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My thesis study finds out the influence of prior knowledge on people's performance and preference for different navigation structures. The subject matter is a digital decision aid for a genetic testing. I prototyped two distinct navigation structures (linear and network) with Axure. I utilized quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the topic.




Shared Decision Making (SDM) started from the concept focused on informed consent. Decision Aids are the most common tools used to support SDM in clinical encounters, and they have been shown to positively a ect decision quality. (Flynn, Knoedler et al. 2012) This project is to create a digital decision aid for the return of Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) results so that families better understand the issue and their options.

In the digital context, di erent navigation structure might boast di erent outcome for the audience considering that potential audience may vary in their level of prior knowledge on WES. The goal of this study is to nd out what will be a better navigation structure for people with di erent level of prior knowledge.

In this study two designs, one with linear navigation and the other network navigation, were tested. Data collected included: correctness of pre-reading questions, time for the participant to read through the tool, time for taking post-reading questions, and correctness of post-reading questions. The participant used one design primarily and was shown the other design. The participant was asked how do they think about the two designs. Qualitative data was collected for this answer.

People across different levels of prior knowledge took significantly less time answering post-reading questions when using the linear design. Strong influence of navigation structure on the correctness of people with different prior knowledge has not been found. 

Key Words: Navigation Structure, Interaction Design, Prior Knowledge , Decision Aid, Medical Design