid monitoring mobile application for 6 weeks. Although the accuracy of the estimation cannot be confirmed in the second study but the participants who actively interacted with the interface showed better health outcomes by the end of the study. Based on these findings, we provide recommendations for designing the next iteration of an accurate and low literacy-accessible liquid portion size estimation mobile interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-789
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Behavior change
  • Low literacy
  • Mobile interface design
  • Portion size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

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