TURF is an acronym for Task, User, Representation, and Function, which are the four basic components of usability. On the other hand, turf (lower case) is an actual product. Let us explain…
It can help create, organize, analyze, and ultimately improve usability.
turf tools can collect rich data on users interacting with an EHR, including audio, video, screen capture and keystroke events. These video and audio records of user interactions with the EHR are invaluable feedback for developers. Other tools let you add your notes and annotations directly on this media, using ready-to-use, detailed evaluation templates. After analyzing this data, you can generate reports that are in the agency-required formats, so they can be submitted as is.
The ideas behind TURF were developed from decades of research in cognitive science. To explain, let’s go back to the acronym and take it one letter – and concept – at a time.
TURF can help explain what cognitive scientists call the “representation effect”, that is, how and why two different EHR’s can represent the same work domain so very differently. More to the point, TURF can point the way to the best representation for the task, the user and the function – the essence of usability.