Usability report: Floating action button and navigation

Date April 25-29, 2022
Location Arua, Uganda
Participants 16 CHWs (BRAC and MoH)


We’ve been exploring several UX/UI updates to the CHT to be more intuitive and consistent with other Android experiences. Our aim is to support its learnability with the floating action button by highlighting the primary actions a user can take on each page and its scalability by introducing a side navigation, allowing for additional pages in the future and an overall cleaner interface.


The goal of the study was to test our prototypes of the updated floating action button (FAB) and navigation designs with CHWs and to gather their feedback. We wanted to validate that the components and patterns being introduced are familiar to users and that the updated designs are usable and/or easily learnable.


Usability test (5 participants)
Focus group discussions (11 participants)

Usability questions and results

Question CHW 1 CHW 2 CHW 3 CHW 4 CHW 5 %
Are users familiar with the FAB? :x: :x: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: 60
If not, is it easily learned? :x: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: 80
Will users be able to easily use bottom tabs? :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: 100
Are users familiar with the menu icon and side navigation? :x: :white_check_mark: :x: :x: :x: 20
If not, is it easily learned? :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :x: 80
Are users familiar with the search functionality? :x: :x: :white_check_mark: :x: :x: 20
If not, is it easily learned? :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: 100
Are users familiar with filtering? :x: :x: :x: :x: :x: 0
Is the combination of proposed updates going to be easy or difficult to use or learn? :x: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :x: 60


  1. All participants recognized where they were in the app based on the content of the screen, despite FAB/nav changes (not necessarily by recognizing page titles or highlighted tab items)
  2. All participants quickly recognized the open state of the FAB as their list of forms and were comfortable with the slight change in pattern from action bar to button
  3. All participants were able to easily transition from top to bottom tabs
  4. The sliding menu was the most notable change to all participants. Most participants only noticed the sync status (likely because it’s the only item they look for in the current hamburger menu). Participants needed to be prompted with a task to navigate to another page from the open menu before reading the rest of the content on the screen, but once did, remembered this new way of navigating.
  5. Most participants had never used the search bar and were unfamiliar with this pattern, but all became comfortable with it after one use.
  6. No participants were familiar with the concept of filtering and experience difficulties grasping the interaction.
  7. Overall, the participants with higher tech literacy were able to learn the updates more quickly whereas those with lower tech literacy struggled with learnability. Several participants mentioned training for other CHWs being necessary for these updates.

Focus group discussion questions and findings

Is the FAB easier or more difficult to use than the current action bar?
80% of participants find the FAB easier to use because

  1. Larger icons are easier to recognize at a glance than reading a list of text
  2. Iconography is often easier to understand for users with basic literacy

20% of participants find the current action bar easier to use because

  1. They are already trained and familiar with it
  2. Icons might be confusing and they prefer to read the larger text for clarity

Are bottom tabs easier or more difficult to use than top tabs?
90% of participants find the bottom tabs easier to use because

  1. The bottom tab is easier to reach with their thumbs
  2. 3 icons feel simpler than 4 (in reference to decoupling the tabs with the hamburger menu)
  3. The touch area feels larger

10% of participants find the top tabs easier to use because

  1. The difference isn’t noticeable enough and they are already comfortable with the current placement

Is a side menu easier or more difficult to use than the current navigation?
70% of participants find the side menu easier to use because

  1. They prefer to see all pages (current tabs and hamburger menu items) grouped
  2. Seeing all the ways they can do their work is preferred (again, all together), even if it takes an extra tap
  3. Their sync status is visible more often when they tap into the menu to change pages

30% of participants find the current navigation easier to use because

  1. It’s faster to switch between pages
  2. The side navigation feels like a big change that is difficult to learn


  1. Many participants thought they were being trained on app updates, however one CHW understood what we were testing and thanked us for letting him provide feedback before updates were made.
  2. To sync their data, participants would go into the app settings and tap “Reload” instead of using the “Sync” button in the hamburger menu.
  3. Again, several participants mentioned training for other CHWs being necessary for these updates.

Next steps

We will be continuing to test and share these concepts across projects and slowly begin to incrementally roll out the UI/UX updates. If you are interested in participating in usability studies with the product design team and providing feedback on upcoming CHT updates, please leave a comment with a way to get in touch.


This looks dope. Simple but it is quite a redesign of the app. Glad to see it is getting love with the CHWs.

A suggestion, a simple gif like this one would work great as an accompaniment for these reports/announcements.

You just need to screen-record the CHT App in action and convert to GIF using a web service. This should be a piece of cake in recent Android versions because they have screen-recording built in.


Thanks @Nicole_Orlowski for this summary. I am drawn to observations 5, 6 and 7 under the Usability questions and results section which collaborate the user feedback held at the same time. The VHTs have not been exposed to the filter functionality on eCHIS hence your finding on observation 6. Did you have time to socialized MoH with the feature? Curious to know their take on this.

Hi @sue ! We didn’t go over the use case for the reports tab or any specific context behind filtering. We knew they had not been exposed to it in their CHT app so the objective was to gauge their familiarity with the general UI pattern (ex. if they used other apps that have filters, would they know how to interact with it? etc).