2014/10/16 14:05 Alfred Clatworthy Holmen and Gyuchan Thomas Jun”, How easily understandable complex multi-layered system maps are? — A study on the usability of complex interactive diagrams”, #RSD3

Gyuchan Thomas Jun first day presentation at #RSD3 Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, in Theories and Methods track, at AHO, Oslo, Norway, moderated by @redesign

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Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/

Thomas is at Loughborough University, presenting on behalf of Alfred who is a student.

Focused on healthcare

have a lot of systems and process maps:  UML, SysML, etc.

Mapping / modelling to identify complexity, aid understanding, improve communication

About 10 years ago, was looking at basic elements

  • Links and nodes
  • Hierarchical links, sequential links, information links
  • Nodes could be people, activity, information
  • Three different links with three different views

Study:  patient discharge processes

  • Did UML diagrams, reviews with healthcare workers
  • Will they accept with the Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1989)?

Main finding:  a single diagram cannot effectively capture the full range of perspectives in complex healthcare

e.g. State Transition Diagram for patient status was found helpful

Study 2:  Tried 7 different diagrams (e.g. service blueprint, communications model)

  • Gave them diagrams, asked them which ones they found helpful


  • Participants familiarity with real pathways (as opposed to those who only came 6 months ago)
  • Psychologist who wasn’t visualize choose one diagram at random
  • Half chose state transition diagrams as best, was in line with the mental model; communication diagram as second, free flow diagrams as third (three people had 20 years experience, the format doesn’t matter).

Study 3:  Safer Medicine Management Pathways

  • Was given three 3-hour workshops, not enough time for systems mapping
  • Expensive to get users
  • Also inconsistent and uneven participation (only have came for all workshops, some only came for last workshop, e.g. social workers were under reorganization)
  • How to prevent complexity in system maps?

OpenIdeo platform

Study 4:  Interactive zoom in/out

Used Prezi

Time was taken until participants felt that they had a good understanding of the map content

Results found weren’t a lot different, just slightly more positive

Sketchnote of presentation by Gyuchan Thomas Jun, drawn by Patricia Kambitsch at https://twitter.com/playthink/status/522865226765463553

Sketchnote of presentation by Gyuchan Thomas Jun, drawn by Patricia Kambitsch


#design, #systems-thinking