Participatory Design and Process Testing to Optimize Utility, Usability, and Acceptability of a Mobile Game for Promoting Evidence-Driven Public Health Decision-Making in Resource-Constrained Settings
Innovative game-based training methods that leverage the ubiquity of cellphones and familiarity with phone-based interfaces have the potential to transform the training of public health practitioners in low-income countries such as Liberia. This article describes the design, development and testing of a prototype of the Figure It Out mobile game. The prototype game uses a disease outbreak scenario to promote evidence-based decision-making in determining the causative agent and prescribing intervention measures to minimize epidemiological and logistical burdens in resource-limited settings. Gameplay metrics that mimicked real-world situations around lives lost, money spent and time constraints during public health outbreaks were identified as relatable and necessary considerations. The findings reflect cultural differences between the game development team and end users that have emphasized the need for end users to have an integral part of the design team; this formative evaluation has critically informed next steps in the iterative development process.